Climate Literacy Partnership in the Southeast (CLiPSE)

Client: Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi, University of Alabama, Huntsville
Funder: National Science Foundation CCEP
TERC Role: Process and Network Evaluator, Design of Phase II Evaluation
TERC Staff:  Jim Hammerman,  Jon Christiansen, Lindsay Demers

The Climate Literacy Partnership in the Southeast (CLiPSE) is a Phase I NSF-CCEP project whose goal is to create and build a network of partners to conduct climate literacy education across the southeast US region, so that citizens in informal and formal educational environments can a) understand the basics of the earth's climate system; b) effectively engage in informed discussions about climate change; and c) make considered and evidence-based decisions regarding adaptation and mitigation strategies. The project taps diverse expertise to develop materials for community and religious groups, members of the business and policy communities, as well as for formal and informal education environments. The Phase I project identified resources and issues, conducted a needs assessment, and developed a strategic plan for larger scale impact. TERC's evaluation of CLiPSE focused on tracking the process of bringing together these disparate communities and concerns to accomplish its several goals, the health of the resulting network, and on development of the formative and summative evaluation plans for the Phase II project.

Data Games

Client: KCP Technologies and University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Funder: National Science Foundation DRK12
TERC Role: Process Evaluator and Research Oversight
TERC Staff: Jim Hammerman

The Data Games project is developing small interactive Flash games that collect and export data about game play. Using Fathom and Tinkerplots software, students analyze the data from their own game play to try to improve their performance. In the process, they learn about mathematical and statistical ideas. TERC is providing a process evaluation, and an external perspective on formative development and testing. For more information, visit the Data Games page on the KCP Technologies website.

Life on Earth

Client: Harvard University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the University of Michigan
Funder: National Science Foundation ISE
TERC Role: Summative Evaluation
TERC Staff: Jim Hammerman, Jon Christiansen

Life on Earth is developing multi-touch, multi-user touch-table digital exhibit technologies and materials for use in science museums to enhance visitor understanding of evolution — specifically, the tree of life, common descent, and natural selection. The touch-table is installed in four museums nationwide: the Harvard Museum of Natural History (Cambridge, MA), the University of Nebraska State Museum (Lincoln, NE), the California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco, CA), and the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago, IL). The project conducts experimental learning research on how interacting with the table promotes understanding of key ideas in evolution. TERC's evaluation focuses on documenting engagement in naturalistic settings, group interactions around the installed touch-table exhibits, and their connection to developing understanding of evolutionary concepts.

Click on the links to download the Life on Earth Evaluation Executive Summary or the larger (5.8 Mb) Life on Earth Evaluation Full Report.

Transition to Algebra

Client: Education Development Center (EDC)
: National Science Foundation DRK12
TERC Role: Process Evaluator and Research Oversight
TERC Staff:  Jim Hammerman,  Lindsay Demers

EDC is developing and testing innovative curriculum materials for double-period algebra classes, to support learners at risk of failing regular 9th grade algebra, and conducting several kinds of research about its impact. TERC is providing a process evaluation, to help EDC be sure the many components of this complex project stay on track, and external oversight of EDC's own experimental study of the impact of Transition to Algebra materials. For more information, visit the Transition to Algebra web site


Vanished Curated Game

Client: MIT Education Arcade, Smithsonian Institutions
Funder: National Science Foundation ISE
TERC Role: Summative Evaluation
TERC Staff:  Jim Hammerman, Jessica Simon, Jon Christiansen

In Vanished, MIT's Education Arcade built an online game for middle school and early high school students to conduct inquiry science investigations. Students played knowledge and skill-building games, and contributed data and information gathered from museums, their own research, and the world around them, to collaboratively over time solve the mystery posed by the game. TERC's evaluation focused on engagement, attitudes, and the extent to which students engage in aspects of inquiry science in the context of a collaborative community.