Collaboration in the 21st Century (C2C): Measuring Essential Skills for the STEM Workforce

September 15th, 2013 - August 31st, 2015 | PROJECT

The C2C award addresses the lack of validated instruments to measure teamwork and collaboration in middle and high school students in out of school time (OST) settings by implementing a rigorous four-phase process to develop new assessments. Phase 1 focuses on defining the construct of teamwork and collaboration skills so it aligns with the research literature and is relevant to outcomes in a variety of STEM OST programs. Construct maps are developed during Phase 2 to guide item development. The instruments are piloted in Phase 3 through think-aloud interviews and survey administration with a diverse set of youth and programs. Through an iterative process, items are revised or removed based on their psychometric properties. The final phase is a national field test with a cross-section of STEM OST programs. C2C's intellectual merit is its potential to advance understanding of how to measure teamwork and collaboration skills in STEM OST programs. There is a national call for more measures to evaluate 21st century skills. C2C's creation of instruments to measure teamwork and collaboration skills in STEM OST programs helps to address this gap. The work of C2C addresses broader impacts and benefit society by creating tools to understand the role STEM OST programs play in readying our nation's youth for the STEM workforce. C2C will create instruments validated specifically for this diverse population, allowing programs to understand the role they play in important societal STEM workforce readiness outcomes. C2C also benefits the informal science education field by conceptualizing the construct of teamwork and collaboration within STEM OST programs and developing validated instruments to understand the impact of these programs on youth.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Development and Validation of a Survey to Measure Perceived Team Communication Skills in Middle and High School STEM Out-of-School Time Programs
Shared Measures for Evaluating Common Outcomes of Informal STEM Education Experiences
Youth Teamwork Skills Survey: Manual and Survey

Team Members

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Contributor
Amy Grack Nelson, Co-Principal Investigator, Science Museum of Minnesota
Frances Lawrenz, Principal Investigator, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: PRIME
Award Number: 1335883
Funding Amount: 249931


Audience: Evaluators | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Education and learning science | Engineering | General STEM | Mathematics | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Afterschool Programs | Museum and Science Center Programs | Public Programs | Summer and Extended Camps