The following case study discusses the development and evaluation of a traveling
science theater program produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota. This evaluation
was designed to study the effects of the traveling science theater programs on students
and teachers, but the study also assessed the effects on participating actors. The programs
were put on by the Science Museum of Minnesota actors at schools throughout greater St.
Paul and Minneapolis; program topics were nanoscale science, race, and animals at risk.
This case study examined the nanoscale science program and answered the following
questions: 1. How effectively does the program convey new information and generate
discussion on each topic? 2. How effectively do teachers incorporate the program topics
into their classroom and curriculum? 3. What do students and teachers gain from the
programs? 4. What effects do the programs have on classroom conversations for the
following 2 weeks? and 5. How does the process of creating a program and an evaluation affect the actors involved?
The outcomes of the first year of The Science Museum of Minnesota’s Traveling
Theater program were informative for future outreach efforts. The data show that the
initial traveling theater program has the capacity to educate students but requires further
support and clarity to have a greater effect on participating students.
This study also supports efforts to understand educational theater in its various
formats. While much work has been done to understand theater as being educational
through student production and participation on stage, it has not been thoroughly studied in the United States as a way to educate about other topics. This case study shows that
theater can educate by engaging audiences, both physically and emotionally.
University of Minnesota M.A. thesis. October 2010. Major: Recreation, Park, and Leisure studies. Advisors: Keith Russell, Jean A. King. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 111 pages, appendices A-G.
Cohn, Sarah Hopkins.
Evaluating the effectiveness of the Science Museum of Minnesota’s traveling theater program..
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.