Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


First Advisor

Amanda Thomas

Date of this Version

Summer 8-8-2019


Blankenship, L. A.(2019). Elementary student engagement through STEM lessons. (Masters thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE, United States). Retrieved from


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, Under the Supervision of Professor Amanda Thomas. Lincoln, Nebraska: August 2019

Copyright © 2019 Leigh Anne Blankenship


Integrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects can be engaging for students and can help build real-world connections. Integration of STEM disciplines can also promote student engagement, as well as promote problem-solving and critical thinking skills. This action research study employed qualitative methods to investigate whether student participation in content areas changes when integrated STEM lessons are introduced in an elementary classroom. The participants of this study were nine students in a fourth-grade rural elementary classroom. Data sources included student surveys, a teacher journal, student work samples, and student interviews before and after each STEM lesson over a three-month period. Major findings from this study, evidenced by teacher journals and student self-perceived participation surveys, show that student participation increased through STEM integrated lessons. Also evidenced by student work samples and student pre and post lesson interviews, this study found that teaching changed when STEM integrated lessons were taught.

Keywords: Elementary, Motivation, Participation, STEM Education

Advisor: Amanda Thomas