STEM Ambassadors Summative Evaluation Report
This summative evaluation report presents findings and lessons learned on the STEM Ambassadors project. The STEM Ambassadors project, funded by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program, combines elements of existing programs designed to engage STEM professionals with the public around their scientific research to create a new model for public engagement of science. This new model recruits, provides training for, and assists STEM professionals in drawing on their own interests, hobbies and backgrounds to connect with audiences that may not have access to scientists (such as prisoners, senior citizens who live in senior housing, community groups who live far from museums or science festivals/events, etc.). The aim of the project is to “stretch” scientists in their view of themselves and their skills as effective science communicators, to stretch their view of audiences who can or cannot participate actively and willingly in science outreach activities, to expand the diversity of public participants in science outreach activities, and to expand these participants’ view of scientists as people who care about and are invested in their communities, and their sense of themselves as people who can do and understand science research. The project also supported qualitative, case study research conducted by Stanford University on the impacts of the program on the STEM Ambassadors.