Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Koenig, Keith

Committee Member

Smith, Caleb

Committee Member

Thompson, David

Committee Member

Prince, Debra

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Aerospace Engineering


Racial minorities, women, and people with disabilities are underrepresented in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Attitude towards science has been shown to be a reliable predictor of science achievement. Project-Based Learning (PBL) has been shown to improve attitude towards a topic. The sample selected consisted of 113 African American high school students (68% to 32% female to male ratio) from Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. A quasi-experimental research design which consisted of pre and post intervention measures of participants’ attitudes towards science was utilized in this study. Overall, Phase 1, a week-long residential camp, saw greater increases with direct respect to time or gender due to the immersive nature of the camp, whereas Phase 2, an eight week long outreach, saw a more complex interaction of the two factors. PBL was shown to be an effective method of instruction to reach African American and women populations.