1. Angie Prindle
  2. Executive Producer/ Series Producer, SciGirls
  3. SciGirls
  4. http://pbskids.org/scigirls/
  5. TPT Twin Cities Public Television
  1. Alicia Santiago
  2. Latino Engagement Specialist
  3. SciGirls
  4. http://pbskids.org/scigirls/
  5. TPT Twin Cities Public Television
  1. Emily Stevens
  2. Executive Producer/ Managing Producer, SciGirls
  3. SciGirls
  4. http://pbskids.org/scigirls/
  5. TPT Twin Cities Public Television
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Colleen Lewis

    Colleen Lewis

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2016 | 03:04 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your project! :)
    I’d love to hear about how you think about understanding the cumulative impact of the various SciGirls initiatives. Some kids watch the show, some kids participate in the out-of-school programs, some kids do both. – A similar question – How do you think about refining the various interventions to be more effective? What data do you collect to drive those decisions?
    Thanks!
    - Colleen

  • Icon for: Richard Hudson

    Richard Hudson

    Senior Executive Producer
    May 17, 2016 | 10:11 a.m.

    Hi, Colleen. I had to chime in on this (like you I’m facilitating this time.) You’ll find we’ve employed quite a variety of data-gathering approaches in our evaluations of both SciGirls and DragonflyTV, all of which are collected at the link Rita shared – http://www.tpt.org/science/evaluations. We’ve even done some randomized controlled studies, which are uncommon in media evaluations. See http://goo.gl/rfntnm . Our latest controlled study of our citizen science episodes will be published in the next month or two

  • Icon for: Colleen Lewis

    Colleen Lewis

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 11:11 a.m.

    Too cool – thanks for the links! That’s really great to learn from folks finding creative ways to solve difficult evaluation problems! :)

  • Icon for: Rita Karl

    Rita Karl

    Managing Director of STEM Media & Education
    May 16, 2016 | 05:54 p.m.

    Great questions!

    Cumulative Impacts – SciGirls is featured on 91% of U.S. TV households, with a 100% market penetration in the top 25 markets. SciGirls episodes have been broadcast over 44,500 times on 481 public television channels. Based on available Nielsen audience measurements, SciGirls has achieved an estimated 25 million gross viewer impressions. Online at PBSKids.org, we average 300,000 visitors a month to play games and watch videos. For outreach, in 2014-15, our partners reported 8,797 girls (66%) and 2,999 boys (34%) participated in a SciGirls program, for a total of 11,796 students in 345 SciGirls programs. Overall, since 2011, we have had nearly 40,000 youth participate in one of 800 reported SciGirls programs.

    All SciGirls activities are based on an established body of educational research that has become the foundation of– the television series and our training for STEM educators and role models. A coherent set of educational strategies, drawn from two decades of research which apply to girls from grade school to college have been collected into a set of guiding principles in the publication, SciGirls Seven: How to Engage Girls in STEM (http://scigirlsconnect.org/page/scigirls-seven) that describes the strategies and provides tips on using them in educational settings.

    SciGirls is committed to ongoing, rigorous evaluation to inform our work! SciGirls programs combine gender-equitable, inquiry-based teaching strategies and outreach activities that have proven to increase middle school girls’ interest in STEM and improve their attitudes toward these fields. Dr. Barbara Flagg of Multimedia Research conducted summative evaluations of SciGirls Seasons One and Two, and found that the videos increase interest in and understanding of scientific inquiry and engineering design. Viewers found the shows fun and educational, and felt that seeing successful female onscreen characters amplified their confidence in their own abilities. Knight-Williams Inc. conducted summative evaluation of SciGirls outreach efforts. Her evaluations showed that informal educators believe SciGirls resources are reliable tools that build confidence, deepen STEM skills and spark a passion for science. Our evaluations can be found at http://www.tpt.org/science/evaluations/

    A recent summative evaluation of Season 3 that focused on episodes of citizen science showed that girls who watched episodes and played online games prior to an outreach experience helped girls understand the features of the practice of citizen science, e.g. that citizen science brings together a wide community of scientists and volunteers to work together and share data to which the public, as well as scientists, have access. In addition, minority girls (in this group) had higher interest in finding out more about other citizen science projects, greater likelihood to look for a future citizen science project to do, greater perceived efficacy in doing other citizen science projects, more similarity to the video girls, and stronger interest in their SciGirls experience. This is interesting in that it connect our media work and our online activities directly to the outreach space.

    How do we refine our SciGirls interventions to be more effective? Recently, our ‘SciGirls Strategies’ project allowed us to create a new web series of role model profiles that are more explicit about challenges/barriers/strategies in response to research that supports the efficacy of that tactic.

    As noted, our fourth season will be filmed in Spanish as a response to evaluation data from two prior projects NSF funded, SciGirls en Español and SciGirls en la Familia, in which the evaluation showed the programs positively influenced participants and raised families’ awareness of opportunities available to their daughters but also showed a strong desire for episodes featuring Spanish-speaking girls from Hispanic communities.

    Our newest award, SciGirls Code is in response to the dropping numbers of young women and women in technology and computing!

  • Icon for: Barry Fishman

    Barry Fishman

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 04:00 p.m.

