Intervention program to keep girls in the science pipeline: Outcome differences by ethnic status



This study evaluated a 2-week residential program aimed at enhancing the science interest and persistence of high-achieving 8th-grade girls. Questionnaires were administered to 38 program participants (14 of whom were of minority ethnicity) and 173 applicants who did not attend the program, at 3 time points: preprogram, 1 year postprogram, and 4 years postprogram. Outcomes, measured postprogram, included science self-concept and interest, persistence and aspirations in science, science activities, science course-taking in high school, and plans for a science college major. There was no main effect of program participation on any of the outcome measures, but a significant Participation × Ethnicity interaction effect occurred for all but one of the outcome variables. At Time 2, and especially Time 3, nonminority participants tended to have the most positive outcomes, whereas minority participants tended to have the most negative outcomes, compared with applicants. Post hoc analyses showed that although nonminority girls overall were more advantaged, this difference did not explain results. Several interpretations for these findings are discussed, the most likely that some global feature of the program, not any intervention component, interacted over time with the girls' postprogram experience. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 40: 393–414, 2003