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The development of elementary-aged students’ STEM and computer science (CS) literacy is critical in this evolving technological landscape, thus, promoting success for college, career, and STEM/CS professional paths. Research has suggested that elementary- aged students need developmentally appropriate STEM integrated opportunities in the classroom; however, little is known about the potential impact of CS programming and how these opportunities engender positive perceptions, foster confidence, and promote perseverance to nurture students’ early career aspirations related to STEM/CS. The main purpose of this mixed-method study was to examine elementary-aged students’ (N = 132) perceptions of STEM, career choices, and effects from pre- to post-test intervention of CS lessons (N = 183) over a three-month period. Findings included positive and significant changes from students’ pre- to post-tests as well as augmented themes from 52 student interviews to represent increased enjoyment of CS lessons, early exposure, and its benefits for learning to future careers.


Originally published as an article in Technology, Knowledge and Learning, Springer Nature.

DOI: 10.1007/s10758-018-9358-z