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What is Evidence X?

Evidence X aims to bridge the evidence gap within the STEM ecosystem by providing current, accessible, and practical information for the design, implementation, and evaluation of STEM programs. The initiative also seeks to establish uniformity in assessing the success of these programs, working towards the development of a prototype STEM Evidence tool to inform interventions.

  • facilitate a co-design process with key audiences and stakeholders
  • demonstrate evidence-based linkages between key STEM outcomes and interventions by beneficiary type
  • assist the STEM education sector to design programs with impact and enable streamlined and comparable assessment of program effectiveness
  • enable efficiencies for designers, funding organisations, teachers and education specialists when determining which approaches to STEM education are most likely to lead to success.

This process will identify vital signals, indicators and measures of success for students and teachers in STEM. It will produce innovative, flexible prototypes for collecting and sharing this essential data. And, it will explore and test impactful narratives of change, derived from evidence, to guide future interventions and improvements.


International and Australian research has emphasised the growing need for STEM skills and advanced STEM literacy to meet the technological advances that will ultimately change the nature of work (Office of the Chief Scientist, 2020; National Academy of Sciences, National Academies of Sciences‚ Engineering‚ and Medicine, 2016).

Evidence X will enable clearer assessment and decision making on the effectiveness of STEM interventions.

In Australia, as in many other Western countries, participation in STEM is declining at all points in the STEM pipeline (ACER, 2019), particularly in terms of under-represented groups including women and girls, Indigenous people, low SES and those living in regional and remote areas (Office of the Chief Scientist, 2020; Kricorian et al, 2020).

There is a lack of research evidence regarding how to attract and retain students in STEM, which is partly due to the complexity of measuring key constructs in STEM education (Saxton et al, 2014) as it is an emerging and mostly ill-defined field (Li et al, 2020).

In addition, the evidence that is available is not being utilised effectively to design programs and interventions that enact change.

Restrictions in terms of time, resourcing, funding and staffing also limiting the effectiveness of programs (Lowrie et al, 2017).

This has resulted in myriad programs, often with unclear core objectives, making measurement and attribution of impact difficult.

CSIRO has engaged Portable to support in the delivery of Evidence X. Your involvement in this project is crucial, and we welcome your questions or expressions of interest.

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