Research

The Lawrence Hall of Science delivers a full spectrum of services to provide evidence and insights that foster high-quality, innovative learning experiences in science and mathematics that are equitable, inclusive, and culturally relevant.

The Research Group at The Lawrence Hall of Science provides independent research and evaluation services for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) learning initiatives to advance  both formal and informal education for all.

The Research Group

Through our work we  promote powerful learning opportunities for all students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). We conduct research on innovations in STEM learning, particularly those that reach chronically underserved and underrepresented populations. Our work produces insights to inform research, policy, and practice in STEM education.

Values/Mission

We believe that the utility and validity of our work is enhanced through a culturally responsive and equitable stance that gives explicit attention to issues of race, gender, social class, power and privilege, and the voices of populations that have been systematically marginalized and underserved. Embedded in our work is the practice of continuing reflective conversations with ourselves and others around the alignment of aspirations/intentions and actions.

Examples of what we do

Products

Our researchers are highly skilled at presenting findings and insights before diverse audiences. At the Research Group, we tailor our research dissemination efforts to suit each project’s type and needs. We choose from a variety of dissemination options, including: reports (formal research reports, web-based reports, legislative reports, and the like); publications (peer-reviewed journals, educator venues, and others); research and policy briefs; and presentations to various stakeholders. We often present to project participants, leaders and developers, organizational boards, and policy-making bodies. We also present at national, state, and regional conferences such as those of the American Educational Research Association, the American Evaluation Association, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, the National Association of Research in Science Teaching, the National Science Teachers Association, and the Visitor Studies Association.

Evaluation Services

Methods and Products

Our evaluation services include the following methods and products:

  • Logic Models—Articulating the underlying program theory, whether it be for action or for change, by visually representing the inherent linkages of program inputs, outputs, and outcomes in the short, medium, or long term.
  • Empirical Study Design—Utilizing multiple research methods, modes, and theories to illuminate and assess the nuanced effects and meaning of a program. Depending on the study scope, our proposed designs (which may include mixed-method, quasi-experimental, or case study formats) employ one or more of the following data collection methods:
    • Interview
    • Observation
    • Survey
    • Document analysis
  • Panel Review—Leveraging the knowledge and expertise of internal as well as external stakeholders to verify and inform program trajectory and to validate evaluation findings at strategic points during a program evaluation.
  • Technical Reports and Briefs—Attending to the needs of the program, the sponsor, and the stakeholders, we produce a variety of report types that ultimately promote the effective use of evaluation findings. Reporting styles include full technical reports, briefing memoranda, visual software presentations, research literature reviews, and policy briefs, among others.
Assessment

We provide a range of assessment services for various projects and organizations. Our assessment work is multifaceted and specifically designed for the learning setting in which Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics (STEM) education takes place. Our services may include any or all of the following:

  • Designing assessment systems and support materials
  • Scoring a system design with exemplar identification
  • Developing items and scaling them
  • Scanning/scoring fixed-choice responses
  • Scoring constructed responses
  • Gathering and evaluating validity evidence (testing construct validity)
  • Performing data analysis and supplying suitable psychometrics
  • Reporting out

Our Team

Members of our team have considerable experience and expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research methods and have amassed deep content knowledge in science and mathematics.

Our Work

Sunstones at The Lawrence

Publications

Academic Articles Romero, V., Foreman, J., Strang, C., Rodriguez, L., Payan, R.,  Moore-Bailey, K., & Olsen, S. (In press). Racial […]

Children playing on the DNA sculpture at the Lawrence

Reflecting on Practice™ (RoP)

RoP is a professional learning program designed for adoption by informal science learning environments so that all educators in an […]

Two children and a staff member are working together during a science activity.

Positioning Youth for Success in Science: Studying the Malleability and Impact of Computational Thinking for Science

In collaboration with the Learning Design Group at the Lawrence Hall of Science, the Research Group is engaging in a […]

The Lawrence Hall of Science

Working Towards Equitable Organizations in Environmental Education

Working Towards Equitable Organizations Workshop Series is a collaboration between the Lawrence Hall of Science and an organization called Youth […]

Children playing on Pheena the Whale

FIRST

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology (FIRST®) is a national and international nonprofit organization that seeks to support […]

Students in front of The Lawrence

Activation Lab

The Learning Activation Lab is a national research and design effort to dramatically strengthen learning in the United States and […]

A young person looks through a telescope of the view at The Lawrence.

BEETLES

Better Environmental Education Teaching, Learning, Expertise & Sharing (BEETLES) is a program affiliated with the Lawrence Hall of Science that […]

A child looks through a telescope.

Schoolyard Scientists/East Bay Academy for Young Scientists

Based at the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley, the East Bay Academy for Young Scientists (EBAYS) serves youth […]

Get In Touch

Have questions about the work that we do? We’d love to speak to you.

Contact Mac Cannady: mcannady@berkeley.edu