10 years and younger (~Elementary school aged and younger)

Participant Voice

Outcome General Methods or Ways to Create Your Own Method
Audience 10 years and younger (~Elementary school aged and younger), 11-14 years old (~Middle school aged), 15-18 years old (~High school aged), 18+ (Adult and older)
Method Photo-elicitation/Photovoice

This set of tools intend to help programs/organizations understand how participants experience their program(s). Because of the qualitative nature of the tools, this approach lifts up participants’ voice in their own words, as opposed to a closed-ended survey tool. These tools help capture the nuance and story of participant experience and can be useful for both internal understanding and external reports to funders, boards, members, and other key stakeholders.

DEVISE: Interest in Science and Nature (Youth)

Outcome Engagement
Audience 10 years and younger (~Elementary school aged and younger), 11-14 years old (~Middle school aged)
Method Questionnaires and surveys

Measuring interest in science and nature is one way to gauge participant . Developing a high interest in science and nature is key to developing youth’s as a science learner, sustaining engagement in the subject, and gaining their interest in science careers. This tool measures interest, which is defined by how much someone assigns personal relevance to a subject.

Positive Youth Development (PYD) Retrospective Scale

Outcome Positive Youth Development
Audience 10 years and younger (~Elementary school aged and younger), 11-14 years old (~Middle school aged), 15-18 years old (~High school aged)
Method Questionnaires and surveys

This is a very brief measure of (PYD) as conceptualized by the Lerner and Lerner Five Cs model of PYD (Lerner et al., 2015). The Five Cs model emphasizes that thriving youth are characterized by five Cs (competence, confidence, connection, character and caring). Youth who exhibit the five Cs are more likely to contribute to their families, schools, and communities, thus developing the “sixth C”, which is contribution.  

Lerner, R. M., Lerner, J. V., Bowers, E. P., & Geldhof, G. J. (2015). Positive and relational developmental systems. In W. F. Overton & P. C. Molenaar (Eds.), Theory and method. Volume 1 of the Handbook of child psychology and developmental science (7th ed., pp. 607–651). Editor-in-chief: R. M. Lerner. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Draw-an-Ecosystem Task

Outcome Environmental Knowledge
Audience 10 years and younger (~Elementary school aged and younger), 11-14 years old (~Middle school aged), 15-18 years old (~High school aged), 18+ (Adult and older)
Method Drawings/Journal Prompts

This tool, the Draw-an-Ecosystem task, takes a approach to . Participants draw and label an ecosystem before and after a program to measure their change in

Empathy Toward Animals Scale

Outcome Attitudes
Audience 10 years and younger (~Elementary school aged and younger), 11-14 years old (~Middle school aged)
Method Questionnaires and surveys

This tool has been used to measure youth’s attitudes toward animals during long-term programs at a zoo. It focuses on by exploring perspective-taking, respect, and concern for animals. Empathy is an environmental (outcome); developing empathy for animals can lead someone to take action on behalf of wildlife.

AWE Reflection Question

Outcome Sense of Place
Audience 10 years and younger (~Elementary school aged and younger), 11-14 years old (~Middle school aged), 15-18 years old (~High school aged), 18+ (Adult and older)
Method Drawings/Journal Prompts

This tool is a reflection question that can help participants consider what they felt during a program. It can be formatted as a journal prompt or exit slip. Have participants say or write down their responses to the following question to assess attachment to place:

When I spend time in waterways and trails near my home, I feel…

Connection to Nature Index

Outcome Nature Connectedness
Audience 10 years and younger (~Elementary school aged and younger), 11-14 years old (~Middle school aged)
Method Questionnaires and surveys

This tool is useful for assessing children’s feelings about the natural world and their