Honors Program


Date of this Version

Spring 3-8-2023

Document Type



Vana, A. (2023). Building Confidence in the STEM Field for Young Minds. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Copyright Allison Vana 2023.


As a future educator and school psychologist, I have always been intrigued by the impact educators have on the minds of young children from a psychology standpoint. As I have progressed through my bachelors degree, many of my classes presented the downfalls of the education system and ways our current school systems could be negatively impacting the mental health of young students. As I grew as both an honors student and future educator, my passion for improving the mental health of students developed, and I wanted to integrate this concept into my honors thesis.

One of the aspects of mental health I have struggled with the most in my personal life is confidence. As a woman in today’s society, I feel many stereotypes bestowed upon me and have felt the impact of them on my confidence directly. A pivotal time during my life in which my confidence was built was during my time at my all-girls high school. In STEM classes specifically, it is taught that men excel in this field more than women. I was empowered during my time at Mercy and want to give everyone the ability and confidence to excel in STEM related fields. During these three weeks of lesson planning, I aim to incorporate women and people from minority cultures and their research into grade appropriate activities and lessons while educating students about their history and impact on the STEM field. I also aim to make these lesson plans both realistic and accessible to educators, as I understand the constraints and hardships many educators undergo.