Gender Aspects of Participation, Support, and Success in a State Science Fair



This study of students competing in the 2009 Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair investigates the role gender played in students' participation, choice of science field, award of prizes, and mentioning inspiring teachers. Females made up 62% of the participants and were more likely to enter projects in biology and in earth/space/environmental sciences, whereas males were more heavily represented in engineering. Girls and boys were equally likely to receive an award. Nearly half of both the girls and the boys reported having an inspiring teacher, but this was not associated with greater student success. Furthermore, for girls, the gender of the inspiring teacher did not influence the chances of winning an award.