Enterprising Science is a five-year partnership (2013-2017) across the Science Museum Group, King’s College London and University College London, supported by BP. This research and development project uses the concept of science capital (science-related qualifications, interest, literacy and social contacts) to understand how young people from all backgrounds engage with science and how their engagement might be supported.
The project aims
Research shows that the more science capital a young person has, the more likely they are to study science post-16 and to see science as ‘for me’. Yet national survey data shows that 27% of all 11 to 17 year olds have low science capital, particularly those from disadvantaged schools and communities. This limits their opportunities and outcomes in life, and contributes to the shortfall in young people in the UK choosing STEM subjects.
Science capital can help us to understand what influences and shapes people’s attitudes towards science (whether they see science as for them or not). Read more about the key ideas of science capital here: What is science capital? and the Science capital made clear guide.
Enterprising Science aims to engage more young people with science by:
- Increasing understanding about the factors that influence science engagement and participation
- Helping teachers to build students’ science capital
- Developing new approaches for engaging students from all backgrounds with science, particularly focusing on those from disadvantaged schools and communities
Enterprising Science is a partnership of academics and practitioners working together to support schools and other professionals in engaging more young people with science. Our approach aims to highlight the relevance of science to young people’s futures and find ways to connect school science with students’ diverse identities and lives. It involves collaboration between schools, young people and their families, and museums and science centres.
The Science Museum Group is providing practitioner-based expertise about outside classroom, museum and science centre learning. We are exploring ways to develop and adapt a science capital approach for the informal science learning (ISL) sector through developing new tools and approaches to engage all of our audiences with science. This will help us to reach out to new and diverse audiences.
Find out more about science capital and the Science Museum group here.
University College London & King’s College London
Enterprising Science is underpinned by evidence-based research carried out by University College London and King’s College London. Find out more about the project research and teams at University College London and King’s College London.
Enterprising science is supported by BP. Find out more about BP’s role in the project and their commitment to STEM education.