I’ve wrapped up my work with the NEES REU program, and as my final assignment I wrote a report on the Folklife Festival evaluation. I didn’t have time to do an in depth analysis, but I did enough to report that the activity was overwhelmingly fun, and that people felt like it was worth their time (despite the incredible heat). Based on anecdotal evidence from previous activities with the mini-flume, we weren’t exactly surprised by these results, but confirmation is always nice.

What was surprising showed up in the demographic information. We had the expected breakdown of men and women, race/ethnicity, and even age. But when I tallied highest education level, half of the participants reported having at least a master’s degree. Now I have questions about how and why we got this interesting demographic breakdown. Is the activity more appealing to this demographic? Was the Festival what was more appealing and we just caught the demographic?

Or was there something in my recruitment method that would have resulted in this odd sampling?

Folklife only counted visitors so I don’t have access to the demographics of the larger population, so for now I have no way of answering these questions, but I will keep it in mind as I do more in depth analysis on the Folklife data.

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