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Title page for ETD etd-07202009-203601

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Wai, Jonathan Ladde
Author's Email Address waijon@hotmail.com
URN etd-07202009-203601
Title Achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and its Relationship to STEM Educational Dose: A 25 Year Longitudinal Study.
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
David Lubinski Committee Chair
Andrew J. Tomarken Committee Member
Camilla P. Benbow Committee Member
James H. Steiger Committee Member
Stephen N. Elliott Committee Member
  • talent searches
  • STEM
  • educational acceleration
  • gifted
  • longitudinal study
Date of Defense 2009-07-13
Availability unrestricted
Math-science outcomes are examined among mathematically talented 13-year-olds over 25 years as a function of the number of advanced/enriched pre-collegiate educational opportunities they experienced beyond the norm. STEM (science, technology, engineering, & mathematics) educational opportunities are the focus of this study, because the aim was to uncover opportunities specifically related to adult achievements in STEM (viz., STEM PhDs, STEM publications, STEM tenure, STEM patents, & STEM occupations). Study 1 tracked 1,467 mathematically talented (top 0.5% in ability) adolescents over 25 years, revealing that STEM achievements varied as a function of the density of advanced pre-collegiate educational opportunities in STEM. Study 2 profiled the specific educational experiences of this sample, and contrasted them with the adolescent educational histories of a sample of 714 top STEM graduate students (identified as mostly second-year graduate students in 1992, and tracked for 10 years) who were all highly motivated. The more highly achieving STEM graduate students, like their mathematically talented counterparts, manifested past histories involving a richer density of advanced pre-collegiate educational opportunities in STEM (a higher "STEM dose"), relative to less highly achieving members of their respective cohorts. Both studies suggest that for mathematically talented and academically motivated young adolescents, achievement in STEM is facilitated by a rich mix of pre-collegiate STEM educational opportunities that are enriching and beyond the norm, and these opportunities appear to be uniformly important for both sexes.
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