Looking for an external evaluator who can help you make the most of your STEM program? KPC can design and implement an external evaluation that fits your needs.
KPC has been conducting external evaluation of STEM programs since its inception, with evaluations that have spanned grades K-22, teacher professional development (PD) programs, and informal STEM learning programs. We offer a full range of evaluation services, from evaluation design through reporting and publication. Current evaluation projects focus on collective impact initiatives; a program designed to train middle and high school students to be STEM ambassadors in their communities; PD designed to integrate engineering into science and technology classes; a program that trains scientists to conduct public outreach; a health science education initiative; a science festival; and citizen science projects.
As described by the NCSF Director, Jonathan Frederick,
“the NCSF has complex assessment needs and ambitious goals. We facilitate large community events, education programs at schools, live stage shows, and traditional science programs — all with the plan of having 1 million people participate annually in hundreds of events.”
Evaluation of the NCSF has included intercept surveys conducted at public events; feedback surveys designed for students in grades K-12; formative surveys about new classroom materials; summative surveys from parents, teachers, and scientists; interviews with Festival sponsors; and surveys with the event hosts who lead Festival events around the state. Each year the results from the evaluation have been used to create a series of reports for the NCSF team, as well as an annual presentation for the Advisory Board. In 2013, KPC began creating one page executive summaries that the NCSF could post to their Web site to share key results.
“Dr. Peterman’s expertise has been critical to our success. Going into each festival, Dr. Peterman meets with the team to refine what we’re currently evaluating and to find out our new evaluation needs. She then develops and edits instruments consulting with our team the whole way. She takes that information and develops a comprehensive evaluation plan that is both impactful yet mindful of budgetary and geographic constraints.
The suite of tools and reports that Dr. Peterman provides are used time and time again by our team to develop both our program and marketing plans. She also creates a summative assessment of the annual festival that is used to inform our board of advisors and our sponsors, as well as our other partners. The reports have created an added unanticipated benefit of strengthening our partner relationships as they, too, are interested in our outcomes.”
– Jonathan Frederick, Director, North Carolina Science Festival
KPC has partnered with the NCSF team to extend the leadership of the evaluation and festival teams. In 2012 we field tested the use of a Mystery Shopper Protocol to observe interactions between science practitioners and the public during the festival. NCSF co-founder Dr. Denise Young and Dr. Peterman have submitted this work for publication. Drs. Young and Peterman have also collaborated with Dr. Nielsen from the Bay Area Science Festival to submit a grant to National Science Foundation to study Festival evaluation.