Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Graduate Education

First Advisor

Patricia C. Kornelis


This action research study investigated the reasons that female students enroll in high school elective STEM classes in a rural Iowa high school. The participants were 52 students currently enrolled in an earth science class who responded to an anonymous survey centered around three themes: stereotypes, females in education, and the roles that adults and peers play. The survey clearly showed no significant differences between the perceptions of male and female participants. The results of the survey found that all students, both male and female, do not believe the traditional stereotypes held regarding STEM classes and careers. The results also indicate the need for adults, both family and school personnel, to become more prominent as to encourage advanced STEM class enrollment.


Action Research Report Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Education