The role of ‘Teknikåttan’– a competition aimed at increasing interest in science and technology for grade 8 students.
Keywords:schools, tournament, inspiration, STEM, attitude, interest
Since 1993, Swedish technical universities have engaged 15-year-old students and their teachers in the annual tournament “Teknikåttan” (technology for students in school year eight), which is aimed at increasing students’ interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, as well as at making them aware of career possibilities within these areas. Given its large number of participating students, Teknikåttan offers a unique opportunity to study students’ understanding of and interest in STEM subjects by analysing the results collected for the participating students. This paper gives a description of the Teknikåttan tournament and presents an analysis of the results from the first round of the 2014 tournament. The data collected came from the answers of students in the Stockholm region. All questions were characterised according to three parameters, which were used to analyse answers to high-score and low-score questions and differences in answers according to gender. The analysis indicates that a difference exists in answers according to gender, such that boys scored higher than girls overall, but that girls scored higher in questions related to the subject of biology. Finally, a possible expansion of the analysis involving future tournaments is discussed.
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