Running head: RESEARCH PLAN PART 1: LITERATURE REVIEWretaining knowledge. In other words, it is important to note the performance of the STEM teacher is superior to that of the traditional teaching group.Diverse STEM ChallengesIntegrating STEM courses for nontraditional students and a range of different students has been challenging in the early stages of STEM classes. However, this approach is becoming more widespread across the academic board (Lou, Ray Diez, and Tseng 2011). Ranging from females to low-poverty behavioral students, to non-science students are all considered diverse and nontraditional students who are taking STEM courses. These types of students struggle withmaintaining their engagement in activities as well as wanting to learn about STEM-related content. For diverse students, the most common challenges have been the attitude toward STEMcourses, participation, and performance.Integrating more females into the STEM courses environment has become quite evident that female students are capable of excelling in STEM courses as much as boys are. Females are performing at a stellar rate providing an interest in wanting to know more about STEM-related fields after graduating from high school and attending college (Wladis, Conway, and Hachey 2015). Females also tend to show a more positive attitude toward STEM than any other group. This type of attitude has cultivated a student’s systematic thinking and problem-solving abilities. Furthermore, integrating STEM activities with project-based learning through content analysis. Even in the online environment, female students have exemplified a positive attitude toward STEM courses and the assistance they receive from the online guidance and the opportunities given for exploration.Engagement is one the most critical factors in a classroom setting whether it is the traditional or online environment. There have been copious amounts of funds placed into STEM
11Running head: RESEARCH PLAN PART 1: LITERATURE REVIEWprograms to promote students to take STEM courses; however, the investment will not stand if students are not engaged. There is no known research developed on the effect of STEM education on K12 education using advanced and multifaceted methodologies to investigate the practical impacts on schools (Wladis, Conway, and Hachey 2015). Studies have shown students who are similar in intellect tend to achieve at the same rate with deeper level thinking compared to students with differentiated learning backgrounds needing a different approach to learning, which is considered low achievers mixed with high achievers. PBLs have been used in STEM classrooms to promote engagement amongst students empowering them to participate in collaborative and interdisciplinary activities. There is also little research to show how teachers ina classroom setting who has implemented STEM PBLs affect various groups of students. A student’s gender, ethnicity, and language proficiency play a role in their engagement in a classroom, therefore suggesting diverse students are faced with more challenges when it comes to STEM courses due to these types of courses forcing a hands-on approach.