Bridging Earth and Mars (BEAM): Program Front-end Evaluation
The Saint Louis Science Center (SLSC) project Bridging Earth and Mars (BEAM) will engage the general public and children from schools and community groups with the National Aeronautical and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) exploration of Mars through exhibits simulating control of robotic rovers on the surface of Mars as well as related educational programming. This front-end evaluation for BEAM youth programs provides information to the BEAM project team about the levels of knowledge, attitudes, and skills among low-income and minority young people who are part of the field trip workshop audiences. In these workshops, children will be asked to work in teams to find an innovative solution to problems simulating real NASA challenges. Young people will use the engineering design process, which encourages the testing and refining of problem solutions until they are successful. Findings and conclusions from this front-end evaluation can be used to guide design decisions and adaption of existing NASA materials. Appendix includes instruments.