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Informal Education Projects

Evaluation Plan for the Kidspace Children's Museum Physics Forest Exhibit

In the summer of 2012, the Kidspace children’s museum opened its newest exhibit, the Galvin Physics Forest (Physics Forest), which features thirteen new hands-on exhibits to engage visitors.  Through its informal leaning milieu, visitors are offered a very dynamic program experience targeted to multiple learning styles. With the Physics Forest providing such an opportunity for exploration and diverse experience, Kidspace wanted to better understand and document what positive impacts the exhibit had on visitors. We developed an impact evaluation plan for substantive study of the exhibit’s effects on their target audience (children Grades K – 8). Such as study can be used to highlight the program’s impacts for current and potential funders, increase internal understandings of the program’s potential, and market the program to teachers, administrators, and parents, among other uses. Our evaluation plan consisted of a program-level logic model, an evaluation design, procedures for data collection analysis, and an evaluation toolkit with sample instruments.

California Science Center: Evaluation of the Summer Internship Program

The Summer Internship Program, led by the California Science Center (CA SC), was a summer educational youth job corps program that aimed to positively engage urban youth in Los Angeles. The CA SC partnered with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the California African American Museum, and the EXPO Center to offer paid internships to students. Using survey research methods, ETI evaluated the impact of the program on participants’ job skills and academic aspirations, as well as other psychological and social attributes. Summer Interns also responded to questions designed to measure their satisfaction with the program. Evaluation findings were used to document program effectiveness as well as to support program improvement efforts. 

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