The Effect of the CCERS STEM + C Project on Information Technology Efficacy in Terms of Gender and Grade Level

Lauren Birney, Denise M. McNamara


Information technology has become ubiquitous in the 21st Century. Acquiring the skills and confidence to navigate the computational arena is all but obligatory for educational and professional success. Underrepresentation of women in the wide variety of fields associated with information technology is an authentic concern for both the individual and society as a whole. Various studies have emphasized the importance of stronger representative of marginalized groups to bolster creative thinking and a variety of perspectives. The CCERS STEM + C Program is a long-term hands-on environmental restoration project that has been embedded in the New York City Department of Education public schools. Students work to restore the native oyster population to New York Harbor through both field work and working with large sets of data on the open-access platform. One of the several areas studied throughout this program is the motivation and self-efficacy of the students, especially students who are underrepresented in the STEM and technology fields. Student surveys were initiated by 764 students with 513 participants and non-participants completing the survey. Aimed at eliciting levels of several self-reported factors, the survey included a subscale measuring levels of confidence in technological abilities. Results of the survey indicated that 9th grade female students have a higher level of self-efficacy and motivation than female students in the later high school grade levels. These results are consistent with the waning motivation and interest of female students in technology and STEM found in other studies.

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email:

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