KPC has been conducting external evaluation of STEM education projects since its inception, with evaluations that have spanned grades K-22, teacher professional development programs, and informal STEM learning programs. KPC offers 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; professional development 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.
KPC began conducting research projects in 2010. All research projects to date have focused, in part, on evaluation methods for public engagement with science activities. Ongoing projects include: EvalFest, a community of practice that consists of science festival directors and evaluators from around the country; Embedded Assessments for Citizen Science (EA4CS), which explores whether and how common embedded assessment measures can be developed and used across citizen science projects; and WeatherBlur, an online learning community of scientists, teachers, community members, and middle and high school students who work together to conduct co-created citizen science projects. KPC recently completed a series of validation studies to develop scales to measure short-term outcomes of public engagement on scientists.
Evaluation Capacity Building
KPC supports evaluation capacity-building with clients and partners who are interested in expanding their own evaluation skill set. Today’s technology makes it possible for clients to do more internal evaluation than ever before, and to experience the successes and challenges of evaluation. KPC assists clients and partners who are interested in taking these steps by sharing experience and expertise related to evaluation frameworks and by providing training related to data collection and approaches to data analysis. These types of projects are the newest to KPC’s portfolio. Evaluation capacity-building opportunities have resulted often as an extension of KPC research projects. In other cases, KPC has been contracted to provide capacity-building as part of the evaluation process. The resources on this site are the direct result of these past projects.