Supporting professional identity development in science


Talk Story / Paper


Early engagement in scientific research provides an opportunity for undergraduates to gain skills and develop their science identity. It is important to continue developing these experiences to best serve students as they pursue their career goals. In this study, we used a quantitative approach to examine the influence of participation in a two-semester research experience on science understanding and identities of five women enrolled in Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi community colleges. During the internship, students reported gains in understanding of science practices and explored their individual scientific interests. Although these women expressed interest in pursuing science careers and identified as science people, they remained uncertain in their professional science identity (i.e., a sense of one’s self as a professional in science). To maximize the positive outcomes of research experiences, internships should emphasize individualized learning that allows students to develop their sense of professional identity and encourage their persistence towards their chosen career.

Session Recording

STEMS² Pillars: Aʻo, Makawalu, Sense of Place


June 25th, 2020, 10:30am–11:30am HST

Location: STEMS² Symposium Room 3

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    Ariana Huffmyer
    Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology