Gender and self-efficacy in engineering: Embracing failure and a growth mindset for female high school students (Fundamental)

J. Jill Rogers, Rebecca Primeau, Noel Kathleen Hennessey, James C. Baygents

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Over the last decade much attention has been drawn to the lack of women in engineering careers and the need to attract and retain them in the field. This paper will discuss prior research focused on female student self-efficacy in engineering and the subsequent treatments that have been applied at various stages in the STEM pipeline. Then we will examine the ENGR 102 HS program and results from four years of student course evaluation surveys (n=1093). ENGR 102 High School (HS) is an introduction to engineering course offered in 34 high schools in the Southwest. Students who enroll in the University of Arizona course receive three units of credit from the College of Engineering (COE) towards an engineering degree. Now in its eighth year of operation, the ENGR 102 HS program reaches diverse student populations around the state. ENGR 102 HS looks to fill the pipeline to undergraduate engineering degrees with diverse, capable, informed students of both genders. While gender parity is not our primary objective, we strive to create opportunity, diminish barriers and to deliver a curriculum with a broad appeal. Data analysis for this paper concentrates on selected questions from the ENGR 102 HS course evaluations. Our results examine female (n=220) and male (n=873) high school student responses. Specifically, we explored the landscape of female ENGR 102 HS high school student self-efficacy in engineering to include attitudes towards failure, and mindset. Results demonstrated that female ENGR 102 HS students possessed a significantly lower engineering self-efficacy than male students. With respect to mindset and fear of failure, male and female students showed no statically significant difference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jun 26 2016
Event123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jun 29 2016


Other123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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