We wanted to know what it was like being in PSG, for our participants, if it changed them and how, and what it meant to them. Which is a subtle thing to measure. So we used a lot of different ways of trying to find out. (In formal terms, we used a variety of different methods, incorporating perspective and methodological triangulation to better gauge the overall impacts of the project, and understand more fully the effect on participants.)
- analysis of 722 pre project survey responses and 276 post project responses
- 16 in-depth interviews with participants and 10 interviews with the partners/relatives/friends who accompanied them to events
- discussion threads in the groups
- post-it note feedback at events
- reflections and observations by project staff and evaluators
- online activity stats
We had two evaluation consultants – Dr Karen Bultitude Honorary Senior Research Fellow at University College London and Dr Sarah West, Deputy Director and Senior Research Associate at Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York. Dr West went on maternity leave towards the end of the project, so some of her final analysis was done by Dr Jean McKendree, also of SEI York.
Project staff also took on some evaluation tasks (under direction from Drs Bultitude and West). We also worked with an MSc student from University of the West of England, Stephanie Organ, who conducted in-depth interviews with participants and wrote her dissertation on Parenting Science Gang.
The key changes for participants were:-
Increased science skills – e.g. sourcing and evaluating scientific information
Feelings around science – that science was ‘for them’
Self-actualisation – confidence and empowerment
Impact on science and scientists – finding research gaps, starting to fill them, giving scientists new perspectives on their work.
You can read more about this in our report (downloads below), or in our series of evaluation blogposts (below that).
EXEC SUMMARY Parenting Science Gang Evaluation Executive Summary
FULL REPORT Parenting Science Gang Evaluation Report
INDIVIDUAL CASE STUDIES Parenting Science Gang Evaluation Case Studies