Art of Science Learning, Phase 2—External Evaluation Final Report from a Summative Study of Impact

June 21st, 2017 | EVALUATION

The Art of Science Learning, Phase 2 was an NSF-funded research and development project to investigate the value of incorporating arts-based learning techniques in STEM-related group innovation processes. The project team created a new, arts-infused innovation curriculum in consultation with leading national practitioners in the arts, creativity, and innovation, then deployed that curriculum in “innovation incubators” in San Diego, Chicago, and Worcester (Mass.) in partnership with informal STEM institutions in those cities. At each incubator, diverse members of the public (from high school students to STEM and creative professionals) were recruited to participate in a year-long process. These participants, known as Fellows, identified a STEM-related civic challenge to address—water was chosen in San Diego, urban nutrition in Chicago, and transportation in Worcester—then organized into teams and collaborated to develop creative, implementable projects in the form of civic innovations or STEM-learning innovations. In addition to the curriculum and incubators, the Art of Science Learning held public events in the incubator cities and produced a traveling exhibit. Slover Linett Audience Research conducted an external evaluation of these elements of the project, focusing on measuring impact rather than documenting or diagnosing process and delivery. The study was designed to answer three evaluation questions: to what degree did the outputs of project teams meet the project’s three objectives of being innovative, implementable, and likely to have impact; what impact did the incubator activities have on Fellows’ self-reported creativity, communication, tolerance for ambiguity, empathy, and other relevant attitudes; and what impact did the public-facing events and exhibit have on those participants’ awareness of, and interest in, the role of creativity in STEM education and innovation?
The Art of Science Learning, Phase 2 also included a research study conducted by Audience Viewpoints, separate from this evaluation.



Team Members

Peter Linett, Evaluator, Slover Linett Audience Research
Steve Shewfelt, Evaluator, Slover Linett Audience Research
Nicole Baltazar, Contributor, Slover Linett Audience Research
Nnenna Okeke, Contributor, Slover Linett Audience Research
Dreolin Fleisher, Contributor, Slover Linett Audience Research
Eric LaPlant, Contributor, Slover Linett Audience Research
Madeline Smith, Contributor, Slover Linett Audience Research
Chloe Chittick Patton, Contributor, Slover Linett Audience Research
Sarah Lee, Contributor, Slover Linett Audience Research
Harvey Seifter, Principal Investigator, Art of Science Learning


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: DRL-1224111
Funding Amount: $2,852,211.00

Related URLs

Integrating Informal STEM and Arts-Based Learning to Foster Innovation


Audience: Adults | Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Art | music | theater | Engineering | General STEM | Mathematics | Technology
Resource Type: Evaluation | Summative
Environment Type: Community Outreach Programs | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops | Public Events and Festivals | Public Programs | Resource Centers and Networks