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Past Projects

Madison Area Technical College (MATC) NSF Informal Science Education Program Evaluation: Fusion Science Theater (2011 - 2013)

Madison Area Technical College (madisoncollege.edu) engaged Hezel Associates to provide an external evaluation of its National Science Foundation (NSF) Informal Science Educational (ISE) research project. The Hezel team is charged with providing feedback in terms of the scientific validity and quality of the internal evaluation, to help the Principal Investigator (PI) make program-improvement decisions and meet performance reporting requirements established by the NSF.

This independent evaluation examines data and products generated by the internal evaluator (e.g., descriptive statistics, graphic data outputs, and project annual reports), in order to gauge the quality and rigor of efforts by the PI and internal evaluator to test the effectiveness of an innovative model that uses drama to science concepts to teach young children. The approach that is at the core of this 2-year research and development effort includes workshops to train performers to do the educational “SCI Shows;” the Distance Performance Training Program, a program to deliver those workshops remotely; and methods workshops for educators. The project also includes a comprehensive recruiting and dissemination plan.

The internal evaluator is applying paper-pencil instruments (e.g., a simple “ballot-style” paper assessment of science learning) to measure affective and cognitive outcomes among performers, educators, and young child audience members. The internal evaluator and PI are responsible for reporting to their NSF program officer, while Hezel Associates has been tasked with developing and delivering year-end reports to the project team.