STEM programs are not always evaluated to determine effectiveness and/or impact on the community. Many tools and rubrics exist for evaluation; however,they may be costly or require specific training to use the tool. Further, these tools are specific to certain types of programs and/or environments, in which the program is hosted (i.e. after-school vs school day). Besides evaluation of programs, there is a need to determine the status of STEM in the Omaha-area. By determining the current workforce shortage of STEM professionals in Omaha, the impact of the STEM Ecosystem can be documented.
The Research and Evaluation Committee developed a self-evaluation tool, based on best practices, to identify quality STEM programs in the Greater Omaha metropolitan area. Based on the results, programs can create priorities for improvement and/or identify areas of excellence. Future work of this committee is performing research to evaluate the status of the STEM environment, the effectiveness, and impact of the Omaha STEM Ecosystem.
Jenna Yentes University of NE at Omaha
Executive Committee Advisers:
Chris Schaben Omaha Public Schools
Mike Baldino Baldino Enterprises, Inc.
Shannon DeVivo Olsson
Anne Karabon UNO-Early Childhood
Emily Mwaja Girls, Inc.
Dana Richter-Egger University of NE at Omaha
Ken Sigmon Sheppard’s Business Interiors, Inc.
Amy Sokall UNL/Doctoral Student