In fall 2019, the Bell Museum received funding via a NASA TEAM II grant to create Mars: The Ultimate Voyage, a full-dome planetarium show and accompanying hands-on activities that focus on the interdisciplinary roles that will be needed to send humans to Mars. This report from Catalyst Consulting Group presents the findings from the summative evaluation completed in March–May 2023. Eight planetariums from seven states participated in the evaluation by gathering data from students who watched the planetarium show and completed an activity. The goal of this evaluation was to document the impact of the project in relation to NASA’s goals and objectives, with the intent to “immerse the public in NASA’s work, enhance STEM literacy, and inspire the next generation to explore.”
During this time, the evaluation team collected and analyzed quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate student feedback in the following categories: student engagement, student interest, and STEM literacy. These constructs are aligned to three of the five categories for the Framework for Evaluating Impacts of Social Science Education (Friedman et al., 2008). The Framework combines engagement and interest in one impact category. The project’s construct of STEM literacy combines the knowledge/awareness and skills categories of the Framework, by defining this construct in relation to both the related scientific understanding and human factors.
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