Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Computer Science


Computer Science


College of Engineering


Michael Haungs

Advisor Department

Computer Science

Advisor College

College of Engineering


Economic projections reveal a need for one million more Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) professionals over the next decade than the United States is producing at the current rate. As a result, STEM education is a major focus of recent legislation and funding in Congress as the number of STEM professionals is inadequate to support innovation and the ever-changing economy. In response to the urgent need for more competitive STEM professionals, there has been a widespread implementation of workshops, organizations, and school programs aimed at amplifying K-12 student STEM literacy and interest. Some programs are even created to specifically reach and attract women and unrepresented minorities to STEM. Despite the increase in outreach programs, they remain limited to a straightforward discussion of a narrow scope of STEM topics. Many workshops and programs continue to validate the positive impacts of utilizing hands-on projects but cease to inform about broader STEM applications through the exploration and integration of storytelling, culture, and community.

Professors and students from the Liberal Art and Engineering Studies program at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo founded the Seeds in STEM organization to develop K-12 STEM workshops that incorporate a participants’ culture and community in the learning process per a storyline that guides the participants through several STEM activities. This paper discusses the impact of adding a workshop activity that introduces motion capture technologies and their application to the Seeds in STEM workshop held on April 30th, 2022. The results collected from the activity via three forms of assessment demonstrate generally positive trends in the attitudes of the participants regarding STEM topics and the careers encompassed by STEM.