The environment is a compelling context for teaching and engaging today's students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Since those in STEM careers are often tasked with providing solutions to pressing global issues, it is important for students to be introduced to these skills and begin learning about careers in STEM from a young age.
In 2014, an experimental study examined the impact of a citizen science program on middle school students’ science performance and STEM career motivation. Students conducted fieldwork with naturalists and collected data related to horseshoe crabs intended for use by professional biologists. The results of this study supported the hypothesis that students would report higher motivation regarding science and show higher levels of achievement. Further analyses showed that this increased motivation influenced content knowledge and outcome expectations, which then influenced career goals.
This infographic illustrates some of the many ways STEM and environmental knowledge are becoming increasingly more important to US businesses and career paths.
Learn more about the many connections between STEM and the environment with our other environmental educator resources.