Information technology pathways in education: Interventions with middle school students

Angela K. Hollman, Travis J. Hollman, Frank Shimerdla, Matthew R. Bice, Megan Adkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Although there continue to be many efforts to increase STEM interest in the younger audience, shortages in the STEM fields continue to exist. In order to combat this shortage, this study sought to implement supplementary hands-on, problem-based learning into the classroom to positively influence teenagers’ attitudes regarding STEM and IT through an industry outreach partnership. This study was seeking the implications on students’ career readiness skills as well as gauging career interest towards STEM fields. The study also examined STEM and IT from the educator side to see if educators, with no technology endorsements, had the time and ability to correctly implement the activities. These two items have large implications for future supplementary STEM-IT implementations in the classroom from both the student and educator perspectives. In order to fully capture these two diverse viewpoints, 645 students and their educators were surveyed in a pre-posttest format. One of the most noteworthy findings was the students lack of knowledge regarding IT, including what the acronym meant, technical skills needed and career expectations. Educators also reported an increase in knowledge and appreciation of the real-world, hands-on curricular activities. Again, these results indicate significant finds which could have an impact on implementing supplementary STEM-IT curricula in the middle grades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-60
Number of pages12
JournalComputers and Education
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Hands-on learning
  • Information technology
  • Problem-based learning
  • STEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education


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