Students with Disabilities’ Perspectives of STEM Content and Careers

Abstract:

The current global economy has led to an increase in the need for workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Underrepresented populations, such as students with disabilities, are being considered as one way meet the STEM workforce shortages. In order to increase students’ participation in STEM careers, it would be helpful to gauge whether students are interested in STEM content. The current study sought to gauge students with disabilities interest in individual STEM content areas. The research question states: How do middle school students with disabilities perceive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics content as measured by STEM Semantics Survey? In total 43 surveys were collected and analyzed. The overall findings indicate that students have the highest perception of technology and the lowest perception of mathematics. Means were analyzed by gender, race/ethnicity, and grade level. Implications and suggestions for practice are shared.
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