NASA Evaluations

NASA_logoWe have experience in examining after-programs that teach astronomy, teacher professional development in astronomy and space science resources. Please browse selected examples of our rigorous, independent evaluations for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) grant-funded science education programs.

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Selected Projects Include

  • Museum of Science and Industry “Our Place in Space”

    Rockman et al is the external evaluator for “Our Place in Space,” a professional development program for formal and informal science educators designed and implemented by the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, with funding from NASA. Through observations, surveys, and interviews, REA is studying how the program helps prepare educators to cover Next Generation Science Standards and implement a series of high-quality STEM instructional activities. REA’s evaluation seeks to demonstrate the value of the program as well as suggest potential areas for improvements in subsequent programming.

  • Science Museum of Minnesota “Journey to Space”

    REA conducted a summative evaluation for the Science Museum of Minnesota’s ‘Journey to Space’ exhibit, examining the extent to which the exhibit gave visitors a memorable experience about what it is like to be in space, and increased their awareness and understanding of the systems engineering required to support living and working in space. Evaluation methods included visitor intercepts, onsite and online surveys, think alouds, and pre- and post-group activities. The exhibition will tour twelve major science museums across North America and reach upwards of three and a quarter million families, adults, teachers, and students over six years.

  • American Museum of Natural History Space Shows

    Rockman et al has conducted evaluative studies on four dome-style planetarium shows created by the American Museum for Natural History. Rockman’s evaluations of “The Search for Life,” “Cosmic Collisions,” “Journey to the Stars” and “Dark Universe” have examined audience responses to the shows and a range of outcomes including attitudes toward science, interest in science, and content knowledge. We’ve conducted research at several planetaria around the United States to better understand the impact of presentation context, and with a variety of audiences in order to understand the impacts that programming has on audience members of all ages and prior knowledge levels.

  • Astronomical Society of the Pacific Galileo Educator Network (GEN)

    With funding from NASA, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) developed the Galileo Educator Network (GEN), which prepared teacher educators nationwide to design and deliver professional development workshops on astronomy content and science practices aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). REA collected surveys and observations to describe the ways in which GEN engaged K-12 teachers and promoted the effective use of NASA-developed resources. REA presented its evaluation findings at two ASP annual meetings.