    Two questions about this great program/project:
    (1) How do you identify girls to be featured in the program? Is it a steady set of girls, or do they vary across episodes?
    (2) How do you measure impact of a program like this? Is “impact” primarily about impressions, or do you also look for learning in some more concrete sense?

  • Icon for: Angie Prindle

    Angie Prindle

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 06:31 p.m.

    We identify the girls who participate in our TV episodes through partnerships with schools, but also informal STEM education programs/clubs, and youth activity groups related to the topic of each show. Every episode features a different group of girls—and of course, none of them are actors, but truly “real” middle schoolers who are curious and engaged in undertaking a hands-on science investigation.

  • Icon for: Rita Karl

    Rita Karl

    Managing Director of STEM Media & Education
    May 17, 2016 | 05:43 p.m.

    We measure the impact of the show in a few ways through both research and evaluation. Dr. Barbara Flagg of Multimedia Research conducted summative evaluations of SciGirls Seasons One and Two, and found that the videos increase interest in and understanding of scientific inquiry and engineering design. Viewers found the shows fun and educational, and felt that seeing successful female onscreen characters amplified their confidence in their own abilities.

    Our evaluations can be found at http://www.tpt.org/science/evaluations/

  • Icon for: Richard Hudson

    Richard Hudson

    Senior Executive Producer
    May 17, 2016 | 08:25 p.m.

    Here’s how we think about the “net” impact: If you look at the percent of viewers who show strong positive learning outcomes, ranging from roughly 40% to 80% depending on the metric, then you can extrapolate from the number of views. That gives us confidence that we have produced positive outcomes for over 10 million girls over the three seasons of SciGirls, plus secondary impacts on educators and their students through outreach.

  • Icon for: Caitlin K. Martin

    Caitlin K. Martin

    Senior Researcher
    May 18, 2016 | 06:21 p.m.

    This is a fascinating project, with multiple components and the potential for such wide reach! I am very excited to look more thoroughly at the research findings you have linked to in this thread.

    Have you done anything with the data collected from the online component? Do you have a model or an idea of how the components fit together for participants (i.e. there is a TV media component, but then actual activities online, as well as resources for further exploration on the web; I am so curious as to how girls navigate these, and if different communities with different types of access navigate them differently. Exciting work!

  • Icon for: Rita Karl

    Rita Karl

    Managing Director of STEM Media & Education
    May 19, 2016 | 12:14 p.m.

    Thanks Caitlin!
    Our data collected for our last season (focused on citizen science) on the combined impact of the online website (that includes both games and videos) will be available shortly at the link provided above in Dr. Hudson’s comment – the findings were interesting. All girls who did online activities before their outreach experience reported it helped them understand the features of the practice of citizen science. In addition, minority girls had greater perceived efficacy in doing other citizen science projects, more similarity to the video girls, and stronger interest in their outreach experience.

    We do find that because we are on PBS and PBSKids.org that we have very high traffic to the website (and our episodes point youth to the web) – but PBSKids is also the most trusted site for kids in the nation. Most youth who visit the site watch more videos and play games. We also have links to find a girls STEM club and find a citizen science project on the kids site, to connect youth and parents to programs in their state.

  • Icon for: Richard Hudson

    Richard Hudson

    Senior Executive Producer
    May 19, 2016 | 04:35 p.m.

    Caitlin – We did a particularly interesting experiment in our second season, where we embedded science-related icons in the PBS shows, and then directed viewers to go to the website where they could craft their own versions of the episode using the icons. The results were fascinating. You can see the results in Barbara Flagg’s evaluation, in the “Pick’em Stick’em” section here: http://goo.gl/bO93xi

  • Icon for: Leslie Herrenkohl

    Leslie Herrenkohl

    Professor, Co_Director 3dL Partnership
    May 18, 2016 | 11:01 p.m.

    This is such an interesting program with broad reach and impact. I’m really interested in Caitlin’s question about the on-line component. I’m also interested to know how the questions or challenges for each episode are identified. Do youth provide input on this? I’m looking forward to going on-line to watch the new role model profiles Rita mentioned above!

  • Icon for: Cullen White

    Cullen White

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2016 | 02:58 a.m.

    Leslie, I’m also really curious about how topics for each episode are selected. Does the show have a student advisory board that helps guide the direction of each episode?

  • Icon for: Emily Stevens

    Emily Stevens

    Co-Presenter
    May 19, 2016 | 06:06 p.m.

    Cullen, great question! I’ll add to Rita’s answer that as true reality show, the girls in each show also guide the direction inside their episode. We tailor the story telling to what the girls are curious about; certainly we go in with a plan – story goals, a science outline – and we always get back more from the girls than we could ever hope for. All of which is informed and shaped by the research and evaluation and advisory boards.

  • Icon for: Rita Karl

    Rita Karl

    Managing Director of STEM Media & Education
    May 19, 2016 | 12:19 p.m.

    We definitely work with girls to determine our web-based questions and challenges. Our primary online experience has youth choosing STEM activities to do in the real world and telling others about it, these quests and our monthly citizen science challenges came from focus sessions with youth and the input of STEM educators in the field.

    For our current season we reached out explicitly to a large group of girls and parents about themes and topics of interest to them (aka student/family advisory committee). Topics are selected based on a variety of inputs including diversity of professions and fields of STEM study and input from our on the ground focus groups, our advisory board and our educators around the US.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.