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Abstract Title: What does it mean to be a Physicist? Exploring the Identity Development of Female Physics Majors
Abstract: One goal of the Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics is to give women the motivation and confidence to pursue a career in physics. Part of our evaluation of these conferences was to explore the participants' physics identity formation. Identity formation that occurs during college shapes vocational decision-making. 608 undergraduate women were asked if they considered themselves to be a physicist. A follow-up question of why or why not provided insight into their identity formation. The results from this study formed a set of characteristics that these undergraduate women believe define a "physicist" and fell into three categories – skills, attitudes, and experiences. This project has led to a deeper understanding of these students' identity formation and provided us with insights into the undergraduate experiences that may foster the development of a young woman's physics identity.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Mary Elizabeth Mills
Indiana University
3812 W Woodmere Way
Bloomington, IN 47403
Phone: 5133248721
and Co-Presenter(s)
Gayle Buck