The Advanced Technological Education (ATE) community is home to many researchers and evaluators, and today, we would like to invite this community to another professional home! We’re Ann Martin, Erin Burr, and Kimberle Kelly, all from Oak Ridge Associated Universities. We’re all also closely involved with the American Evaluation Association (AEA), and specifically involved with a topical interest group (TIG) within AEA dedicated to the evaluation of STEM education and workforce development initiatives. The STEM Education and Training TIG has been a welcoming professional home for evaluators in STEM-related fields since its founding in 2012.

The TIG promotes and organizes the STEM program track at the AEA annual conference each year. One of the TIG’s most substantial projects has been the development and prototyping of a repository of STEM-relevant evaluation resources, a project initiated several years ago.

In the past year, we’ve been working with the Computer Science Impact Network (CSIN), which grew out of an effort at Google and is now a community of over 50 evaluators working in the field of computer science education and training. CSIN has been an active partner with the TIG in designing the repository and has contributed resources related to their CS interests.

The TIG’s role within AEA helps us draw from and connect to the broader STEM evaluation community to include all relevant disciplines. Our goal is to consolidate the knowledge that lives in professional networks of STEM evaluators and to help other evaluators find comprehensive resources like the EvaluATE Library or the Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education’s (CAISE) InformalScience, as well as specific tools, like our colleague Kathy Haynie’s Student Computer Science Attitude Survey. By working together across networks, we can strengthen our professional practice and increase access to high-quality STEM evaluation resources. We would especially welcome additions from the ATE evaluation network. Check out our prototype repository, and use our input form to submit resources that you’ve created or that you’ve found valuable in your own work.

If you are attending this year’s AEA conference in Cleveland (October 31 – November 3), we hope that you will come find us and attend TIG events! Join us at the STEM TIG’s networking reception on Thursday, November 1, from 6:45-7:30 p.m. (Convention Center Exhibit Level Foyer 10-15, with other TIGs in joint reception group 3). We’ll also host the TIG’s annual business meeting, which is a great opportunity to learn more about us and get involved. The TIG business meeting will take place Thursday, November 1, from 6:00 – 6:45 p.m. at the Hilton – Hope Ballroom C. Check out all of the TIG’s conference offerings on the conference website by searching the online program for the STEM Education and Training track.

During the conference, we’ll also assemble the TIG’s leadership team for 2019. While membership in AEA is required to serve as a TIG chair, program chair, or webmaster, our executive board also works on a variety of special projects—from communications to social  media to the development of the resource repository—that are open to all. We’d like to extend a special invitation to the EvaluATE community to consider getting involved!

If you won’t be attending AEA or aren’t a member of the association, we would love to hear from you. Reach out to Ann Martin at, or sign up for our e-list, which delivers periodic information.

About the Authors

Erin Burr

Erin Burr box with arrow

Section Manager of Assessment and Evaluation, Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Erin Burr is a section manager of assessment and evaluation at Oak Ridge Associated Universities, where she leads a team of STEM evaluators. She has been active in the American Evaluation Association (AEA) since 2005 and is a longtime member of the executive leadership teams of the AEA STEM Education and Training Topical Interest Group (TIG) and the Use and Influence of Evaluation TIG. Her work focuses on evaluation of STEM education and workforce development programs for the US Department of Energy; other US government agencies; private and nonprofit organizations; and universities that target K-12 students and teachers, university students and faculty, and Ph.D.-level researchers.

Kimberle Kelly

Kimberle Kelly box with arrow

Project Manager and Senior Evaluator, Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Kimberle Kelly is a project manager and senior evaluator at Oak Ridge Associated Universities. She has more than 25 years of experience managing and directing research and evaluation outcome studies in education and mental health. As an expert in STEM education initiatives from cradle to career, she has worked in strategic partnerships to develop, fund, execute, advise, and evaluate programs designed to promote a diverse and highly skilled national STEM workforce. She is a founding member of the American Evaluation Association STEM Education and Training Topical Interest Group, and is currently the chair of the executive board.

Ann Martin

Ann Martin box with arrow

Project Manager and Evaluator, Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Ann Martin is a program evaluator and project manager located in Buffalo, NY, working for Oak Ridge Associated Universities. She has focused on STEM education and outreach projects for over 13 years and became an evaluator in 2011. She’s particularly interested in astronomy, space science, earth science interventions, authentic experiences for students and educators, and the use of social network analysis in STEM evaluations. Ann has been active in the American Evaluation Association STEM Education and Training Topical Interest Group since its founding, previously serving as the webmaster for 2.5 years and currently serving as the incoming chair.

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