Research and Evaluation

The Museum has more than a decade of work in program and exhibit evaluation. Our strong research and evaluation strategies support the development and refinement of Museum-wide educational initiatives. We routinely modify and improve our programs to incorporate what we learn from evaluation. In addition to robust internal review, we measure the impact on the audiences we serve through rigorous research approaches that help advance the field of science education.

Team members

The team consists of six full-time staff:

  • Aaron Price, Ph.D. (director, evaluation and research)
  • Lauren R. Applebaum, Ph.D. (senior evaluator)
  • Jana Greenslit, M.A. (evaluation coordinator)
  • Alison L. Mroczkowski, Ph.D. (researcher and project manager)
  • Gloria Segovia, B.A. (evaluator)
  • Gauri Vaishampayan, Ph.D. (cand.) (evaluator)

Active projects

Current key activities include studies of the Museum's teacher professional development courses, student Learning Labs, the Wanger Family Fab Lab, Black Creativity programs and after-school Science Minors Clubs.

The Museum has recently launched a five-year, National Science Foundation-funded study to investigate the long term impacts of the Science Minors and Achievers program on their alumni.

We previously worked with researchers at Michigan State University to study the impact of the Museum's teacher courses on teacher and student achievement. Read the report (PDF) from the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University.

External research at MSI

We welcome external investigators who wish to conduct research related to Museum programs or spaces. Learn more about our policies (PDF). If you would like to discuss conducting a study at the Museum, please contact us.

Publications

Below is a selected list of recent publications.

  • Price, C. A., Gean, K. G., Christenson, C. G., Behesti, E., Pernot, B., et al. (2015). Casual games and casual learning about human biological systems. Journal of Science Education and Technology, Online First: doi: 10.1007/s10956-015-9580-6
  • Price, C. A., Gean, K. G., & Barnes, H. (2015). The effect of live interpretation with theatre on attitudes and learning of children in the Mythbusters exhibit. Journal of Museum Education, 40, 2. (PDF)
  • Chiu, A., Price, C.A., & Ovrahim, E. (2015). Chicago-Area K-8 Teacher and Administrator Perceptions of STEM Education. Chicago: Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. (PDF)
  • Chiu, A., Price, C.A., & Ovrahim, E. (2015). Supporting Elementary and Middle School STEM Education at the Whole School Level: A review of the literature. Chicago: Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. (PDF)
  • Segovia, G. & Pernot, B. (2015). Demographic differences between museum-based fab lab attendees and non-attendees. Poster presented at the 2015 Conference of the Visitor Studies Association, Indianapolis, IN. (PDF)
  • Price, C. A., Pernot, B., Segovia, G. & Gean, K. (2015). Engineering attitudes, habits of mind and design awareness in a fab lab maker space summer camp. Paper presented at the 2015 conference of the National Research in Science Teaching, Chicago, IL. (PDF)