Health Quest: Promoting Adolescents’ Health Science Career Interests through Technology-Rich Learning Experiences
The purpose of the Health Quest project is to create an intelligent game-based learning environment and associated resources to increase adolescents’ knowledge of, interest in and self-efficacy to pursue health science careers. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields are among the fastest growing career opportunities, yet women and ethnic minorities remain underrepresented in these fields. As adolescence offers a key window to promote interest in and increase self-efficacy to pursue health research careers and the health professions, Health Quest focuses on an adolescent student population. Health Quest will be pilot tested and used in classrooms across North Carolina and California, and will also be featured in informal learning settings including the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and in after-school programs in San Francisco. To support the project’s first aim of designing and developing a series of Health Quest Career Adventure Game episodes and interactive video interviews to promote students’ interest in health science careers, the project team conducted an extensive review of recent NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) projects awarded over the past three years. The purpose of the review was to identify existing programs and online resources that have been developed to promote students’ interest in health science careers and to identify any unique resources or game-based learning environments that aim to promote self-efficacy or mastery experiences towards building competency and interest in health science career fields.