Date of Graduation

Spring 2023


Master of Natural and Applied Science in Physics


Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science

Committee Chair

David Cornelison


There are an estimated 3 to 4 million open job positions in STEM fields (Ball, Huang, Cotten, & Rikard, 2018; Chen, 2013), lacking qualified individuals to fill them. Graduation rates for undergraduate degrees in STEM fields average just over 430,000 degrees per academic year (National Center for Education Statistics, 2023), leaving an approximate 2.5 million positions unfilled. This lack of workers and qualified individuals is a concern for the scientific community because a lack of degrees obtained results in a lack of scientists in the field and therefore less opportunity for advancement. To address this issue, the researcher proposes a form of early intervention through attitudinal intervention to impact students while still undergoing significant cognitive development. This study introduces a game-based, coding STEM intervention for fourth and fifth grade students wherein the students will code accurate simulations of magnetic and electromagnetic properties. The experimental group will receive an additional assignment where they will design a video game as a class, centering on the physics principle of electromagnetism, to assess resulting attitudinal changes and implications of this additional assignment. The researcher observed a significant shift in attitude of the experimental group, while the control group had only minor changes. This data demonstrates to the researcher that this is a viable form of intervention to increase student attitude towards STEM and STEM education.


cognitive reappraisal, computational thinking, constructivism, discovery-based learning, intervention, self-efficacy, STEM

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Technology


© Hayden Stricklin

Open Access