Do-it-yourself Data

With some evaluation projects, all you have to do is show up at an event and gather data. But what do you do when you need to gather formative data about activities before they are shared and implemented more broadly? When recently faced with that challenge, I decided to organize a series of “experimental outreach events” to test a set of educational activities designed around a television program and website that we are evaluating. We learned a great deal from seeing the activities being implemented by real informal science educators – and also learned a great deal from seeing participants of various ages doing the activities. While I’m generally of the opinion that evaluation should be as hands-off as possible from the events and activities being studied, this was a great opportunity to test out methods for collecting data in a situation that required my team to be more hands-on.

Event flyer:

Event website:

Event video:


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