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Abstract Title: Physics career intentions: The effect of physics identity, math identity, and gender
Abstract: Although nearly 50% of high school physics students are female, only 21% of physics bachelor's degrees are earned by females.  Using data from the Sustainability and Gender in Engineering (SaGE) Project, a national survey of college students in introductory English courses, we examine the influence of students' physics and math identities on their choice to pursue a physics career. Males have higher math and physics identities than females in all three dimensions of our identity framework. These dimensions include: performance/competence (perceptions of ability to perform/understand), recognition (perception of recognition by others), and interest (desire to learn more).  A regression model predicting students' intentions to pursue physics careers shows, as expected, that males are significantly more likely to choose physics than females. Surprisingly, however, when physics and math identity are included in the model, females are shown to be equally or slightly more likely to choose physics careers compared to males.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Robynne M. Lock
Department of Engineering and Science Education, Clemson University
M15D Holtzendorff Hall
Clemson, SC 29634
Phone: 303-815-3506
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Zahra Hazari, Department of Engineering & Science Education and Department of Mathematical Sciences, Clemson University
Geoff Potvin, Department of Engineering & Science Education and Department of Mathematical Sciences, Clemson University