This paper proposes three new measures of components STEM career preferences (affinity, certainty, and goal), and then explores which dimensions of science learning activation (fascination, values, competency belief, and scientific sensemaking) are predictive of STEM career preferences. Our strategy of measuring affinity towards the specific disciplines that make up STEM, measuring STEM and health career goals separately, and looking at career affinity and career goals separately, offers interesting results and underscores the value of disentangling the conceptual melting pot of what has previously been known as ‘career interest.’ Study findings also have implications for design of science learning opportunities for youth.

Recommended Citation:
Dorph, R., Bathgate, M. E., Schunn, C. D., & Cannady, M. A. (2018). When I grow up: the relationship of science learning activation to STEM career preferences. International Journal of Science Education, 40(9), 1034–1057.

View Article:

Year: 2018


  • Science Learning Activation
  • STEM & STEMM Careers

Related Publications

How science learning activation enables success for youth in science learning experiences

By Rena Dorph, Matthew A. Cannady and Chris Schunn

Abstract: Expanding on recent advances in science education, cognitive and social psychology, and sociocultural studies, the paper explores a construct called science learning activation and [...]