Practice Papers

Document Type

Conference Paper


Much previous research and evaluation has been conducted of STEM Outreach activities in schools using quantitative approaches. Surveys in particular are popular as they are low-cost and time-saving. However, quantitative methods are limited in that they do not generally generate deeper insights into students’ experiences in STEM; usually lacking rich detail about the context and complexity of the data being analysed. Hence, this paper proposes a different approach to evaluating STEM outreach: a unique multi-method, qualitative approach.

Starting with the Research Question “How to qualitatively evaluate STEM outreach in Engineering Education?”, this paper is grounded in ongoing doctoral research that addresses a substantial gap in knowledge pertaining to how STEM outreach is evaluated. This methodological gap became apparent during the Pandemic when STEM activities were offered, yet there was not a robust way of evaluating the children’s experiences. This paper outlines a qualitative research design that employs a Multiple Case Study approach with Grounded Theory. It argues that a qualitative design can be used to acquire an in-depth understanding of data that is both insightful and unique. The paper adds to knowledge in the area of methodological design within engineering education research, and such data can then be used to inform the provision of future STEM outreach. Furthermore, the researcher’s ongoing fieldwork experience is also reflected to identify the unique challenges in the methodology execution. The insights on how to address these challenges can support academics in Engineering Education Community to engage in qualitative research.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.