The primary focus of the Meta!Blast evaluation is on activities related to middle school, high school, and college students’ understanding of biological concepts using the teaching tools developed by the Meta!Blast projects’ and key personnel. The evaluation also examines essential elements of the project’s processes in developing the teaching tools (e.g., process evaluation could include interviews with project PIs and key personnel). The beneficiaries of the evaluation information include:
- Meta!Blast leadership team members by utilizing the evaluation evidence to capture the projects expected and unexpected outcomes, and make informed decision about potential improvements and changes.
- ISU by using evaluation evidence to introduce new biological teaching curriculum grounded on good assessment, support collaboration among various ISU departments and colleges, and strengthen partnerships between ISU and middle/high school students.
- Middle and high school teachers by sharing their experiences with the Meta!Blast teaching tools to enhance science teaching in schools, expand research opportunities for middle and high school teachers, and to strengthen collaboration between Iowa State University and schools in Iowa.
The evaluation plan is flexible and dependent on the needs of the project. Evaluation deliverables include evaluation reports after each evaluation activity.
This evaluation is supported by the National Institute of Health, Science Education Partnership Education Award #1R25RR025147