Science, tech evaluation tools studied

July 6, 2006

Researchers are developing tools to evaluate the effectiveness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education programs in the United States.

Cornell University investigators say nearly every federal science grant requires researchers to inform the public about their findings and support science and technology education in general.

However, each grant also requires an evaluation of the results of the outreach, which most researchers consider an onerous chore.

With a 2-year, $605,000 National Science Foundation grant, Cornell researchers will create a set of tools to evaluate NSF's science, technology, engineering and mathematics education programs.

"Evaluation is merely feedback and organizational learning," said postdoctoral associate Derek Cabrera, a co-investigator. "We want to shift people's thinking from seeing evaluation as just a grant requirement to seeing it as feedback that will assist other researchers."

Evaluation is a social sciences field with its own specialized methods and language, but Cabrera said the goal is to produce a "paint-by-numbers" system that anyone can use. "We also hope to make significant contributions to the field of evaluation," he added. "We hope to develop theoretical foundations that relate the field of evaluation with the ideas of systems thinking.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Algorithm could help analyze fetal scans to determine whether interventions are warranted

Related Stories

Wireless 'data center on a chip' aims to cut energy use

October 5, 2016

A Washington State University research team has designed a tiny, wireless data center that someday could be as small as a hand-held device and dramatically reduce the energy needed to run such centers.

Scientists develop MRI-guided neural stem cell delivery method

October 18, 2016

A national science publication has featured the work of San Antonio scientists aiming to develop a more effective method for delivering neural stem cells to the brain in an effort to move forward stem cell therapies to treat ...

Opinion: Why isn't science better? Look at career incentives

September 21, 2016

There are often substantial gaps between the idealized and actual versions of those people whose work involves providing a social good. Government officials are supposed to work for their constituents. Journalists are supposed ...

Recommended for you

Ancient parrot fossil found in Siberia

October 26, 2016

(—A Russian paleontologist has discovered a parrot fossil uncovered in Siberia several years ago—the first evidence of parrots living in Asia. In his paper published in Biology Letters, Nikita Zelenkov describes ...

Ancient burials suggestive of blood feuds

October 24, 2016

There is significant variation in how different cultures over time have dealt with the dead. Yet, at a very basic level, funerals in the Sonoran Desert thousands of years ago were similar to what they are today. Bodies of ...

Meet Savannasaurus, Australia's newest titanosaur

October 21, 2016

The outback region around Winton in central Queensland is arguably Australia's ground zero for giant dinosaur fossils. Here, graziers occasionally stumble across petrified bones on their paddocks, amid the stubbly grass and ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.