Considering Gender Effects: STEM Internships at a U.S. National Laboratory


  • Paulette R. Hebert Oklahoma State University
  • Mihyun Kang


Internship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Gender


This study examined Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) intern participants’ perceptions of their summer internship experiences at an U.S. National Laboratory. An electronic survey with a convenience sample was utilized to investigate the influential parties who encouraged interns to accept internships; the influence of gender; the perceptions of role modeling, networking, and mentoring; and whether respondents’ internship experiences were transformational. Results from 80 completed surveys represented interns from all four STEM disciplines. While females reported being more influence by female family members, males were more influenced by male others. Many respondents indicated exposures to networking opportunities during their internships but exposure to female mentor, leadership by female, female role model and female mentor were different between female and male interns. Over one half of respondents agreed their internship included a “transformational experience.†This research constitutes an effort to understand the dearth of women entering STEM careers.

Author Biography

Paulette R. Hebert, Oklahoma State University

Dr. Paulette Hebert is a Professor in the Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising at Oklahoma State University.


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How to Cite

Hebert, P. R., & Kang, M. (2016). Considering Gender Effects: STEM Internships at a U.S. National Laboratory. Asian Journal of Engineering and Technology, 4(3). Retrieved from




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