It’s a Nano World – Findings from a Summative Study

June 1st, 2004 | EVALUATION

Nanoscale science and engineering study and create materials and devices on the molecular scale. The Nanobiotechnology Center, a National Science Foundation supported Science and Technology Center, collaborated with Ithaca, New York's Sciencenter, a hands-on museum, and Painted Universe, Inc. an exhibition design-and-fabrication team, to create It's a NanoWorld, a 3,000 square-foot, hands-on traveling exhibition. Edu, Inc., an external evaluation group, led front-end research and formative evaluation to guide and refine development of the exhibition.

Summative evaluation investigated visitors' experiences and the degree to which the exhibition met its intended learning goals. Lessons learned were catalogued to guide development of future informal science education related to emerging technology. The summative evaluation used a pre-post study to investigate what content children acquired and exit interviews to explore children's understanding of concepts presented as well as any misconceptions related to the learning goals. Exit interviews with teens and adults revealed the extent of their understanding of the exhibition and its science content. The summative study found that visitors said It's a Nano World is a fun, inviting, and engaging hands-on exhibition. Pre-test and post-test findings showed increased understanding of key science vocabulary - for example, "cells" and "nano. The appendix of this report features interview protocols.



Team Members

Douglas Spencer, Evaluator, Edu, Inc.
Cornell University, Contributor
Victoria Angelotti, Evaluator, Edu Inc.
Sciencenter, Contributor


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0426378
Funding Amount: 1869025

Related URLs

Too Smal to See


Audience: Adults | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Evaluators | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Chemistry | Education and learning science | Engineering | Technology
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Interview Protocol | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Summative
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits