The growing demand for a larger STEM workforce in the 21st century has called for a larger STEM educational pipeline. In response, districts nationwide have taken steps to increase students’ access to high-quality STEM programs in their schools, especially at the high school level. The issue of equitable access to high-quality STEM education has emerged in the research, indicating that there is a stratification of races and genders in the pipeline that feeds into the STEM workforce. This descriptive study was conducted to analyze gender, racial, and ethnic compositions of North Carolina STEM high schools to evaluate the diversity of the STEM pipeline in North Carolina. Chi Square goodness of fit tests were conducted for observed and expected frequencies in student enrollment related to student gender and race/ethnicity. The results indicate significant racial and ethnic disproportionalities in STEM high schools when compared to their school systems at large. A discussion comparing the schools and other extraneous contributing factors follows. Implications include studying the causes for disproportionality, expanding this study to include elementary and middle STEM schools, and conducting similar descriptive research with a larger sample size of STEM high schools across the U.S.


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pp. 77-98
Launched on MUSE
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