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Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) has been the conceptual framework for a significant amount of research assessing changes in self-efficacy and interest in learning experiences for students (Lent, Brown & Hackett, 1994). This theory focuses on the development and influences of occupational choice (Brown & Lent, 2006) and helps to explain how one develops occupational interests to make career choices (Lent, Brown & Hackett 2002; Brown & Lent 2006). Variables that affect career development include self-efficacy beliefs, outcome expectations, and personal goals (Brown & Lent, 2006). When students have high selfefficacy and positive outcome expectations, they tend to develop interest in an activity, and subsequent goals that increases involvement in the activity (Brown & Lent, 2006). An informal STEM learning experience can be defined as “lifelong learning in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) that takes place across a multitude of designed settings and experiences outside of the formal classroom” (CAISE, 2017). These types of authentic learning experiences might lead to a greater interest, higher self-efficacy and positive outcomes in the areas of STEM, and therefore an increase in STEM academic and career decisionmaking. This study aims to determine how an informal STEM learning experience impacts interest, self-efficacy, and career intentions in STEM.

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Impact of Informal STEM Learning



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