Discussion Series

Discussion Series

The STEM TIG Discussion Series is a series of facilitated, virtual discussion sessions that engage participants in timely topics within STEM Education and Training Evaluation. Sessions engage participants in discussion with colleagues, support reflection on our own professional practices, and foster new relationships across the field. 

The discussion sessions are open to everyone, and it is not necessary to be a member to participate. We also welcome suggestions for discussion topics and facilitators. Please contact the Discussion Chair with any questions or ideas.

2022 Discussion Chair: Melissa Demetrikopoulos

Note: The TIG also hosts Happy Hours for fun conversations with colleagues interested in STEM education and training.

2022 Schedule

Discussion sessions in 2022 will be held on select Thursdays from 3:30pm to 4:30pm CST. Register here to receive the Zoom link for the discussion sessions. Stay tuned for more details.


  • February 24
  • March 24
  • May 26
  • August 25


March 24, 2022

  • Facilitators: Karyl Askew, David Sul, Angelicque Tucker Blackmon
  • Culturally Specific Assessment as a Tool of Self-Determination in Program Evaluation
  • Time and location: 3:30-4:30pm CST via Zoom (register here)
  • Details: The Center for the Advancement of STEM Leadership (CASL) aims to move historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) from the margins to the center of the conversation on STEM higher education reform. Through the development of the Soul of HBCU STEM Leadership assessment, CASL is working to broaden the lens of who is a STEM leader, and, necessarily, to expand the definition of STEM leadership. Centering of our work is a culturally specific assessment design process grounded in creative elicitation strategies. Join us to learn more about what this means in terms of granting autonomy, self-determination, voice, and power to members of the community for which program evaluators design assessment instruments.
March 24, 2022 Discussion Series Flyer

February 24, 2022

  • Collaborative Proposal Development – Discussing the Evaluation 2022 Conference theme, "(re)shaping evaluation together," and possible collaborations for proposals.
  • Time and location: 3:30-4:30pm CST via Zoom (register here)
  • Details: We will work together to plan presentations for the Evaluation 2022 conference. Everyone is encouraged to attend. This will allow individuals to collaborate on a strong proposal for the conference. The intersecting strands for this year's theme are: 1) equity, social justice, and decolonization in evaluation; 2) digital data and technology for evaluation; and 3) new funders and social finance in evaluation.These three areas are often approached and addressed with siloed, vertical thinking which limits comprehensive, holistic and systematic solutions. Evaluation 2022 invites you to move beyond these artificial barriers and consider how to integrate, reconsider and reimagine a new future together. It prompts us all to cultivate genuine relationships and thinking that allow us to reach across our own schools of thoughts, personal communities and networks with humility and curiosity. Questions that will run through these groups are:
    • What implications do these areas of work collectively have on evaluation theory and practice? 
    • Where are the bright stars that show us a new, more integrated, way forward? 
    • How should we rethink our own role and personal biases, particularly in creating harm, throughout the evaluation lifecycle?
    • Who are the new actors and players in these spaces and how does that shift the what, how and why of evaluation? 
    • What new risks should we (evaluators) be considering as these areas continue to evolve?

February 24, 2022 Discussion Series Flyer

    2021 Schedule

    October 22, 2021

    • Facilitators: Elisabeth Johnson, Michelle Burd, and Marya Fowler
    • Navigating Tension Points: Responsive Facilitation for Informal STEM Learning with Youth
    • Presentation slides
    • Details: Responsive facilitation is central to utilization-focused evaluation. During this session, our facilitators will reflect on the role of responsive facilitation (i.e., listening, dialogue, and action) in designing and revising a four-part evaluation workshop series with a national non-profit leader in conservation education for youth. Drawing on the conception of facilitation as work with creative tensions, we’ll reflect on navigating emotional, adaptive, contextual sensitivities relevant to STEM education evaluation, such as: tensions between standardized testing outcomes and informal science education practices, program logic models and organizational theories of change, and knowledge bases for environmental education of children and youth. Implications for theory and practice in K-12 STEM evaluation will be shared and discussed.
    Navigating Tension Points webinar on October 22, 2021

    June 16, 2021

    • Effective Evaluation during the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • Jamboard discussion notes
    • Details: An engaging conversation about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our work as STEM education evaluators and how we can shift our evaluation practices in response. Come discuss your own experiences and hear from colleagues about how they are approaching these issues and more.
      • How can we analyze and present data in ways that address the impacts of COVID-19?
      • How can we discuss the implications of COVID-19 on project outcomes with clients?
      • How can we frame evaluation findings in reports for funders in light of the impacts COIVD-19 has had on educational programs?


    April 21, 2021

    • Facilitator: Melissa K. Demetrikopoulos
    • Focus Group Intentional Composition and Representation
    • Details: Dr. Demetrikopoulos will facilitate a discussion on how decisions made about the composition of focus groups and the representation of the study's larger population impacts the evaluation outcomes. 
    Discussion led by Melissa K. Demetrikopoulos: Focus Group Intentional Composition and Representation

    February 17, 2021

    • Collaborative AEA Conference Proposal Development
    AEA STEM TIG discussion series flyer February 17 at 4pm EST

    2020 Schedule

    October 13, 2020


    August 18, 2020

    • Facilitator: Cherie Avent
    • Language and Equity in STEM Evaluation Practice