Tomorrow’s Engineers Live takes place next week and in sight of this, Sarah Hamilton, EngineeringUK’s Senior Evaluation Manager, has written a blog about how understanding evaluation can help to improve engineering outreach.

“At EngineeringUK we have been looking again at how we can step up the evaluation of our programmes to develop stronger evidence for what works in engineering engagement. Robust evaluation is essential for demonstrating the value of programmes, but we want to push further to use evaluation to build the evidence-base for what makes engineering outreach effective.

“In 2021, EngineeringUK published the Impact Framework for the engineering outreach sector which suggested that by improving young people’s capability, opportunity and motivation we can shift their behaviour towards further study of STEM subjects and ultimately to pursuing STEM careers. This model (the COM-B model – capability, opportunity, motivation - behaviour) helps identify the short-term outcomes needed to achieve this long-term goal, and how we can measure them. It also forms the basis for a theory of change – a logic flow of inputs, activities and outcomes for what works in engineering outreach to achieve our intended impact.

“So, how can we use this starting point to both measure and improve our success in achieving our ambitions for engineering engagement? Evaluation should be more than a mechanism for scoring our efforts. It should be the driver for ever-improving practice and a deeper understanding of how to achieve our long-term goals.”

Read the full blog.

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