Informal STEM education projects encompass a wide range of experiences and settings, including film and broadcast media, science centers and museums, zoos and aquariums, digital media and gaming, science journalism, botanical gardens and nature centers, and youth, community and afterschool programs, libraries, science festivals, and more. The learning goals and objectives, as well as target audience identified for an ISE project ideally determine the types of settings, experiences, media, events and/or activities that are planned, designed and implemented.

The projects in the repository are innovative collaborations between partners with complementary expertise in design, implementation, evaluation and research of informal science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experiences and settings. They are designed to engage target audiences in STEM topics and processes through a variety of evidence-based approaches to learning and are typically finite in scope and duration. By disseminating the products, findings and other outputs of these projects CAISE seeks to inform and advance the field through examples of best practices and lessons learned.        

Projects are typically funded for a finite amount of time through grants and other mechanisms in order to achieve their goals and objectives, and document and disseminate. their findings. They are also typically rigorously evaluated by an internal and/or external partner.  While the projects in this repository are often connected to and/or inform ongoing programs, programs are usually supported by an institution or organization’s operating budget. The repostiory does not collect or catalogue ongoing ISEprogram descriptions. Access to these types of descriptions are available via resources like The Connectory and SciStarter.