What is STEM Engagement?

April 11th, 2019 | RESEARCH

In informal STEM education, thinking about engagement has evolved from a focus on innovative ways of attracting the initial attention of science center/museum visitors or media consumers to strategies for designing environments and activities that foster deeper experiences such as experimentation, skill development, and contemplation in a variety of settings. In the science communication field, engagement increasingly refers to “two-way” approaches to designing and facilitating interactions between STEM professionals and diverse “publics” that take into account the knowledge and prior experiences of those audiences. Because engagement with STEM topics and activities is linked to the development of other important dimensions of learning and communication, the CAISE Evaluation and Measurement Task Force chose it as a topic to further explore as part of its interview series.

In 2018, we interviewed 12 informal STEM education, science communication, and citizen science professionals who study or develop activities and environments where engagement is an observable, identifiable phenomenon and/or an intended goal of a designed experience. We asked these experts how they conceptualized engagement, how they measured it, and how engagement intersects with other related concepts. Start with the summary of what we heard, "The Role of Engagement in STEM Learning and Science Communication: Reflections on Interviews from the Field," and then delve into the interviews for more perspectives.


(no document provided)

Team Members

James Bell, Principal Investigator
John Besley, Contributor
Mac Cannady, Contributor
Michelle Choi, Project Manager, University of Washington
Kevin Crowley, Co-Principal Investigator
Amy Grack Nelson, Contributor
Tina Phillips, Contributor
Kelly Riedinger, Contributor
Martin Storksdieck, Co-Principal Investigator


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 1612739

Related URLs

Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (2016-2021)
Explore the Resources


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Evaluators | Learning Researchers | Museum | ISE Professionals | Scientists
Discipline: Education and learning science
Resource Type: Reference Materials | Report
Environment Type: Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Resource Centers and Networks