Primary Outcomes (end points)
A) Student attitudes towards science and the role women in science
Student perceptions about science and about the role of women in science will be measured through a paper-and-pencil questionnaire which will be completed by the control and treatment students in their respective classrooms, under the supervision of a member of the school staff. The survey questionnaire will be administered between one month and three months after the classroom interventions.
Key outcome variables:
A1) Self-assessed taste for and performance in science subjects
(i) Taste for the different subjects taught in high school (math, physics, French, English, history and geography, biology, etc.).
(ii) Self-assessed performance in the different subjects taught in high school.
(iii) Self-assessed performance relative to both the other boys and the other girls in the classroom: in math and French (for first-year students); in math and biology (for final-year students preparing thea scientific baccalaureate).
(iv) Self-confidence in ability to solve mathematics and science problems.
A2) Education and career plans
(i) Intended study plan for the following and subsequent years.
(ii) Career aspirations:
- preferred occupations (several responses allowed);
- whether the student would see herself /himself in particular occupations (engineer, physician, industrial designer, chemist, pharmacist, lawyer, researcher in biology, alternate energy technician, computer specialist, psychologist).
(ii) Motivations that influence educational and career choices: personal interest the field of study; fear that other fields of study might be too difficult; financial and employment prospects; gender balance; personal workload.
A3) Perceptions about science and scientific occupations
(i) Whether the student is interested in science in general.
(ii) Whether she/he considers that there are interesting jobs involving science.
(iii) The student sees herself/himself in a scientific career.
(iii) Jobs in science pay well.
(iv) Jobs in science require lengthy studies.
(iv) Jobs in science are monotonous.
(iv) Jobs in science are rather solitary.
A4) Perceptions about women in science
(i) There are more men than women in science.
(ii) Men are more skilled in mathematics than women.
(iii) Men and women's brains are different.
(iv) Women do not have much interest in science.
These items are designed to measure students' perceptions about the role of innate differences in ability ((ii) and (iii)), of differences in taste (iv) and of discrimination (v) when assessing gender differences in science.
A5) Descriptors for male/female scientists
Students' stereotypes representation of men and women with a science career are measured based on a list of positive/negative descriptors among which respondents are asked to choose to describe how they would portray a scientific person (interesting/boring, repetitive/creative, solitary/sociable, stylish/old-fashioned, respected/not respected, shy/outgoing, exemplary/ordinary). In each classroom, half the students are randomly assigned the question that refers to a man working in a science career, whereas the other half is assigned the question that refers to a woman working in a science career.
B) Educational outcomes
Information on students' post-intervention academic performance and choice of studies are obtained from administrative data sources that are linked with the survey data using an encrypted student identifier.
Key outcome variables:
B1) Academic performance across science subjects (for 12th grade students only)
12th grade students' academic performance in science subjects (mathematics, physics and biology) is measured from their grades in the corresponding final exams of the scientific baccalaureate.
B2) Choice of studies in the years following the intervention
(i) For 10th grade students: probability of preparing a baccalaureate in science (Baccalaureat S) or a technological baccalaureate with a major in science (Baccalaureat STL or STI2D) in 11th grade.
(ii) For 12th grade students preparing a scientific baccalaureate:
- Probability of applying to one or more undergraduate degree programs in science or technology (based on the data from France's centralized application system for higher education Admission Post-Bac).
- Probability of applying to one or more undergraduate degree programs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, as opposed to non-STEM scientific fields such as biology and medical sciences.
- Probability of enrolling in an undergraduate degree program in science or technology in the year following the intervention and in subsequent years.
- Probability of enrolling in an undergraduate degree program in a STEM field in the year following the intervention and in subsequent years.