The Lawrence provides policy research for numerous educational agencies and nonprofit foundations. Our focus is on science education, yet it encompasses all elements of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. We take a participatory approach to education policy research, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. We have conducted studies ranging in design from exploratory to experimental, and using data collection approaches that run the gamut from medium– or large-scale surveys to deep ethnography.

A group of educators gather in front of a whiteboard to review the results of a strategy session


Our team has amassed expertise and experience in many fields of education policy, including informal science education, professional development projects in science and technology, youth development policy, and policies surrounding equal access to high-quality and higher levels of education. We employ a diverse set of veteran policy researchers, who bring to the group new ways of thinking about policy and implementation.

Our Services

The Lawrence possesses the resources and the capacity to study, analyze, and evaluate education policy for local, state, and national governments, as well as for nongovernmental organizations. We can assist agencies and funding organizations alike as they strive to articulate policies, evaluate a portfolio of programs, and understand how the policies they set influence practice on the ground.

We provide nonpartisan information, research, and evaluation on education policy-related issues to policymakers and other education stakeholders, to support their making well-informed decisions. We accomplish these aims by conducting research across a variety of settings and by providing evaluation expertise and services to diverse agencies, organizations, and funding agencies. We share important findings through dissemination strategies tailored to the needs of specific audiences and project goals.

Project Examples

Sunstones at The Lawrence

Activation Lab

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

Children playing on the DNA sculpture at the Lawrence

High Hopes – Few Opportunities: The Status of Elementary Science Education in California

High Hopes – Few Opportunities: The Status of Science Education in California summarizes new and extensive research examining the status of science education in the…

Policy Impact

A student is outdoors examining nature through a magnifying glass
Teachers sitting at tables at The Lawrence during a workshop
LCAP Toolkit

Policy Briefs

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

Impacts from COVID-19: Resilient Outdoor Science Programs Need Support as Challenges Persist

More than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States and forced widespread lockdowns, closures, and social distancing, the field of outdoor science education continues to be fragile, with many organizations teetering on the brink of collapse. Despite easing restrictions and with new concerns about coronavirus variants, the challenges facing the field persist. 

The Lawrence Hall of Science

A Field at Risk: The Impact of COVID-19 on Environmental and Outdoor Science Education

During April 2020, the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley, conducted a survey to learn about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the environmental and outdoor science educations field nationwide. This policy brief describes the importance of this field, the findings of our survey, and recommendations for mitigating the potentially devastating threats facing this field.

Get In Touch

Have questions about our work? We’d love to speak to you.