Capstone/Dissertation Title

Hmong girls and science: how do female Hmong high school students describe their feelings and perceptions towards the study of science and the possibility of scientific careers?

Term

2007

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAT

Abstract

The capstone study investigates opinions and cultural predispositions towards science classes and science careers in Hmong women. Key influences included students, community members, and personal goals. The literature (e.g. Lips and Vang) suggests that there may be several reasons for a lack of girls in the higher echelons of science careers, and that Hmong girls are somewhat trapped by their culture -- unable to succeed in post-high school careers. The study consisted of two parts: a web-based survey given to 35 students in a St. Paul High school of varying gender and race, and interviews with four different Hmong girls in that high school at varying points in their careers. The study found that while the interviewees were very well off in terms of family and cultural support regardless of their career choice, there is very little interest in science careers at all in any of the students, regardless of race.

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