FURI | Fall 2018

Interest & Proficiency in Engineering Among Elementary Friend Groups

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Social networks are used to investigate the quality of friendships young students make, specifically as it relates to engineering interest and proficiency. Over 140 students in grades 3-5 were surveyed about their interest in STEM activities and asked to identify up to 10 of their friends in their school and grade. Social networks were created from the friendship nominations, with different colored nodes representing interest level or competency in engineering. A descriptive analysis relates the frequency between similarities of interest and competency among friend groups. Future work should look at longitudinal data and analyze for any influential characteristics of engineering-interest/proficiency.

Student researcher

Portrait of Kendalyn Grant

Kendalyn Grant

Mechanical engineering

Hometown: Salem, New Hampshire

Graduation date: Fall 2018

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