Will exposure to math related careers make a difference?
Mathematics is a school subject many students struggle with. They often struggle with it because it may be difficult for them, or they do not see the relevance to real-life applications. Motivating students to learn and want to learn math has been a struggle for teachers. Teachers often have difficulties getting students to understand the importance math will have on their lives. With the advancements in technology and the global economy, there is a larger need for employees to have knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math. This project tries to promote the need and uses of math through various careers. This study used a pre-survey to get a baseline of students' thoughts and opinions using a 5 point Likert scale and through short answer responses. The students researched math related careers, wrote short papers, and presented their careers to the rest of class. A post-survey was conducted to determine if there were any changes in the means from the pre-survey results. The data was analyzed as a whole and was also broken down into gender, year in school, and class. There were a number of significant increases and decreases in the means of the pre-survey results compared to the post-survey results. In conclusion, students enjoyed researching some of the different math related careers. It is unclear whether exposing students to these careers was solely responsible for any of the changes, but it is important for students to be aware of the opportunities a strong math background allows students to pursue. A student can never set a goal to pursue a career they do not know exists.
Mathematics--Problems, exercises, etc.
Mathematics--Study and teaching (Secondary)