11-14 years old (~Middle school aged)
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)
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.
The EE21 tool is used to measure outcomes for adolescent students engaged in environmental education programs with a focus on environmental literacy, 21st Century Skills and positive youth development. The 12 outcomes that the tool measures are enjoyment, place connection, learning, interest/motivation, 21st Century Skills, meaning/self-identity, self-efficacy, environmental attitudes, environmental behaviors, school behaviors, cooperation, and behavior change.
Positive Youth Development (PYD) Retrospective Scale
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.
Life Effectiveness Questionnaire
The Life Effectiveness Questionnaire (LEQ-H) is a survey used to measure personal development in several areas related to life effectiveness, or “a person’s demonstrated capacity to adapt, survive, and thrive” (Neill, 2008). The LEQ-H measures 8 domains, including time management, social competence, achievement motivation, intellectual flexibility, task leadership, emotional control, active initiative, and self confidence. The tool has been used to assess how outdoor education programs, including a variety of Outward Bound programs, influence a person’s self-perception of their skills in these areas.
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 .
Environmental Literacy Instrument for Adolescents
This tool measures four components of : , , , and .
Climate Change Attitude Survey
This survey measures attitudes about about acting to address . It can be helpful for programs educating about climate change to determine if the curriculum is effectively addressing attitudes.
Empathy Toward Animals Scale
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
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…
Environmental Identity Scale
The Environmental (EID) can be used to measure a person’s environmental identity, or their sense of connection to the natural world. It can be helpful to assess a person’s environmental identity because this identity can have a broad and lasting influence on their . The scale measures different aspects of a person’s environmental identity, including 1) self-identification (based on the extent and importance of an individual’s interaction with nature), 2) ideology (based on support for environmentally friendly lifestyle choices), and 3) positive emotions toward the environment (based on enjoyment obtained in nature).
Connection to Nature Index
This tool is useful for assessing children’s feelings about the natural world and their .