Stark underrepresentation exists of undergraduate women enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degree programs. Although women have outnumbered men in undergraduate enrollment for over 30 years, these numbers do not apply to the sciences. Previous research shows that low self-efficacy is a barrier and high self-confidence is a strength for women in STEM. Participatory Action Research (PAR) addresses both sides of this issue by (1) answering the questions that exist about women in STEM and undergraduate research and (2) providing women in STEM with research experience. Thus, PAR not only helps solve the problem of self-efficacy that affects women in STEM, but also aids with self-esteem issues and other barriers they face daily. The current study is a PAR research project that uses group-level assessment, a participatory qualitative research method. In collaboration with female undergraduate coresearchers, the purpose of this PAR research project is to explore the experience of women conducting and/or seeking STEM undergraduate research experiences to inform program development at the university level.



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