We believe it’s important to share what we have learned through evaluation wherever possible. You can download evaluation reports from a wide range of activities and projects here, or follow the links to find out more about our past work.
Can’t find what you’re looking for?
If you would like any more information about any of these projects just get in touch, we’d be happy to talk about them. Or if you can’t find what you’re looking for let us know and we’ll see if we can find something for you. Contact Us.
These resources are only available by kind permission of the organisations that commissioned each evaluation. Thank you!
Synthetic Biology Dialogue
Between 2009 and 2011 Laura Grant Associates has been the external evaluator for a large scale public dialogue on Synthetic Biology. The dialogue was led by BBSRC and EPSRC and supported by Sciencewise-ERC. The contractors were TNS-BMRB.
The interesting thing about this dialogue was that we waited six months after the report was launched to conduct the follow-up interviews with participants and stakeholders. This gave some of the impacts of the dialogue time to emerge. Our colleague Ali Fisher at Mappa Mundi consulting also helped by creating network maps of the dialogue citations we had collected.
Exploring the boundaries: a dialogue on animals containing human material.
Laura Grant Associates was the external evaluator for this dialogue. The dialogue was commissioned by the Academy of Medical Sciences with support from the Sciencewise-ERC, and delivered by a consortium led by Ipsos MORI.
- Exploring the boundaries evaluation report
Climate Change Schools Project
During 2008 and 2009 we evaluated the Climate Change Schools Project. The project was delivered in partnership but led by Science Learning Centre North East. The evaluation was funded through the Environment Agency by the Northumbria Regional Flood Defence Committee. We collaborated with Dr Helen Featherstone on the evaluation.
The project supported teachers to develop a suite of curriculum-linked materials on climate change at both Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. These were piloted in schools across the region during 2008 and 2009. The evaluation used a before-and-after e-survey to explore shifts in students’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours. The shifts were further explored in a series of focus groups.
Girls into Physics: Action Research
This project was a collaboration between the Institute of Physics and the Science Learning Centres, funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.
100 schools in England made a change to try and increase the number of girls in physics post-16. We helped them document this through action research and combined the findings from all schools to explore what works and what doesn’t when trying to interest girls in physics. As well as training and supporting teachers in action research our team worked with five groups of young researchers: teenagers that are got involved in the research to explore the views of their peers and share them with the wider science education community.
The evaluation is a collaboration between Laura Grant Associates, the Widening Participation Research Centre at Edge Hill University and the Science Communication Unit at the University of the West of England, Bristol.
The reports were originally published by DCSF in April 2009.
Walking with Robots: Festival of Robotics
The Festival of Robotics formed part of Manchester Science Festival in October 2009. It was the final flagship event for the Walking with Robots network.
Walking with Robots: Parliamentary seminar
Robots and Roboticists met with politicians, civil servants, public engagement professionals and educators at this event in April 2008.
Walking with Robots: Young people’s Vision Conference
A two day deliberative workshop that explored teenagers’ visions for the future and the part that intelligent robotics could play.
Walking with Robots: Aberystwyth Bandstand event
This project is funded by an EPSRC stage award to create and support a network of roboticists in delivering public engagement activities. The evaluation approach includes monitoring and mapping network activities as well as evaluating flagship network activities. For the first flagship activity, robots took over the bandstand in Aberystwyth in September 2007.
STEPS: Science and Technology Enrichment for Primary Schools
(University of Liverpool, 2008)
This project aimed to engage primary school students with forces and transport, areas of the curriculum that primary school teachers often request support with. The evaluation used questionnaires and focus groups.
(The Royal Academy of Engineering, 2008)
Ingenious is a grant scheme that aims to develop engineers’ and public engagement professionals’ skills and experience in public engagement with engineering. The evaluation supports grantholders to measure the impact of their work, through an evaluation guide and online toolkit.
(UKAEA Culham Science Centre, 2008)
This innovative project used an inflatable dome to help primary school students explore the processes that go on inside the Sun, and how fusion is an energy option for the future. The evaluation combined teacher questionnaires and student focus groups.
(Thinktank, Techniquest@NEWI and Inspire science centres, funded through a Science Centre Enrichment Activity Grant (SCEAG), 2008)
This project was a collaboration between three science centres that worked together to develop and deliver new dome shows. The evaluation measured changes in audience knowledge and attitudes through a before-and-after survey. We also supported the project team to conduct focus groups with audiences.
(University of the West of England, Bristol, 2008)
Robot Thought was a unique collaborative public engagement project that paired researchers in intelligent robotics with science centres to deliver shows and activities that aimed to get visitors thinking about robotics. Evaluation feedback was provided after each phase of the project.
CREST impact report
(Evaluation funded by AstraZeneca, 2007)
CREST is run by the British Association for the Advancement of Science. It is based around investigative science fair projects for students at three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold. The evaluation took the form of a questionnaire study.
(British Council, 2007)
ZeroCarbonCity was the British Council’s global science project for 2005 and 2006. Laura led the evaluation in collaboration with Sarah Jenkins. Climate change is a theme that the British Council continues to focus activities on, so sharing good practice was a key motivation for the evaluation. As well as an internal evaluation report, we produced six themed case studies.
- Case study: Politics
- Case study: Media
- Case study: Experts
- Case study: Education
- Case study: Wraparound activities
- Case study: NorthSouthEastWest Exhibition
Easy Steps to Evaluation
(Aimhigher Greater Merseyside, 2006)
Laura wrote the Aimhigher Greater Merseyside evaluation toolkit in 2006, a resource that has been emulated in other Aimhigher partnerships in England. Included in the resource is a guide, Easy Steps to Evaluation, and a series of ‘how to’ factsheets that describe good practice in various aspects of evaluation. An attitude scale for measuring young people’s attitudes to school, college and higher education was also developed.
- how to use the AHGTM attitude scale
- how to monitor race and disability
- how to design and conduct interviews
- how to design a good questionnaire
- how to deal with data
- how to conduct an ethical evaluation
- Attitude scale questionnaire
Our Planet – Our Future
(Institute of Physics, 2006)
Our Planet – Our Future was the 2005 Institute of Physics Schools and Colleges lecture. It was developed, delivered and evaluated by Laura with long-time collaborator Karen Bultitude. This innovative lecture used electronic voting to allow audiences to select the science topics they wanted to hear about. Extensive pre-research also informed the lecture content.
Comparative evaluation of science communication activities and their impacts
(Laura Grant PhD thesis, 2005)
Laura’s PhD included evaluation of five science communication activities: planetarium shows, liquid nitrogen shows, A level lectures, a science festival and an activity at a motorway service station. The activities were compared and a framework for mapping activities proposed.
- 9 discussion and appendix
- 8 meta analysis
- 7 generic venues & appendices
- 6 cheltenham science festival and appendices
- 5 culham & appendices
- 4 science is cool & appendices
- 3 space centre & appendices
- 2 methods
- 1 intro
Cheltenham Festival of Science
An evaluation of Cheltenham Science Festival, conducted through interviews with festival visitors.
Science on Sunday
This one day event was held at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester in 2003. It was organised by volunteers at the North West Science Alliance. As a committee member, Laura’s in-kind contribution was conducting this evaluation using interviews and questionnaires.