WCS is committed to advancing the fields of informal and formal science learning through rigorous program evaluation and educational research.
Our monitoring, evaluation and research activities include regular and ongoing data collection and analysis; using this data to improve the quality of our education programs; and contributing to the wider field of research in conservation and science education. WCS's current research efforts (detailed below) are focused on measuring long-term impacts of informal science learning at zoos and aquariums, and strategies that promote STEM interest amongst teens from communities traditionally underrepresented in science careers. Our research is supported by funding from government agencies such as the National Science Foundation, as well as private foundations.
Investigating the Long-term Impacts of Informal Science Learning at Zoos and Aquariums aims to identify the opportunities for and barriers to researching the long-term impacts of informal science learning experiences at zoos and aquariums.
The Visionmaker.nyc Astor Fund Partnerships is a three year project funded by the Brooke Astor Fund for New York City Education in The New York Community Trust. This program aimed to support teachers in implementing this groundbreaking digital platform in middle and high school classrooms and learn the most effective ways teachers can use it to improve the STEM knowledge and skills of their students.
Project TRUE (Teens Researching Urban Ecology) is a 5-year collaborative research study with Fordham University designed to better understand the factors that influence underrepresented high school youth in pursuing STEM majors in college.
Bridging the Gap
Bridging the Gap was a four-year research study and youth career development program. The study aimed to create a better understanding of how to increase the number of individuals from underrepresented minorities in zoo and aquarium STEM fields.
Outside-the-Box Professional Development
This project investigated the outcomes of a partnership between Lehman College, The New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo, which aimed to prepare future elementary teachers to teach science through nature.