NSF INCLUDES: Socially-based Evaluation Strategies to Document Community Shifts in STEM Uptake

Session Number: 1894
Track: STEM Education and Training
Session Type: Panel
Tags: capacity building, STEM alliance programs
Session Chair: Tracy McMahon [EDC]
Discussant: Leslie Goodyear [Principal Research Scientist - Education Development Center (EDC)]
Presenter 1: Karen Peterman [President - Karen Peterman Consulting, Co.]
Presenter 2: Alyssa Pettey [Researcher - Measurement Resources COmpany]
Presenter 3: David Reider [Principal Partner - Education Design, INC]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Ellen Iverson [Evaluation Director - Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College]
Time: Nov 02, 2018 (10:30 AM - 11:15 AM)
Room: CC - 11

Abstract 1 Title: The EarthConnections: Community Pathways to Geoscience Careers
Presentation Abstract 1:

The EarthConnections: Community Pathways to Geoscience Careers project uses a collective impact approach to evaluate the development of regionally focused earth education pathways. Education pathways are embedded in local communities in ways that allow student to connect learning about the earth to addressing a local problem. The evaluation includes an internal evaluator who is part of the project's backbone organization and an external evaluator who is part of the project's steering committee. The internal evaluation used a progress monitoring process that allowed truth to be co-constructed between regional alliance leaders and national partners while the external evaluation mined project resources and interviewed regional alliance leaders to document progress related to each of the five collective impact pillars.

The panel will be presented by both evaluators, each will share her experiences using different evaluation methods to reflect on the power of working together to co-create truth across alliances.

Abstract 2 Title: Ecology Plus, an alliance and approach developed to increase underrepresented minority participation in environmental science.
Presentation Abstract 2:

Ecology Plus, an alliance and approach developed to increase underrepresented minority participation in a broad range of careers related to environmental science, addresses several barriers that exist for minorities in the fields of ecology and environmental science, and that while efforts have been made among diversity programs at colleges and universities to address many of the barriers, large systemic issue remain.

Formative and summative evaluation examine the impact Ecology Plus has on the minority students and early career scientists involved in the pilot project, as well as to examine the development and effectiveness of the collective impact initiative itself. Ecology Plus speaks truth to power by ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their background, have an equal opportunity to pursue a career in ecology. Creating equal opportunities means equal opportunities to uncover the truths of their science, speaking those truths, and having the power to inform and inspire change. 

Abstract 3 Title: SEAS (Supporting Emerging Aquatic Scientists) Your Tomorrow, engages Networked Improvement Community strategies to help address low participation of the local population in the marine sciences.
Presentation Abstract 3:

SEAS (Supporting Emerging Aquatic Scientists) Your Tomorrow, engages Networked Improvement Community strategies to help partners at every level identify the common problem of low participation of the local population in the marine sciences, central to the regional environment and economy. This project addresses the critical challenge of building scientific identity to increase interest and engagement of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields in the U.S. Virgin Islands. This initiative brings to the forefront how the balances between truth and power as it seeks to test and establish strategies that broaden participation in the sciences through education and access to education as way to enter the STEM trajectory: power of status-quo of institutions to ignore or dismiss harmful environmental conditions that affect the health, economies, and future prospects of local communities and how the truth of science can speak to this.

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

The NSF INCLUDES Program highlights a commitment to broadening participation in STEM for underrepresented populations across the nation. Panelists representing three 2-year INCLUDES Launch Pilots will discuss their evaluations and how these programs are speaking truths of science knowledge and literacy to the power of inspiring positive change in communities of need.


These projects share two critical areas of impact: 1) Science: the importance of understanding science as it relates to local environments, and 2) Societal: to create networked relationships among organizations whose goals include developing talent from all sectors of society to build the STEM workforce. Presenters will discuss the similarities and differences of their programs and how their respective evaluations address partnerships, collaboration, institutional change, community uptake, and cultural shifts through collective impact, networked improvement community (NIC), and social network analysis strategies.