Gender Differences in Science Fair Projects

Document Type

Poster Session

Presentation Date


Conference Name

Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development

Conference Location

Indianapolis, IN

Source of Publication

ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 384 430


Gender differences in science interests were examined in two studies of projects entered in a regional science fair in kindergarten through grade 12. A content analysis of 1,319 project topics and materials submitted to the Northeastern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair from 1991 through 1993 showed that girls were more likely than boys to enter projects in biology and less likely to enter projects in physics, with the gender differencein physics smallest at grades K-2 and largest at grades 9-12. It also found that girls and boys tended to use materials related to gender-typed interest, such as household products and plants by girls and paper airplanes and electricity by boys. In a second study, interviews with science fair participants revealed no evidence that parents discriminated in topic selection or help with physics or biology projects on the basis of their child's gender.



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