“Want to Get Teens Interested in Math and Science? Target Their Parents”

Want to Get Teens Interested in Math and Science? Target Their Parents is from the Association Of Psychological Science and reports on a recent study.

Basically, they sent parents a couple of brochures on STEM and asked them to visit a website. The parents in a control group didn’t get any of that extra information.

Here is what the researchers found:

The results suggest that the intervention had a noticeable effect on the courses that the students enrolled in: students whose parents received all the materials as part of the experimental group took more science and math classes in the last two years of high school. The effect amounted to roughly an extra semester of advanced math or science, including courses such as algebra II, trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus, statistics, chemistry, and physics.

Mothers in the intervention group viewed math and science courses as more useful than did mothers in the control group. And students with parents in the intervention group had more conversations with their parents about course choices, educational plans, and the importance of math and science during 12th grade. These two factors – having a mother who values STEM and having more conversations about STEM – seemed to enhance students’ own perceptions of the usefulness of STEM courses.

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