2017 - 2023
The STEM Research Center at Oregon State University (OSU) led the evaluation efforts with a focus on supporting project improvement. More specifically, the OSU evaluation team (led by Heather Fischer) complemented the project team’s research efforts by assessing the quality of the project as a whole and evaluating the degree to which the project met the goals articulated below. In addition, the OSU team provided external perspectives and expertise related to informal science education, the landscape of outdoor science education, best practices in research and evaluation, and science content.
BEETLES materials and practices were disseminated to about 100 programs, around 200 program leaders, 1500 outdoor science instructors and potentially 800,000 elementary students. In doing so, the project helped us understand how places like residential outdoor science schools can play a supporting, if not central role in helping to implement the Next Generation Science Standards, and the vision for improved science learning from A Framework for K-12 Science Education, the consensus study by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences that provided the blueprint for the NGSS. Projects like this are essential in the current complex process of moving from adoption to successful implementation of these standards, but more so, in helping with the underlying effort to change how we teach science in the United States.