Skip to main content

The effect of university research apprenticeships for high school students on Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology learning and the pursuit of Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology degrees and careers

  • Julia Budassi (a1) and Miriam Rafailovich (a1)

The goal of this study is to examine whether participation in high school research apprenticeships increases pursuit of degrees and careers in science, and to explore other apprenticeship benefits. Students who participated in a research apprenticeship were surveyed about its influence on their undergraduate, graduate, and professional decisions. A control group who attended the same high schools, had similar grade point averages, and graduated with the apprenticeship participants was also surveyed. It was found that a significantly higher fraction of the apprenticeship group majored in Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology (STEM) fields, pursued careers in STEM disciplines, and found the experience to strategically influence their job performance.

Corresponding author
Address all correspondence to Julia Budassi at
Hide All
1.National Science Foundation: Science and Engineering Indicators 2016. NSB-201601 (2016). Available at: (accessed November 2017).
2.Paldy, L.G.: No time for complacency. J. Coll. Sci. Teach. 35, 45 (2005).
3.Nicholls, G.M., Wolfe, H., Besterfield-Sacre, M., Shuman, L.J., and Larpkiattaworn, S.: A method for identifying variables for predicting STEM enrollment. J. Eng. Educ. 96, 3344 (2007).
4.Cannady, M.A., Greenwald, E., and Harris, K.N.: Problematizing the STEM pipeline metaphor: is the STEM pipeline metaphor serving our students and the STEM workforce? Sci. Educ. 98, 443460 (2014).
5.Bryan, R.R., Glynn, S.M., and Kittleson, J.M.: Motivation, achievement, and advanced placement intent of high school students learning science. Sci. Educ. 95, 10491065 (2011).
6.Hofstein, A. and Lunetta, V.N.: The laboratory in science education: foundations for the twenty-first century. Sci. Educ. 88, 2854 (2003).
7.Tai, R.H., Liu, C.Q., Maltese, A.V., and Fan, X.: Planning early for careers in science. Science 312, 11431144 (2006).
8.Kokkelenberg, E.C. and Sinha, E.: Who succeeds in STEM studies? An analysis of Binghamton University undergraduate students. Econ. Educ. Rev. 29, 935946 (2010).
9.Hall, C., Dickerson, J., Batts, D., Kauffmann, P., and Bosse, M.: Are we missing opportunities to encourage interest in STEM fields? J. Technol. Educ. 23, 3246 (2011).
10.Sanders, M.: STEM, STEM education, STEMmania. Technol. Teach. 68, 2025 (2009).
11.Bleicher, R.E.: High school students learning science in university research laboratories. J. Res. Sci. Teach. 33, 11151133 (1996).
12.Seymour, E. and Hewitt, N.M.: Talking about leaving: why undergraduates leave the sciences (Westview, Boulder, CO, 1997).
13.Hathaway, R.S., Nagda, B.R., and Gregerman, S.R.: The relationship of undergraduate research participation to graduate and professional education pursuit: an empirical study. J. Coll. Stud. Dev. 43, 118 (2002).
14.Abraham, L.M.: What do high school science students gain from field-based research apprenticeship programs? Clearing House 75, 229232 (2002).
15.Townsend, M.A.R. and Hicks, L.: Classroom goal structures, social satisfaction, and the perceived value of academic tasks. Br. J. Educ. Psychol. 67, 112 (1997).
16.Sadler, T.D., Burgin, S., McKinney, L., and Ponjuan, L.: Learning science through research apprenticeships: a critical review of the literature. J. Res. Sci. Teach. 47, 235256 (2010).
17.Bui, Q.: What's your major? Decades of college degrees, in 1 graph (2014). NPR. Available at: (accessed November 2017).
18.Baum, S. and Steele, P.: Who goes to graduate school and who succeeds? Access Group Inc. and Urban Institute (2017). Available at: (accessed November 2017).
19.US News and World Report: Best colleges (2016). Available at: (accessed November 2017).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

MRS Communications
  • ISSN: 2159-6859
  • EISSN: 2159-6867
  • URL: /core/journals/mrs-communications
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed