Scientist is In Summative Evaluation

November 15th, 2012 | EVALUATION

In August 2012, the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) contracted with Audience Focus (AF), a Maryland-¬≠‚Äźbased research and evaluation organization, to evaluate visitors‚Äô experiences with the Scientist Is In program. Specifically, AF was asked to design a comprehensive study that would provide insight into the nature of visitors‚Äô engagement with the program, and how participation in the program influenced visitors‚Äô understanding of and curiosity about science topics, awareness of science careers, perceptions of NMNH as a research institution, and recognition of the connections between science and their personal lives.

Multiple methods were used to answer the questions posed above and included a combination of a) focused observations, and b) semi-¬≠‚Äźstructured interviews and concept mapping activity. For the latter, AF designed a quasi-¬≠‚Äźexperimental investigation, with a Treatment group who participated in SII as part of their experience with the Hall of Human Origins (HHO) or Sant Ocean Hall (SOH) exhibits and a Control group who did not participate in SII as part of their visit experience. Both the observations and interviews were conducted on-¬≠‚Äźsite within the HHO and SOH exhibitions at NMNH. A total of 92 people were observed interacting with the SII program, and a total of 76 visitors participated in the interview and concept mapping activity (37 Treatment; 39 Control).

Appendix includes instruments



Team Members

Jeanine Ancelet, Evaluator, Audience Focus
Kara Hershorin, Evaluator, Audience Focus


Audience: Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals | Scientists
Discipline: General STEM | Nature of science
Resource Type: Coding Schema | Evaluation Reports | Interview Protocol | Observation Protocol | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Summative | Survey
Environment Type: Museum and Science Center Programs | Public Programs