Principal Investigator: Judith (Judy) Storeygard
TERC is the evaluator for DIGITS program, a program that introduces sixth grade students to a corps of STEM professionals—called STEM Ambassadors—who work in science and technology-based careers; are enthusiastic about their jobs; and are interested in interacting with students. STEM Ambassadors—recruited from companies throughout the state of Massachusetts—volunteer to visit sixth grade classrooms to tell their personal stories and engage the students in a series of interactive, multimedia exercises that encourage students to be more open to math and science and stimulates their ability to visualize themselves in STEM jobs and careers. DIGITS—originally funded by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education STEM Pipeline Fund—has now acquired funding from private foundations under the auspices of the Engineering Center to continue and expand the program.
TERC's evaluation will address the following questions:
- Did the project meet its goals of expanding the program?
- Was the project successful in maintaining fidelity of implementation? What conditions supported the implementation? What barriers emerged during the implementation?
- What do teachers, Ambassadors, students, teachers, and administrators report about the quality and effect of the programs?
- How were the program enhancements (e.g. music video, teacher follow-up activities) received? What evidence is there about if and how they will be used?
- What suggestions do teachers and Ambassadors have for improving/enhancing the program?