Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Recreation, Parks and Tourism Resources

Committee Chair

David Smaldone

Committee Member

Steve Selin

Committee Member

Jinyang Deng

Committee Member

Gay Stewart

Committee Member

Marion Holmes


The purpose of this research paper was to examine the relationship between vocational relevancy and adventure STEM education in the context of a four-day adventure STEM camp. Middle school students participated in a variety of adventure activities designed to teach STEM concepts. Using a concurrent triangulation mixed methods design, 246 students completed pre- and post-surveys that assessed changes in attitudes related to STEM interest, career interest, STEM career knowledge, STEM identity, STEM self-efficacy, and STEM value. Fourteen students and eight teachers participated in semi-structured interviews to further examine the role of vocational relevancy in curricula. Overall, results indicate some support for increased positive STEM attitudes as a result of attending camp, with positive results across multiple data points for STEM self-efficacy (surveys, student interview, teacher interview). STEM interest received support in teacher interviews, STEM career interest in surveys and student interviews, and STEM career knowledge in surveys. STEM values showed conflicting results. Emergent interview data also indicated the possibility of an increase in students’ social and interpersonal skills. Though further research in this area is needed, findings support a link between vocational relevancy and adventure STEM education. Future potential research avenues are also discussed.