Research & Evaluation

Public Impacts Mini-Exhibition Study Year 8 Summative Evaluation

Report date: May, 2013



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General Description: 

The Summative Study of the Nano Mini-exhibition took place during the spring and summer of 2012. After being observed during their Mini-exhibition experience, 455 visitors across six different partner institutions participated in surveys and interviews with NISE Net evaluation team members. This report begins by describing the key findings of the study in detail, with additional information about study methods, instruments, and two exploratory sub-studies found in the Appendices.

Major Findings: 

1. The estimated reach of the Nano mini-exhibition is sizeable and broad.

Conservatively speaking, an estimated 7.1 million people will come into contact with the mini-exhibition annually, assuming that a) all available copies are out on the floor, and b) all copies are displayed for an entire year, as required by the contract that all recipients sign.

2. Nano is successful in providing visitors with an engaging experience and in promoting visitor learning of nano concepts.

Visitor data across all study sites demonstrates that the mini-exhibition was successful across all of the indicators defined by the Nano design team, including sustained use, interest and enjoyment, social interaction, broad age range, further exploration, and learning about nano content.

3. Nano is successful within different types of institutions.

Examining the data by institution type reveals that Nano was successful in engaging visitors and promoting learning of nano concepts both in the science center context as well as the children’s museum context.

4. Nano shows promise for being successful for Hispanic visitors and visitors with disabilities.

Small exploratory studies conducted at four institutions provide insight into the experiences of visitors from these audience groups within their local contexts. While broad generalizations should not be made from this data, Nano did appear to be successful with the specific visitors who participated in these studies.

5. Network partners say Nano is catalyzing new and enhanced programming.

The vast majority of partners who responded reported implementing new or expanded programming as a result of the mini-exhibition.

Type of product(s) studied: 

  • Exhibit

Method(s) of data collection: 

  • interviews
  • observations
  • surveys


Gina Svarovsky, Juli Goss, Gayra Ostgaard, Nelda Reyes, Clara Cahill, Ryan Auster, and Marjorie Bequette

Associated product(s): 



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