Research and Evaluation

A longitudinal research study by Western University, conducted from 2013 to 2019, followed a cohort of 2,000 students, in schools with no prior participation in Scientists in School workshops. The study confirmed that experiencing our workshops in elementary school has an impact that lasts through high school. In open-ended survey questions and interviews, 289 Grade 10 to 12 students recalled the activities in various workshop topics experienced in their Grades 6, 7 and 8 years. This study, focused on students from high-needs communities, demonstrated the lasting difference that our innovative workshops have for youth STEM success. Students in this longitudinal research experienced two, four or six workshops before entering high school.

Here are some of the outcomes the researchers found from Grade 11 and 12 students surveyed that strongly showed lasting impact through high school:


Strongly agreed or agreed with the statement: “Scientists in School workshops in elementary school were an important part of learning about STEM.” The consistent reasons they gave were that workshops were an interesting and/or fun hands-on experience that increased their interest in STEM, understanding of STEM concepts, and awareness of careers.


of Grade 11 students who had six workshops in elementary school and 55% of Grade 12 students who had four workshops in elementary school responded that the workshops taught them skills that they were able to use in high school.

The study results showed that students from marginalized communities who had two Scientists in School workshops starting in Grade 6 and through to Grade 8 had highly positive responses for key outcomes: interest, confidence, and understanding the relevance of STEM in the world around them.

The degree of positivity for interest and confidence of the girls grew with multiple workshop experiences and it showed up in multiple STEM interest indicators the study probed for. With six workshops over three years, gender gap differences for a suite of STEM outcome indicators between Grade 8 girls and boys shifted from sizable to insignificant. The results below, from two questions and three years of Grade 8 classes data, illustrate this:

“Scientists in School workshops help me better understand the STEM we do in class”


10 Million Young Scientists Inspired Since 1989

Impact Story : Nicholas, Engineering Science student at the University of Toronto

“In all of these investigations, I felt a sense of wonder instilled in me by the program. I was always excited going into Scientists in School, as I knew I would learn so much more about what I had observed on my own in the outside world. From analyzing the construction of insects to the physics of simple machines, my curiosity was always reinforced by the omnipresent sense of wonder I felt while completing that day’s experiments and activities.”