CAISE Task Forces

CAISE is currently exploring opportunities for synergy among those who conduct and/or study informal STEM learning (ISE) and science communication and public engagement activities (SciComm). In 2017, CAISE convened a set of task forces to address three common challenges that both fields experience: (1) supporting and sustaining generative connections between practice and research, (2) building understanding of and capacity for evaluation and measurement, and (3) broadening participation of underrepresented groups in STEM and informal STEM education. The development and publication of collaboratively produced resources will continue through 2019.


Research and Practice

The initial charge of this task force is to design a set of activities for the 2019 NSF Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) Principal Investigator Meeting that will encourage exchange between ISE and SciComm researchers and practitioners. Through the meeting, they will identify and summarize questions, challenges, and opportunities for strengthening connections. This will contribute to a map of possible future activities or products for 2019–2021.

Task Force Leadership

  • Jamie Bell, Project Director and Principal Investigator, CAISE
  • Bronwyn Bevan, Senior Research Scientist, University of Washington, and co-Principal Investigator, CAISE
  • Kevin Crowley, Professor, Learning Sciences and Policy, University of Pittsburgh, and co-Principal Investigator, CAISE

Task Force Members

  1. Emily Therese Cloyd, Project Director, Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  2. Noah Weeth Feinstein, Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction and Community & Environmental Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  3. Mónica Ivelisse Feliú-Mójer, Director of Communications & Science Outreach, Ciencia Puerto Rico
  4. Sarah Garlick, Director of Science Policy and Outreach, Hubbard Brook Research Foundation
  5. Geoff Hunt, Director, LabX, U.S. National Academies of Science
  6. Jameela Jafri, Project Director, Project Exploration
  7. Rabiah Mayas, Associate Director of Science in Society, Northwestern University
  8. Susan Renoe, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research, Extension & Engagement, University of Missouri
  9. Melissa Welch Ross, Director of Special Initiatives, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Academies of Arts and Sciences
  10. Sara K. Yeo, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, University of Utah​

Evaluation and Measurement

The CAISE Evaluation and Measurement Task Force is a group of informal STEM education (ISE) and Science Communication (SciComm) researchers and practitioners who are investigating how common constructs between ISE and SciComm are being designed for, measured, and documented; identifying leaders who are actively using those; and developing resources to support and advance stronger evaluation and measurement work in both ISE and SciComm. Using the learning strands from the U.S. National Research Council’s Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places and Pursuits 2009 consensus report as a starting point, the task force’s goal is to add texture and nuance to the understanding and use of constructs and measures across the fields.

To date, they have identified three common constructs of interest and study: (1) identity, (2) interest, and (3) engagement. The first set of resources is a video interview series of 13 scholars are defining, exploring, and measuring STEM identity. Work continues to produce a similar set of resources for interest and engagement, and explore other types of supports the field might need related to evaluation and measurement. The task force also hosted an August 2018 convening for a small group of 20 researchers, evaluators, and practitioners (summary coming soon).

Task Force Leadership

  • Jamie Bell, Project Director and Principal Investigator, CAISE
  • Kevin Crowley, Professor, Learning Sciences and Policy, University of Pittsburgh, and co-Principal Investigator, CAISE
  • Martin Storksdieck, Director, Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning, Oregon State University, and co-Principal Investigator, CAISE

Task Force Members

  1. John Besley, Professor of Public Relations and Advertising, Michigan State University
  2. Mac Cannady, Director of Quantitative Studies, The Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley
  3. Amy Grack Nelson, Evaluation and Research Manager, Science Museum of Minnesota
  4. Tina Phillips, Evaluation Program Manager, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  5. Kelly Riedinger, Senior Researcher, Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning, Oregon State University​

Broadening Participation in STEM

This task force is charged with identifying critical issues, gaps, and possibilities within existing ISE and SciComm efforts to broaden participation in STEM. The goal is to produce tools and findings that can equip professionals with tools for strengthening relevant practice in order to better position the fields as essential partners in community or statewide efforts.

To date, the task force, with the help of 13 other contributors, has created a framing document that discusses the critical issues in broadening participation (read an abbreviated version here), a set of topical practice briefs for staff discussion and reflection, and “noticing tools” to support a critical examination of ISE and SciComm programs. These resources are currently being piloted and will be widely released in 2019. If you are attending the inaugural #InclusiveSciComm Symposium or #ASTC18, you might see them there!

Task Force Leadership

  • Jamie Bell, Project Director and Principal Investigator, CAISE
  • Bronwyn Bevan, Senior Research Scientist, University of Washington, and co-Principal Investigator, CAISE
  • Angela Calabrese Barton, Professor, Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University
  • Cecilia Garibay, Principal, Garibay Group and co-Principal Investigator, CAISE

Task Force Members

  1. Melissa Ballard, formerly Senior STEM Manager, Afterschool Alliance, and currently Communications and Community Manager, CAISE
  2. Raychelle Burks, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, St. Edward’s University
  3. Marc Lesser, Senior Director, Learning Design, Mouse
  4. Nancy Maryboy, Founding President & Executive Director, Indigenous Education Institute
  5. Dale McCreedy, Vice President of Audience & Community Engagement, Discovery Center at Murfree Spring
  6. Sunshine Menezes, Executive Director, Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting and Clinical Associate Professor of Environmental Communication, University of Rhode Island
  7. Nichole Pinkard, Associate Professor and Director of the Office of STEM Educational Partnerships in the School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University
  8. Christine Reich, Vice President of Exhibit Development and Conservation, Museum of Science, Boston
  9. Bruno Takahashi, Assistant Professor of Environmental Journalism and Communication, Michigan State University
  10. Bhaskar Upadhyay, Associate Professor of Science Education, University of Minnesota
  11. Danielle Watt, Director of Education, Outreach, and Diversity, Center for Chemistry at the Space Time Limit (CaSTL), University of California Irvine

Other Contributors

  1. Olivia Ambrogio, Manager, Sharing Science, American Geophysical Union
  2. Micaela Balzer, Director of Innovation and Learning, Impression 5 Science Center
  3. Daniel Birmingham, Assistant Professor, School of Education, Colorado State University
  4. Ann Hernandez, Program Manager, Association of Science-Technology Centers
  5. Jameela Jafri, Project Director, Project Exploration, Chicago, Illinois
  6. Breanne Litts, Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences, Utah State University
  7. Rabiah Mayas, Associate Director, Science in Society, Northwestern University
  8. Ricarose Roque, Assistant Professor, Information Science, University of Colorado, Boulder
  9. Tony Streit, Managing Project Director, EDC
  10. Edna Tan, Associate Professor, Teacher Education and Higher Education, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  11. Eli Tucker-Raymond, Research Scientist, TERC
  12. Korie Twiggs, Program Manager, Association of Science-Technology Centers
  13. Jory Weintraub, Science Communication Program Director, Science and Society, Duke University