Dimensions of Public Engagement with Science Summative Evaluation

Date: 
Friday, June 1, 2012
Resource Type:
Summative | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Survey | Evaluation Reports
Environment Type: 
Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks, Professional Development and Workshops
Audience: 
Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals | Evaluators
Discipline: 
Education and learning science | General STEM | Nature of science
Organization:
Museum of Science
Description: 

Dimensions of Public Engagement with Science is a project funded through the National Science Foundation's pathways grant. It was designed to explore the relationship between Public Engagement with Science (PES), which involves mutual learning between experts and publics, and Public Understanding of Science (PUS), where information is transferred one-way from experts to publics, within Informal Science Education (ISE). To look at how PES and PUS were being incorporated into current and recent activities, the project team compiled a catalog of case summaries from institutions around the world. Some of the professionals who submitted case summaries and others from related fields were then invited to a workshop at the Museum of Science (MOS) to discuss the implications of the catalog and future directions for PES. This report describes the findings from the summative evaluation for Dimensions of Public Engagement of Science. The summative evaluation was designed to measure the following project impacts on ISE professionals who took part in the case summary and/or workshop: 1. Awareness, knowledge, or understanding. Informal science educators will have an increased understanding of public engagement with science practices. 2. Awareness, knowledge, or understanding. Informal science educators will have an increased awareness of current and recent public engagement with science activities and practitioners. 3. Engagement or interest. Informal science educators will have a renewed interest in implementing public engagement with science activities at their institutions. 4. Behavior. Informal science educators will plan public engagement with science activities. Data from a) a retrospective pre/post survey filled out by participants who submitted a case summary, b) a retrospective pre/post survey filled out at the conclusion of the workshop, and c) a workshop follow-up survey sent three months after the workshop, revealed the extent to which the project impacts were achieved. According to our predetermined indicators, Impacts 2 and 4 were fully achieved by participants. Impact 1 was achieved for workshop participants, but not for case summary participants, and Impact 3 was not achieved according to the indicator. Although not all of the impacts were achieved, data highlighted many important findings: Knowledge Case summary and workshop participants exhibited increased understandings of PES; Workshop participants increased their understanding of current PES projects and PES practitioners; Case summary and workshop participants broadened their definition of PES to include diverse audiences, topics, formats, and outcomes; and Workshop participants' definitions indicated that they came to feel that PES is a developing and emerging field in need of further exploration. Interest Workshop participants were interested in adding PES elements to their ongoing and future projects; and Workshop participants were interested in collaborating with each other in the future. Behavior Workshop participants were likely to implement PES activities at their institutions because of the workshop; Workshop participants were beginning to implement PES activities based on what they learned three months after the conclusion of the workshop; and Half of follow-up survey respondents were working on or had submitted a PES-related grant proposal three months after the conclusion of the workshop in part due to or influenced by their participation. The appendix of this report includes the surveys used in the study.

Funder(s): 
NSF
Funding Program: 
AISL
Award Number: 
1010831
Funding Amount: 
247355

Team Members

Stephanie IacovelliStephanie IacovelliEvaluator
Marta BeyerMarta BeyerEvaluator

Request to Edit a Resource

If you would like to edit a resource, please use this form to submit your request.