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2021 CAISE Round-up

Since 2017, CAISE has compiled an annual Year in Informal STEM Education slide deck, with generous contributions from practitioners, researchers, and evaluators working in informal STEM learning and science communication settings. This year, in place of that resource, this blog recaps some highlights capturing what CAISE learned, generated and tracked in 2021.


News, View, and Spotlights

Thanks to the engagement of the professional community, content and knowledge on our website continue to grow. If you work on an informal STEM learning or science communication project and would like to contribute a spotlight, blog, or interview in 2022, please contact CAISE via email at

Most Viewed Project Spotlights in 2021:

●      RAPID: Supports and Challenges in an Educational Crisis: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Youth STEM Pathways

●      Equity in Informal Science Institutions: Insights and Practical Suggestions for Organizational Change

●      Sharpening Our Focus on Equity: Reflections from the Storybook STEM Project


Most Viewed Resource Blogs in 2021:

●      A Start To Developing a Logic Model

●      What’s the Difference between Design-Based Research and Design-Based Implementation Research?

●      Simple Strategies for Your Blended Meetings: When We Are Apart, We Can Still Be Together


Most Viewed Articles in 2021:

Our crowd-sourced Knowledge Base articles received the most overall website traffic in our News and Views section The top three articles were:

●      Nature Play Is Important for the Cognitive Development of Early Learners

●      Field Trips Are Valuable Learning Experiences

●      How Young Children Learn Science


2021 STEM for All Video Showcase

The 2021 NSF STEM for All Video Showcase featured 287 videos with over 90,000 unique visitors from 174 countries, inspiring 7,290 discussion posts. The videos included 28 from National Science Foundation (NSF) Advancing Informal STEM Learning- (AISL-) funded projects that also participated in the week-long event, eight of which earned either Facilitator’s, Presenters’, or Public Choice awards.


2021 NSF AISL Program Awardee Meeting

This year’s Awardee Meeting was virtual. The event focused on Developing and Sustaining Equitable, Knowledge-Building Partnerships, and aligned with that theme principal investigators were asked to invite community collaborators and/or representatives of the intended audiences for learning and research activities.

View the agenda and recorded plenary panels, concurrent sessions, and posters here.

On a daily basis, CAISE continues to collect and curate submissions from the community. In 2021, we cataloged and tagged new research papers and posters, project descriptions, evaluation reports and tools, and 96 new anti-racism resources. As of this writing, our collection now contains over 9000 resources. If you have recently-completed evaluation reports or open-access research articles that are products of your work, please submit them here.

Posted by James Bell