Programs wanting to document the impact of their STEM efforts have a variety of nationally recognized tools available to them.
Common Instrument Science Survey
The Common Instrument was developed by PEAR to measure the level of youths’ excitement and engagement related to science and technology. There are several versions of the Common Instrument available including the full survey tool, retrospective post-test survey, and the short survey. The short survey questions have been included in the online Youth Survey available through the MOPD Toolbox.
Dimensions of Success (DOS)
The Dimensions of Success observation tool, or DoS, pinpoints twelve indicators of STEM program quality in out-of-school time. It was developed and studied with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) by the Program in Education, Afterschool and Resiliency (PEAR), along with partners at Educational Testing Service (ETS) and Project Liftoff. The DoS tool focuses on understanding the quality of a STEM activity in an out-of-school time learning environment and includes an explanation of each dimension and its key indicators, as well as a 4-level rubric with descriptions of increasing quality.
MASN can help programs to connect with a trained external evaluator or programs can visit the PEAR website to download tools to use as a self-assessment. (http://www.pearweb.org/tools/dos.html)
STEM Program Quality Assessment (STEM PQA)
The STEM Program Quality Assessment (STEM PQA) is a supplement to the widely used Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA). The STEM PQA instrument is a tool that can support continuous improvement, program planning, and staff performance feedback. Their full approach and the free STEM PQA supplement can be viewed in detail here: http://cypq.org/downloadpqa#STEM and used for self-evaluation. The Missouri 4-H Center for Youth Development has trained assessors throughout the state that can provide external evaluations.