Enterprising Science was a partnership across the Science Museum Group, University College London and King’s College London, supported by BP. This research and development project used 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 aims of the project
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 11–17 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 in the Science Capital Made Clear guide
Enterprising Science aimed 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 was a partnership of academics and practitioners working together to support schools and other professionals in engaging more young people with science. Our approach aimed 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 involved collaboration between schools, young people and their families, and museums and science centres.
The Science Museum Group provided practitioner-based expertise about outside classroom, museum and science centre learning. We explored 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 is helping us to maximise the impact of what we do for the widest possible audiences.
Find out more about science capital and the Science Museum Group
University College London & King’s College London
Enterprising Science was 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 was supported by BP.
Image credit: Enterprising Science Schools visit at the Science Museum in London. Science Museum Group Collection © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum