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Abstract Title: Female Students' Persistence and Engagement in Physics: The Role of High School Experiences
Abstract: Prior research has emphasized the importance of early science experiences for engaging female students such that their science interests persist and they opt towards STEM careers in the future. However, this research is not specific to physics and the question of when and how female students become engaged with learning physics in ways that may lead to their persistence remains largely unexplored. Drawing on data from more than a thousand undergraduate women in physics who completed a survey as part of the application process for the Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics, we identify the important role that high school physics plays in attracting female students to physics careers. Drawing on longitudinal interview data from nine female students, we further explore the ways in which high school physics experiences can have a lasting impact, especially as these experiences become more temporally distant. Supported by NSF Grant 0952460 and 1346627.
Abstract Type: Symposium Poster
Targeted Session: Gender issues in introductory physics: Recruitment, performance, and retention

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Zahra Hazari
Clemson University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Eric Brewe, Theodore Hodapp, Renee Michelle Goertzen, Robynne M. Lock, Cheryl A. P. Cass