Taking the MAD out of Science: Understanding the Reasons Behind Students’ Perceptions

Regina Calebrese, Stephanie Zimny, Leah A. Nillas

Research output: Faculty Advisor of Undergraduate Research


As a mathematical subject perceived as masculine, science and scientists have always been drawn as males. Whether males find more success in the subject, or enjoy it more than their female counterparts, has been a recent topic of research. This study examines student perceptions of science, how they differ by gender, and how science is seen or considered as a future career. Utilizing an independent survey with students in their first year of elementary school as well as their first year of middle school, we were able to note trends throughout the schooling process. Kindergarten students demonstrated a female dominance in success and enjoyment of the subject that leveled off by middle school in which little gender difference was present. A gender shift appears to be happening in the middle grades, in which female students no longer dominate and are fairly equal in the science classroom.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • mathematics
  • science
  • gender
  • perceptions


  • Education
  • Mathematics

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