Formative evaluations: Evaluation of process
Many evaluations o out-o-school time programming have been published. Research has demonstrated thatormative evaluations can improve the quality o programming (Brown & Kiernan, 2001). Oen conducted inthe early stages o program implementation, ormative evaluations typically use observational data, surveys, and/or interviews to determine whether the program is being implemented in accordance with its stated goals, andwhether it adheres to a positive youth development ramework. Participant satisaction is one element com-monly addressed. Formative evaluations could identiy challenges that may help the program to improve. Suchchallenges might involve structural issues (such as problems with attendance), sta development needs, issues o collaboration or other concerns (Scott-Little, Hamann, & Jurs, 2002). Additionally, ormative evaluation may beused in 4-H Science programs to see how closely they adhere to the recommended 4-H Science checklist, whichstates that programs should use inquiry strategies and an experiential learning approach, and should be deliveredby trained and caring adults who include youth as partners.
Summative evaluations: Evaluation of outcomes
A summative evaluation seeks to determine whether, or to whatdegree, youth who participate in a particular program achieve tar-geted outcomes. Summative evaluations are typically conducted onestablished programs, rather than in the frst ew months o programimplementation. Tey seek to identiy the impacts programs have ontheir participants.Te 4-H Science Initiative promotes the acquisition o a specifc set o science process skills within a ramework o positive youth develop-ment and based on the National Science Education Standards. Youthwho participate in 4-H Science programming are expected to improvetheir “Science Abilities,” a group o science process skills. Tese 30abilities, which include skills such as hypothesizing, researching aproblem, collecting data, interpreting inormation, and developingsolutions, are delineated on the 4-H Science Checklist, available athttps://sites.google.com/site/4hsetonline/liaison-documents/4-HSE-Checklist2009.pd . Youth in a 4-H Science-Ready program are alsoexpected to have the opportunity to develop mastery and indepen-dence, to be able to contribute and eel generosity, and to eel a senseo belonging within the group. Te acquisition o science content, thedevelopment o science process skills, and youth development out-comes are all possibilities or summative evaluation.
4-H science education programs help increase youth scientifcliteracy in nonormal educational settings to improve attitudes,content knowledge, and science process skills.