About Evaluation

Evaluation studies in the informal science education field are generally conducted with the aim of measuring whether a project met its goals, identifying areas for improvement, and assessing impact. In many cases, evaluation studies go a step further and serve to advance the field by deriving lessons for funders, policymakers, or practitioners beyond the project. The resources in this section are designed to assist project directors, and evaluators, by referring to reports on past projects to build on prior work and to key resources to learn about integrating and managing evaluation. Evaluation reports found in this section have been contributed by evaluators of informal STEM learning projects.

DEVISE Project Wordle

Wordle representation of DEVISE: Developing, Validating, and Implementing Situated Evaluation Instruments, excerpted from notes from the first Advisory Board Meeting. View project description.

Share your evaluation findings with the informal science education field.

Search and Browse Evaluation: Discover what evaluation reports reveal about specific audience segments, education topics, project settings, and other factors that inform your work. Find instruments for evaluating project goal achievement and measuring impacts. Narrow your results with filters for environment type, evaluation type, audience demographics, and content area.

Submit Evaluation: Share reports from evaluation activities conducted in informal STEM education projects. Posting front-end evaluation reports can help others to understand the needs or prior knowledge of a specific audience, while formative evaluation can provide examples of effective interventions or design method. Summative evaluation reports can play a key role in dissemination and enable others to build on prior work to advance the field.

Find an Evaluator: The informalscience.org member directory offers ways to filter the member directory, to identify evaluators and others, by learning environment, evaluation needs, and content expertise. When you join the site and create your profile, as a member you are automatically included in the directory. We do not endorse any individual consultant or firm and it is your responsibility to determine whether any consultant or firm is appropriate for your needs. The Visitor Studies Association and American Evaluation Association also offer databases for finding evaluators.

Evaluation Resources: Key resources including publications, databases, associations, guides and handbooks for integrating and managing evaluation.

Recently Added

  • Design Zone Professional Development Summative Report
    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry | Garibay Group | Garibay Group | Garibay Group
    As part of the National Science Foundation-funded Access Algebra project, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) developed both a 6,000 square foot traveling exhibition (Design Zone) and a professional development program for host-museum [...]
  • Design Zone Exhibition Summative Report
    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry | Garibay Group | Garibay Group | Garibay Group
    Design Zone’s primary objective is to engage visitors in algebraic thinking, with a special focus on reaching a target audience of 10- to 14-year-olds and their families. The exhibition is organized into three thematic areas: art, music, and [...]
  • Process Evaluation: Affiliate Involvement in Places of Invention Exhibition
    Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution | Randi Korn & Associates, Inc. | Randi Korn & Associates, Inc. | Randi Korn & Associates, Inc. | Randi Korn & Associates, Inc.
    The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH) contracted Randi Korn & Associates, Inc. (RK&A) to conduct a process evaluation for Smithsonian Affiliates’ involvement [...]