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Kendalyn Grant

Hometown: Salem, New Hampshire | Graduation Date: Fall 2018
Mechanical Engineering

Interest & Proficiency in Engineering Among Elementary Friend Groups

Mentor: Martin Reisslein
FURI: Fall 2018

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.