Melissa Ballard

Melissa Ballard is the Communications and Community Manager at the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE). Previously, Melissa was Senior STEM Manager at the Afterschool Alliance, a bipartisan advocacy organization where she worked to identify and support the needs of the afterschool field to offer STEM through research, partnership building, advocacy, and communications. Prior to that, she worked at a children's science center, developing a variety of STEM programs, training educators, and teaching students. Melissa has a background in industrial and operations engineering and liberal studies, earning a B.S.E. and a B.G.S. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


More about CAISE

CAISE works in cooperation with the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) Program to build and advance the informal STEM education field which includes media (TV, radio, film, social), science centers and museums, zoos and aquariums, parks, botanical gardens and nature centers, events and festivals, libraries, making and tinkering spaces, cyberlearning and gaming, and youth, community, and out-of-school time programs.


CAISE seeks to characterize, highlight and connect quality, evidence-based informal STEM learning work supported by a diversity of federal, local and private funders and regularly convenes inquiry groups, task forces, workshops and principal investigator meetings. CAISE also provides access to more than 8,000 (and growing) resources that include project descriptions, research literature, evaluation reports and other documentation on Members of the website have free access to numerous peer-reviewed journals in the learning sciences, science education, and science communication on EBSCO’s Education Source database.