An Investigation of the Impact A ROV Competition Curriculum has on Student Interest in sTEm, Specifically Technology and Engineering
This research investigates the impact a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) program has on student interest in, and perception of, technology and engineering (sTEm). ROV programs embed areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) into their curriculum; however, emphasis for this study is placed on interest and perception of the "T" and "E" of STEM. Although there are many articles detailing the benefits of ROV programs, there is little empirical data documenting the impact on student interest and perception of sTEm. This study outlines the background of a few major ROV programs in the U.S.; specifically Utah Underwater Robotics (UUR), an ROV statewide program within a landlocked state, the methods for gathering data and findings from a sTEm survey instrument administered to over 300 students ranging from 6th to 12th grade who participated in a five-month ROV program and near 50 students who did not. Key findings include: 1. Males were more interested in technology and engineering than females, regardless of whether they participated in the UUR ROV program. 2. Male and female students in the UUR program were more interested and had a more positive perception of engineering than those who did not participate in the UUR ROV program. 3. Females in the UUR program reported more interest in engineering careers and activities than females not in the program. 4. Females in the program reported more interest and self-efficacy in science than females not in the program. 5. Males in the UUR program reported more awareness of the positive and negative consequences of technology and engineering than those who did not participate.