The Advanced Technological Education (ATE) community is home to many researchers and evaluators, and today, we would like to invite this community to another professional home! We’re Ann Martin, Erin Burr, and Kimberle Kelly, all from Oak Ridge Associated Universities. We’re all also closely involved with the American Evaluation Association (AEA), and specifically involved with a topical interest group (TIG) within AEA dedicated to the evaluation of STEM education and workforce development initiatives. The STEM Education and Training TIG has been a welcoming professional home for evaluators in STEM-related fields since its founding in 2012.
The TIG promotes and organizes the STEM program track at the AEA annual conference each year. One of the TIG’s most substantial projects has been the development and prototyping of a repository of STEM-relevant evaluation resources, a project initiated several years ago.
In the past year, we’ve been working with the Computer Science Impact Network (CSIN), which grew out of an effort at Google and is now a community of over 50 evaluators working in the field of computer science education and training. CSIN has been an active partner with the TIG in designing the repository and has contributed resources related to their CS interests.
The TIG’s role within AEA helps us draw from and connect to the broader STEM evaluation community to include all relevant disciplines. Our goal is to consolidate the knowledge that lives in professional networks of STEM evaluators and to help other evaluators find comprehensive resources like the EvaluATE Library or the Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education’s (CAISE) InformalScience, as well as specific tools, like our colleague Kathy Haynie’s Student Computer Science Attitude Survey. By working together across networks, we can strengthen our professional practice and increase access to high-quality STEM evaluation resources. We would especially welcome additions from the ATE evaluation network. Check out our prototype repository, and use our input form to submit resources that you’ve created or that you’ve found valuable in your own work.
If you are attending this year’s AEA conference in Cleveland (October 31 – November 3), we hope that you will come find us and attend TIG events! Join us at the STEM TIG’s networking reception on Thursday, November 1, from 6:45-7:30 p.m. (Convention Center Exhibit Level Foyer 10-15, with other TIGs in joint reception group 3). We’ll also host the TIG’s annual business meeting, which is a great opportunity to learn more about us and get involved. The TIG business meeting will take place Thursday, November 1, from 6:00 – 6:45 p.m. at the Hilton – Hope Ballroom C. Check out all of the TIG’s conference offerings on the conference website by searching the online program for the STEM Education and Training track.
During the conference, we’ll also assemble the TIG’s leadership team for 2019. While membership in AEA is required to serve as a TIG chair, program chair, or webmaster, our executive board also works on a variety of special projects—from communications to social media to the development of the resource repository—that are open to all. We’d like to extend a special invitation to the EvaluATE community to consider getting involved!
If you won’t be attending AEA or aren’t a member of the association, we would love to hear from you. Reach out to Ann Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up for our e-list, which delivers periodic information.