Through a range of evaluation services from full-scale, complex evaluations to panel reviews, technical reports and briefs, logic modeling, and empirical study design, we work to create powerful STEM learning opportunities that inspire and engage in ways that advance equity and opportunity. Our work spans learning environments (formal in-school, informal-out-of-school time) and content areas (Environmental Education, Professional Learning, Computational and Digital Learning, Engineering and Robotics, and more).

Four students are working on a project building a robot car

Our Services

Logic models, theories of action, or theories of change, are valuable means for articulating, understanding, and planning science learning programs. They are often required by funders, but they are incredibly useful for program developers and implementers as well. As a stand-alone process or as part of a full-scale evaluation, we work closely with you to articulate the underlying program theory, whether it be for action or for change, by visually representing the inherent linkages of program inputs, outputs, and outcomes in the short, medium, or long term.

Empirical Studies range from single case studies with qualitative and textual data to randomized-control trials with very quantifiable data. Although empirical studies are the cornerstone of much of our evaluation work, our guiding principle is that the type of study, the design of the study, the analysis tools, and the outcomes of interest all must be aligned to the context of the program the needs of stakeholders and constituents, and, most importantly, with equity and justice forwarded. We have expertise in a range of empirical approaches and can work with you to develop and implement a human-centered, equitable, racially and socially just empirical study.

We are experts in instrument development: from short surveys to complex observations tools. We are part of the Activation Lab, which has a suite of tools available to help evaluate and understand the impact of your science learning program. Let us help create tools tailored to your program and context.

As more and more evaluations are conducted internally, by participants themselves, the need for external review panels, that bring expertise and unique perspectives and understanding to the work itself, has increased. We can arrange and convene review panels, by connecting our network of experts, your communities, and social justice specialists to review evaluation plans, data, and reports.

Reporting out is critical to evaluation work – stakeholders, constituents, funders, participants, and program staff all should contribute to and hear about the results of evaluation work. Our reporting techniques are appropriate for each circumstance and include both text-based, webinar or virtual presentations, and, increasingly, web-based reports. In addition, we can develop specific reports (literature review, technical reports) for you that can help guide the development of programs or indeed of evaluations themselves.

Our Projects

Sunstones at The Lawrence

Working Towards Equitable Organizations in Environmental Education

Working Towards Equitable Organizations Workshop Series is a collaboration between the Lawrence Hall of Science and an organization called Youth…

Children playing on the DNA sculpture at the Lawrence

Positioning Youth for Success in Science: Studying the Malleability and Impact of Computational Thinking for Science

Researchers and curriculum designers at the Lawrence have been engaged in a three-year project (NSF STEM+C #1838992) that investigates computational…

Two Mississippi FIRST LEGO League competitors from Stokes-Beard Magnet Elementary School in Columbus urge their robots on during the annual tournament


For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology (FIRST® ) is a national and international nonprofit organization that seeks to…

Two children and a staff member are working together during a science activity.

Activation Lab

The Learning Activation Lab is a national research and design effort to dramatically strengthen learning in the United States and…

Students working together on an EBAYS project.

East Bay Academy for Young Scientists

Based at the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley, the East Bay Academy for Young Scientists (EBAYS) serves youth…


From the classroom to the floor: Applying language supports to new museum contexts

The Lawrence Hall of Science implemented a two-phase project, Building Understanding in Language Diverse Students, to modify school group workshops and drop-in public programs to […]

What drives visitor engagement in exhibits? The interaction between visitor activation profiles and exhibit features

This paper explores the use of science learning activation to understand how various types of visitors engage with different exhibits. In particular, we examined how […]

Development of the International Ocean Literacy Survey: measuring knowledge across the world

The Ocean Literacy movement began in the U.S. in the early 2000s, and has recently become an international effort. The focus on marine environmental issues […]

When I grow up: the relationship of science learning activation to STEM career preferences

This paper proposes three new measures of components STEM career preferences (affinity, certainty, and goal), and then explores which dimensions of science learning activation (fascination, […]

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