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Evaluation of the Program

Findings from all project years suggest that CASPiE accomplished the project's primary goal of providing first- and second-year students with access to research experiences as part of the mainstream curriculum. Approximately 6000 first- and second-year chemistry students at 15 institutions experienced authentic laboratory research via instruction utilizing CASPiE project modules.

 Evaluation Summary
The evaluation measured students' perceptions regarding aspects of their chemistry laboratory experiences.

Project Goal CASPiE Participants Non-CASPiE Participants
Develop or maintain insterest in chemistry and/or science Students' interest in chemistry and/or science was either maintained or increased by participation in CASPiE-infused courses Students generally reported a decline in their interest in chemistry/science following their first-year chemistry course.
Gain a better understanding of the relationship between science research and real life practices Generally reported a better understanding of the applications of science research following their exposure to CASPiE modules. Consistently reported a lesser understanding of the relationship of science research to real life.
Experience more authentic scientific lab practices
Consistently reported more authentic science laboratory experiences and better perceptions of learning in the laboratory Experience more authentic scientific lab practices
Improve understanding of chemistry Positive impact on students' perceptions of their understanding of chemistry Generally reported less confidence in their understanding of chemistry following their first-year chemistry course

Summative findings of the evaluation affirm that the Center for Authentic Science Practice in Education successfully increased undergraduate chemistry student access to and participation in authentic scientific research at partnering institutions. By providing these experiences to large numbers of students and to diverse student populations, it can be inferred that CASPiE may impact the career trajectory of these students, thereby contributing to enhancement of the depth and breadth of the STEM workforce.


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