How do we know NUSTEM making a difference?
When NUSTEM starting working with primary and secondary schools in 2014, we developed a five-year impact plan. This was intended to measure the impact of our work, as well as looking at children’s and young peoples’ attitudes to science and careers over five years.
Our first data collection took place in 2015 in a selection of our primary and secondary schools. Follow-up data collections were done in 2017 and 2019.
You can find our methodology and detailed findings here:
In 2020 we also brought together details of the impact that NUSTEM has made regionally, nationally and internationally over the past six years in one impact report which you can find here:
Since 2019, NUSTEM have moved from one centrally-funded project and over-arching longitudinal research and evaluation scheme, to a number of different projects and interventions supported by different funders, each with their own evaluation requirements.
Central to all however is the NUSTEM Theory of Change. We ensure all of our projects and interventions have aims and outcomes linked to at least one causal pathway within the Theory of Change.
The Theory of Change is the starting point for measuring impact, in reviewing evidence and deciding which assumptions can be made based on existing research, in assessing the strength of other assumptions, and in deciding which critical activities we need to gather data on. Evidence gathered through the evaluation of our projects and the monitoring of the NUSTEM programme as a whole allows us to revisit and Theory of Change and check that the outcomes and causal pathways in it describe what we are experiencing on the ground.
For each of our key outcomes within the Theory of Change we have developed a body of research instruments suitable for use with our target audiences.
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