Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


First Advisor

Amanda Thomas

Date of this Version



Jeffers, C. (2019). The impacts of family STEM events for young children on parents' perceptions in a rural remote school. (Master's thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 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 Cheyenne Jeffers


STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to creating learning experiences, preparing the children of today to become the workforce and global citizens of a digital tomorrow. Young children are natural explorers of their world, participating in STEM learning through real world experiences. Public and parental misconceptions are hurdles to implementing STEM learning with young children. Many believe young children are not capable of participating in STEM learning and should be taught foundational skills first. On the contrary, STEM learning should be a priority in the educational environment of young children, most beneficially combining efforts at home as well as at school. Parental engagement plays a critical role in the academic success of children. Encouraging family engagement by offering STEM events as a way for families to collaborate and explore STEM activities could offer a multifaceted motivation for educators. The positive impacts could include new parent perceptions and exposing remaining parent misconceptions, developing home connections and family engagement, and inspiring parent encouragement of STEM. Rural families are more likely to attend school events and are less likely to visit out of school educational attractions, for example zoos or aquariums. This study examined the impacts of family STEM events for young children on parents’ perceptions in a rural remote school.

Advisor: Amanda Thomas