Project Evaluation

2016 Building with Biology Event Evaluation

Evaluation has been integrated throughout the Building with Biology project to inform project development and understand the impact of the project on different stakeholders including project developers, event hosts, scientist volunteers, and visitors. These evaluations are being conducted by researchers at the Museum of Science, Boston, Science Museum of Minnesota, Spotlight Impact, and Rockman et al. To learn more about the formative evaluation process used in Year 1 as well as findings from the Year 1 pilot events, please visit the Year 1 Pilot Events & Activities page.

Evaluation will also be a big part of the 2016 Building with Biology Events. Recipients of the 2016 kit are invited to participate in a number of evaluation activities:

  • Event host pre- and post-surveys and interviews
  • Volunteer post-surveys and interviews
  • Public participant forum and event surveys

Event host pre- and post-surveys and interviews

All host organizations receiving a 2016 Building with Biology physical kit will receive invitations to participate in pre- and post-surveys about their experiences. Additionally, a sub-set of hosts may be asked to participate in interviews. The purpose of this evaluation is to understand the extent to which the Building with Biology project deepens informal science education professionals’ knowledge about conducting Building with Biology-like events and affects their subsequent event planning and implementation. For more information about this evaluation, contact Camellia Sanford.

Volunteer post-surveys and interviews

Event hosts will provide the names and email addresses of their volunteers as a part of required event reports which need to be submitted within three weeks of their events. Evaluators will use this information to invite volunteers to complete an online post-survey. Additionally, a sub-set of volunteers may be asked to participate in interviews. The purpose of this evaluation is to understand what volunteers learn from their experiences as well as what they find valuable and beneficial about their participation. For more information about this evaluation, contact Liz Kollmann or Camellia Sanford.

Public participant forum and event surveys

The purpose of this evaluation is to understand what visitors learn from the events or forums as well as what they find valuable about their participation. Kit applicants were asked to express their interest in this evaluation as a part of the application process. A sub-set of these applicants will be invited to be a part of the public evaluation, focusing on either visitors who interact with hands-on activities or participants in forums. These sites will receive online evaluation training, evaluation support from an Evaluation Team member, and a kit of evaluation materials. Participation will involve identifying a data collector who will be responsible for:

  • Providing documentation that they have completed human subjects training from NIH or CITI. Documentation can be an existing completion certificate or the data collector can complete a 2-hour of Human Subjects online training course prior to the event (the online training from NIH is free to complete and can be found at https://phrp.nihtraining.com/users/login.php).
  • Attending a 1-hour online evaluation training specific to the project prior to the event.
  • Collecting data from the public during the event using a paper survey that the Evaluation Team will provide. The person should be able to devote her or his full attention to the evaluation for the duration of the event.
  • Mailing the data to the Evaluation Team after the event. The Evaluation Team will provide a pre-paid envelope to send the materials.

Once this process is complete, each participating evaluation site will receive a report that summarizes the data from their site.

Whether or not you participate in this evaluation, you are free to use the data collection instructions, surveys, and professional development resources to collect your own data about your visitors. However, we are not able to help with analysis of these data or include them in the project’s official public evaluation. These materials include the following:

If you have questions or are interested in participating in this evaluation, please contact Liz Kollmann at ekollmann@mos.org.