Faculty Sponsor, if applicable
Dr. Bernadette Sánchez
Although the education of Latino/a students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is a key feature for ensuring future growth and innovation in the U.S., Latina/os remain underrepresented in STEM fields. To increase the representation of Latina/os in science fields, it is crucial to consider how contextually perceived barriers affect career development (Lent et al., 2000). The present study explored perceived gendered experiences among Latina/o high school and college students pursuing higher education in science. The research questions examined in this study are: (a) What are Latina/o students’ gendered experiences in science? (b) What are Latina/o students’ perceived gender barriers in science? and (c) How are Latina/o students’ experiences and perceptions related to their interest in pursuing science within higher education? Data for this study consisted of 11 open-ended interviews with Latina/o high school and college students participating in a summer science program. Qualitative analyses found that students perceived few gender barriers in their science education, but recognize the underrepresentation of women within science and their family background as contextual factors within their perceptions of science education. This research has implications for increasing the number of qualified students from underrepresented groups pursuing higher education in science.
Type of Research
Department Honors, Independent Study