Creating E-Textile Activities in a Textile Design Course to Engage Female Middle School Students in STEM Learning: An Undergraduate Design Experience
Widespread agreement exists that the United States faces a serious challenge in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). There is a particular deficit of females (Watt, 2010) and members of underserved groups like rural populations (Smith, Nelson, Trygstad, & Banilower, 2013) who are interested in STEM topics and qualified to pursue STEM careers. Initiatives are needed to encourage more students, especially females and rural students, to go into STEM fields. In this project, e-textile activities were designed by a senior level undergraduate textile design class to engage female middle-school students in STEM learning. E-textile activities have the potential to increase enjoyment of and interest in STEM activities, taking STEM courses, consideration of STEM careers, and confidence in STEM ability.