To assess the effectiveness of the program, students were given a survey at the beginning and at end of the program to evaluate their perceptions of their own strengths and abilities in categories pertinent to careers in STEM. Students consistently rated themselves higher in all categories at the end of the program, demonstrating that they felt more certain in their own STEM capabilities.
We asked the students to recall the most interesting thing they learned in Eva the Engineer, and here are a few of their responses:
1. “How many different engineering jobs there are.”
2. “That engineering is more than one thing.”
3. “How big of an impact it is to drink bottled water (social and economic impact).”
4. “There is a degree for exercise.”
The responses of the first and second students tell us that we are introducing the students to potential careers that they did not yet know existed or what such careers would entail. The third student commented that the most interesting thing that she learned was the impact of drinking bottled water vs. tap water, referring to the social and economic impacts. This was particularly exciting to us because this information was from the second lesson, demonstrating that our material and activities were impactful and memorable. The fourth student was most interested to learn that there is a college degree for exercise. She is referring to one of the women on our career panel who has a degree in kinesiology. We loved this comment because although the student may not have been as interested in civil engineering as a future career, the career panel in the final lesson showed her other STEM opportunities that she found interesting.