NFB STEM2U Regional Evaluation Report: Phoenix

February 16th, 2016 | EVALUATION

As part of a grant from the National Science Foundation, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is conducting regional STEM workshops in partnership with local science museums, entitled NFB STEM2U, for blind youth [youth], grades 3 – 6 and 9-12 [mentors]. During the fourth regional workshop in Phoenix, AZ, the NFB operated three different programs simultaneously: one program for youth, a second program for their parents/caregivers, and a third program for teachers of the visually impaired. A fourth program, for Arizona Science Center staff, was conducted earlier to prepare the museum staff to assist with the youth program. This report will focus on the impact of the youth and parent programs. Separate reports will focus on the teacher and teen mentors (grade 9 – 12). Due to the limited response of the Arizona Science Center staff, there is nothing to report from the Arizona Science Center staff training.

The youth program involved small groups of youth working with blind teen mentors to complete STEM-related activities. The parent/caregiver program focused on STEM resources that could help their children, connecting parents to the NFB network and the resources it offers, and sharing ideas on how parents/caregivers could advocate for their child’s rights in the school and community setting.

The evaluation questions for this program were:
1. What happens in the regional programs for each of the audiences?
2. What are perceptions of each audience in terms of appropriateness, value, and intentions emerging from the regional program?
3. How does this experience affect the individual and their understanding of blind youth and STEM?

The Lifelong Learning Group was contracted to conduct an evaluation for the grant, focusing on the affective outcomes of the project through youth and adult perceptions of the efficacy and value of the training and experience from their perspective.

Data for this program evaluation were collected from two different audiences using three methods. Data for the youth program were collected from the youth and their parents/caregivers. Data for the parent/caregiver program were collected from the parents/caregivers.
During each program, evaluators did pulse interviews, asking participants questions in order to determine if participants were realizing the desired program outcomes. At the conclusion of the program, the younger participants were invited to respond to questions about the program using an oral questioning route. The adult participants were invited to respond to computer-based questionnaires tied to their program both at the final program meeting and via e-mail from the NFB staff.

Data were analyzed collectively. During analysis, categories of participant responses about their knowledge were developed inductively through the coding process (i.e., they emerged from the data itself rather than being prescribed). Quantitative data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS); descriptive statistics were used to present overall patterns in the data.

Appendix includes instruments.



Team Members

Mary Ann Wojton, Evaluator, Lifelong Learning Group
Joe E Heimlich, Evaluator, Lifelong Learning Group


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 1322855
Funding Amount: 1538811

Related URLs

Full-Scale Development: National Center for Blind Youth in Science


Access and Inclusion: People with Disabilities
Audience: Educators | Teachers | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Evaluators | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Parents | Caregivers | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: General STEM
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Survey
Environment Type: Museum and Science Center Programs | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops | Public Programs | Resource Centers and Networks