At This Stage: Live Science Shows at Pacific Science Center

April 1st, 2012 | EVALUATION

In spring 2012, our team of Museology graduate students conducted a formative evaluation of Pacific Science Center’s (PSC) ongoing Live Science Shows. These shows, which happen daily and cover a range of science topics in an engaging and theatrical way, had never been formally evaluated before, so our evaluation was largely descriptive with some exploration of visitor experiences. Key Findings •Attendee response to the shows was overwhelmingly positive. •Most attendees were repeat visitors who were not members. •Most attendees came to the shows because they are something fun to do. •Most attendees found out about the shows by happening upon them or seeing information on a poster at PSC. •Most attendees left the shows with science information or revelations. •Most attendees found the shows’ theatrical elements most memorable. Key Recommendations •Celebrate the success of the shows. Most attendees said they would attend again and that the show added value to their PSC visits. •If looking to increase attendance and awareness of the shows, focus efforts on in-house promotions (poster placement, announcements, staff talking with visitors, etc.). Most visitors in our evaluation learned about the shows on the day of their visit to PSC. •Continue to use theatrical elements in the shows. The performance side of the shows was what visitors found most memorable, although science-related content was also ranked highly. The appendix of this report includes the data collection form and survey used in this study.



Team Members

Erin Bailey, Evaluator, University of Washington
Andrea Michelbach, Evaluator, University of Washington
Carrie Plank, Evaluator, University of Washington
Pacific Science Center, Contributor


Funding Source: IMLS


Audience: Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Formative | Observation Protocol | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Survey
Environment Type: Museum and Science Center Programs | Public Programs