ERIC Number: ED546144
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec-28
Reference Count: 22
NASA Informal Education: Final Report. A Descriptive Analysis of NASA's Informal Education Portfolio: Preliminary Case Studies
Rulf Fountain, Alyssa; Levy, Abigail Jurist
This report was requested by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA), Office of Education in July 2009 to evaluate the Informal Education Program. The goals of the evaluation were twofold: (1) to gain insight into its investment in informal education; and (2) to clarify existing distinctions between its informal education and outreach efforts. The evaluation findings provide descriptive information about all the projects in NASA's education portfolio affiliated with Outcome 3 (Informal Education) and selected Outcome 2 (Elementary and Secondary Education) that serve the informal education community. Additionally, the evaluation findings provide detailed information about five specific NASA-selected informal education projects, partnerships, or activities, and pay particular attention to their progress toward stated goals, use of NASA resources and materials, reach into their respective communities, development of strategic partnerships, and sustainability. The variety of projects selected allows NASA to document a range of activities in its informal education portfolio, to better understand their implementation and effectiveness, and to ultimately inform future funding decisions. The evaluation of NASA's Informal Education Program is also assisting NASA in identifying any practical differences between its informal education and outreach efforts, and determining if any existing redundancies can be addressed. Findings from this evaluation effort will inform NASA's Office of Education as it reviews its current organizational structure to determine whether the existing composition should be revised. Additional preparation support was provided by Hilary Rhodes and Caroline Shlager (Abt Associates) and Erica Fields (Education Development Center, Inc.) The following appendices are included: (1) Project Profiles; (2) Data Collection Protocols; (3) Survey: Distinguishing NASA's Informal Education and Outreach Activities; (4) CP4SMP Grantees; (5) Map of Individual Girl Scout Councils Reached by NASA; (6) Summary of NASA Activities with Girl Scouts USA and Boy Scouts of America; and (7) Frequencies and Means for Survey Items.
Descriptors: Informal Education, Federal Government, Space Exploration, Program Evaluation, Portfolio Assessment, Outreach Programs, Elementary Secondary Education, STEM Education, Case Studies, Summer Science Programs, Partnerships in Education, Sustainability, Financial Support
Abt Associates. 4550 Montgomery Avenue Suite 800 North, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: 301-347-5000; Fax: 301-634-1801; Web site: http://abtassociates.com
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Sponsor: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Authoring Institution: Abt Associates, Inc.; Education Development Center, Inc.
IES Grant or Contract Numbers: NNH08CD70Z|NNH09CF52D|NNH09CF33D