Partnering in the Design, Interpretation and Reporting of a STEM Youth Program Evaluation while Maintaining Rigor, Independence, and Utilization
Session Number: 2237
Track: Youth Focused Evaluation
Session Type: Roundtable
Session Facilitator: Cathy Burack [Senior Fellow - Heller School for Social Policy & Management]
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Alan Melchior [Senior Fellow - Center for Youth and Communities]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Nancy Boyer [Director of Research and Evaluation - FIRST ]
Time: Nov 01, 2018 (05:00 PM - 05:45 PM)
Room: CC - 26B
Audience Level: All Audiences
Session Abstract (150 words):
Since 2002, FIRST and Brandeis University’s Center for Youth and Communities have partnered on a variety of evaluations of FIRST’s after-school robotics programs: most recently on a multi-year longitudinal study assessing the longer-term impacts of three of FIRST’s programs on middle and high school program participants. FIRST is one of the nation’s largest after-school robotics programs, serving more than 460,000 youth aged 6-18 annually through the FIRST LEGO League (Ages 7-14), the FIRST Tech Challenge (grades 7-12) and the FIRST Robotics Competition (grades 9-12). On each evaluation – small and large – Brandeis researchers and staff and leadership from FIRST have worked together to define the study design and focus, to understand and interpret the data as it is analyzed, and to shape the internal and public reporting of results. The Roundtable discussion will use the current longitudinal study as the basis for a discussion of the benefits and challenges of this type of close working relationship in terms of ensuring evaluation quality, independence and utilization.
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