VHTO - Landelijk expertisebureau meisjes/vrouwen en bčta/techniek


Simpkins, Sandra

Sandra Simpkins earned her Ph.D. in developmental psychology. She is an associate professor in the School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. Her research interests include after-school activities, motivation, parenting, and friendships.

Her work in STEM has focused on the achievement and motivation of middle and high school students. Recently, she was awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER award from 2011-2016. The focus of this award is to study the predictors of Mexican-origin high school students’ pursuit and achievement in science and math in the United States. The first critical juncture at which talented youth opt out of STEM in the U.S. is enrollment in high school science courses. The percentage of Latino students who opt out of the physical sciences has actually increased in recent years. Sandra integrates motivation and ecodevelopmental theories to describe how mothers and older youth in the family (i.e., sibling or cousin) motivate Mexican-origin adolescents to pursue physical science in high school.

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