Factors That Contributed to Gifted Students' Success on STEM Pathways: The Role of Race, Personal Interests, and Aspects of High School Experience

Saiying Steenbergen-Hu*, Paula Olszewski-Kubilius

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


In this study, we conducted binary logistic regression on survey data collected from 244 past participants of a Talent Search program who attended regular high schools but supplemented their regular high school education with enriched or accelerated math and science learning activities. The participants completed an online survey 4 to 6 years after high school. This study examined how their demographics, high school experiences, and timing of and reasons for pursuing a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) pathway related to the probability of earning STEM college degrees. This study revealed two factors that were positively and significantly associated with the outcome of earning STEM college degrees: Asian or White ethnicity and students' personal interest in STEM. Findings suggest that students' success in earning STEM degrees may not be fully attributable to their high achievements or abilities, and that their experiences in the Talent Search and supplemental outside-of-school gifted programs helped students intensify their interests in STEM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-134
Number of pages36
JournalJournal for the Education of the Gifted
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017



  • STEM
  • STEM interest
  • Talent Search
  • logistic regression
  • supplemental programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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