We design and implement research and stakeholder consultation plans to evaluate client programmes. We are experienced in the use of a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods including surveys, focus groups, interviews and public consultations. Some recent examples are detailed below.
Evaluation of NYCI Youth STEAM projects
We are conducting an Assessment of the Value of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics delivery in the Youth Work setting in Ireland on behalf of the National Youth Council of Ireland. This will involve evaluation of 6 STEAM projects, based in Youth Service, through focus groups with young people, interviews with youth workers and surveys of STEAM practitioners.
Evaluation of WexSci 2019, Wexford's regional science festival
As part of Science Week 2019, the WexSci festival delivered a programme of STEM events in collaboration with a range of partners which aimed to engage underserved audiences. We assisted Wexford County Council, the festival coordinators, in design and implementation of audience surveys among adults, young people and children. We also conducted research among partners, community and youth service providers and STEM professionals involved in delivery. The research explored the value, benefits and challenges of participation and ideas for expanding reach and targetting new audiences.
SciFest is a national programme of Science Fairs for post primary students to showcase their STEM investigations at local, regional, national and international level in an inclusive and accessible way. We evaluated the programme in 2015 and 2019 to assess its impact, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability. This involved design of a research plan and implementation of on line surveys, focus groups and interviews with teachers, students, judges, sponsors and key stakeholders in the education sector.
The Heritage in Schools Scheme
The Heritage in Schools Scheme, the Heritage Councils flagship programme for primary schools, provides a panel of experts in heritage who visit primary schools to support engagement with built, natural and cultural heritage at a local level. We have undertaken reviews of the Heritage in Schools Scheme, in 2016 and previously in 2005. This involved consultation with schools and heritage specialists, reporting on findings and making recommendations for the development of the scheme.
Maths Week Ireland 2017
Maths Week Ireland is an annual all Ireland festival for the promotion of maths, coordinated by Calmast, Waterford Institute of Technology’s STEM Outreach Centre. It runs throughout the island of Ireland every October and is a partnership of institutions and groups interested in the promotion of maths. In 2017 we evaluated the programme, which is now one of the National STEM Weeks.
CanSat is a competition developed by the European Space Agency to inspire interest in STEM subjects and space. Participating teams, build and launch a satellite in a soft drink can, and participate in a series of missions at regional and national competitions. We conducted an evaluation to identify the benefits and challenges of participation for students, teachers and other stakeholders. This assisted the client to develop an understanding of the scalability of the project and the resource requirements for sustainable expansion and development.