Growing capacity: Building an Evaluation Framework

Growing capacity: Building an Evaluation Framework is a two-year initiative that will provide Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden staff with the knowledge, skills, and tools to build evaluation capacity. As a botanical garden that serves a diverse and robust multiethnic community, Fairchild believes they have a responsibility to continuously improve how they build positive environmental attitudes and dispositions, as well as a sense of STEM identity within their community. In partnership with the Institute for Learning Innovation, Fairchild is creating an evaluation strategic plan and utilizing evaluation results to direct, shape, and improve outcomes.


The goals are to:

  1. Train staff to have the knowledge and skills to successfully conduct evaluations to use shared tools and outcomes that are appropriate for the ages, diversity, and experiences of visitors who participate in our programs. Training sessions and tools will be co-developed so all participating staff gain a sense of ownership and efficacy in the uses of evaluation.
  2. Develop an evaluation strategic plan for Fairchild’s Education department using shared outcomes and tools.
  3. Create evaluation capacity building and community collaboration, to (A) understand the depth of participant experiences, (B) learn about the many ways visitors (particularly youth) participate over an extended period, and (C) create opportunities for learning how the visitor’ experience fits into the larger landscape of STEM experiences in the South Florida community.
  4. Utilize evaluation findings to continuously improve programs, enrich the current visitor experience, and connect new and diverse communities.


To achieve the outlined goals, this project seeks to provide cross-department training of Fairchild staff over two years. This proposal is one initiative to address how Fairchild can better understand and meet the needs of their diverse community.


Project Team: Monae Verbeke Ph.D.