Summative Evaluation of The Engineering MISSION: Engineering for Middle School Science, Inspiration, and Opportunity Project

January 1st, 2015 | EVALUATION

The Museum of Science, Boston partnered with Goddard Space Flight Center and Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium to develop educational resources around aeronautical and aerospace engineering. The main goals of the project were to increase the awareness of engineering work done during NASA missions, to engage children in the Engineering Design Process (EDP), and to support educators developing engineering-focused curricula. The study evaluated three main deliverables: 1) A planetarium program featuring NASA’s robotic missions of discovery, 2) A summer teacher workshop designed for middle school teachers, and 3) Out-of-school time units focused on aerospace engineering activities. A total of 126 general visitors, 124 middle-school students, and 43 teachers/educators participated in the evaluation. Methods included interviews, surveys and group discussions. The findings indicated the Engineering MISSION program successfully engaged multiple audiences in engineering and the EDP. The planetarium program engaged students and the general public in NASA’s engineering efforts in designing, testing, and launching current missions into space. The feature From Dream to Discovery: Inside NASA explores the Goddard Space Flight Center’s testing facilities, the James Webb Space Telescope, and the New Horizons mission to Pluto. Teachers who participated in the summer workshop felt more knowledgeable and confident about engaging students in the EDP, as well as related science and technology topics. Participation in the Engineering Adventures out-of-school time units resulted in positive outcomes for both teachers and students. Educators reported their students being more engaged, and having more enthusiasm toward engineering activities. Appendix includes instruments.



Team Members

Museum of Science, Boston, Contributor
Paul Fontaine, Principal Investigator, Museum of Science, Boston
Steven Yalowitz, Evaluator, Audience Viewpoints Consulting
Patricia Montano, Evaluator, Audience Viewpoints Consulting


Funding Source: NASA
Funding Amount: 857125

Related URLs

Engineering MISSION: Engineering for Middle School Science, Inspiration and Opportunity


Audience: Educators | Teachers | General Public | Middle School Children (11-13)
Discipline: Engineering
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Interview Protocol | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Summative | Survey
Environment Type: Afterschool Programs | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops | Public Programs

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This material is supported by National Science Foundation award DRL-2229061, with previous support under DRL-1612739, DRL-1842633, DRL-1212803, and DRL-0638981. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations contained within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.

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