STEAM Programming as a Pathway to Foster Positive Academic Self-Efficacy and Positive Self-Concept
Keywords:kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12), Racial minorities, Multicultural, science, technology, engineering, mathematics , out-of-school time (OST), self-efficacy, self-concept
Multicultural individuals are underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Therefore, the current study is focused on exploring STEAMtrix, a STEM out-of-school time (OST) education program that incorporates the arts for kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) students. The study explores whether STEAMtrix could lead to the formation of positive STEM-specific self-efficacy and self-concept. Specifically, the study examined whether STEAMtrix could improve multicultural students’ interest and awareness of careers within the STEM pipeline. Thirty-eight students from multicultural backgrounds at a medium-sized community center participated in STEAMtrix. Explicit measures of STEM self-efficacy and both explicit and implicit measures of self-concept were collected before and after programming. Results demonstrated that the STEAMtrix curriculum increased STEM self-efficacy in some domains and improved implicit self-concept. This study offers insight into how community organizations and school systems can promote early access, positive self-efficacy, and positive self-concept in relation to STEM educational experiences during OST.