Research Reports

Perceived Barriers to Higher Education in STEM

This article was published in the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. Abstract: The underrepresentation of people of color in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) has become an increasing concern nationwide, with efforts focused on understanding mechanisms causing underrepresentation and implementing policies and interventions to increase diversity within STEM fields.

Perceived Barriers and Endorsement of Stereotypes Among Adolescent Girls of Color in STEM

This presentation took place at the Alliance for Girls 2014 Annual Conference in San Francisco (May 28, 2014). The research explored data on the underrepresentation of girls of color in STEM, and findings relating to the perception of barriers to success in STEM and the endorsement of negative stereotypes about STEM ability by adolescent girls of color.

Gender and Racial Stereotype Endorsement: Examining the Impact on STEM Outcomes among High-Achieving Underrepresented Adolescents

This research study was presented at the Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention (May 22-25, 2014) in San Francisco. The research has implications for further understanding the presence and impact of psychological barriers to pursuit and persistence in STEM fields for students of color and has implications for effective programming to decrease stereotype endorsement and improve STEM outcomes among this population.

Rigor, Role Models, and Relevance: Examining the Impact of a Culturally Relevant STEM Intervention Program for Underrepresented High School Students of Color

This study, presented at the American Educational Research Association annual conference in Philadelphia (April 3-7,2014), examined the effectiveness of a secondary level STEM intervention program; specifically, the impact this program has on student outcomes, and whether this program alleviates structural and psychological barriers and contributes to success in STEM.

Examining the Effectiveness of a STEM-focused Intervention Program for African-American Middle School Boys

This study, presented at the American Educational Research Association annual conference in Philadelphia (April 3-7,2014), examined the efficacy of an intervention program designed to increase the preparation of African-American adolescent males in STEM. The study addressed the following research questions: (1) How did the program impact academic knowledge among African-American males? (2) What impact did the program have on participants’ STEM attitudes and aspirations? (3) In what ways did diverse STEM peers and role models affect students within the program?

SMASH 2013 Evaluation Report

The Summer Math and Science Academy (SMASH) 2013 Evaluation Report was designed and implemented by the LPFI Research Team to:

  • Examine the goals, objectives, and activities of the SMASH program and construct measures to assess impact in each critical area.
  • Collect data from SMASH scholars to measure academic growth, attitudes, aspirations, and skills and understand students' perspectives of the SMASH program.
  • Utilize the data and findings to document outcomes and inform program growth and improvement.

Technology's Opportunity Gap [Infographic]

The following infographic, published by CODE2040 and LPFI, lays out the dire need to grow the tech workforce, the knowledge and skills gap in the education pipeline, and the underrepresentation of Blacks and Latino/as in the STEM economy. Finally, the infographic shows how two organizations, CODE2040 and LPFI, are working to improve the opportunity gap for Blacks and Latino/as.

Level Playing Field Institute: Improving STEM Outcomes for Students of Color in California

This study, which was presented at the 1st Annual California Department of Education STEM Symposium in Sacramento, CA (November 18-19, 2013), described the disparities facing students of color in K-12 STEM education, examined the impact of two out-of-school STEM intervention programs for students of color, SMASH Academy and SMASH: Prep, and discussed implications for broadening participation in STEM in California.

The Impact of College Success Courses for Low-Income, First-Generation, Students of Color to Promote the Pursuit of STEM in Higher Education

LPFI's research team presented on the outcomes of SMASH College Success courses to eliminate barriers to entrance, retention, and success in STEM fields in higher education at the National Symposium for Student Retention Conference in San Diego, CA (November 4-6, 2013). The College Success Course was developed to prepare underrepresented high school students for the college-going process. The College Success Course focuses on eliminating barriers facing low-income, first-generation students by focusing on college planning, financial planning, and career planning.

Perceived Barriers to Higher Education in STEM among High-Achieving Underrepresented High School Students of Color

This study, presented at the American Educational Research Association annual conference in San Francisco (April 27-31, 2013), examined perceptions of internal and external barriers to higher education in STEM, perceptions of barriers by race and gender, and the relationship between perceived barriers and STEM aspirations among 152 high school students of color in a STEM intervention program.

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