Evaluation & Measurement Task Force

Building understanding of and capacity for evaluation and measurement.

As part of the charge from the National Science Foundation, under the Advancing Informal STEM Learning program (DRL-1612739), CAISE explored opportunities for synergy among those who conduct and/or study informal STEM learning (ISE) and science communication and public engagement activities (SciComm).

About the Task Force

This task force was charged with investigating how common constructs between ISE and science communication 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 science communication.

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 set out to add texture and nuance to the understanding and use of constructs and measures across the fields. They selected three constructs of shared interest between ISE and science communication professionals: STEM identity, STEM interest, and STEM engagement.

Resources Produced

The task force interviewed 35 scholars including STEM education researchers, science communication scholars, social psychologists, and learning scientists to ask how they define, explore, and measure these constructs. Click the boxes below for video clips, interview highlights, and the full conversations.

In August 2019, members of the task force participated in a webinar where they shared perspectives from the interviews that they found most striking. See the link to the blog post below. 

The task force also hosted a convening for a small group of 20 researchers, evaluators, and practitioners in August 2018 to discuss common evaluation challenges across ISE and science communication. Work continues to explore other types of supports the field might need related to evaluation and measurement.

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‚Äč


  1. Michelle Choi, Task Force Project Manager, CAISE
  2. Melissa Ballard, Communications and Community Manager, CAISE
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This material is supported by National Science Foundation award DRL-2229061, with previous support under DRL-1612739, DRL-1842633, DRL-1212803, and DRL-0638981. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations contained within InformalScience.org are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.

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