Enterprising Science from BP, the Science Museum, University College London and King's College London
Enterprising Science is a five-year partnership between BP, the Science Museum, University College London and King’s College London. 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.
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 to engage more young people with science. Our approach aims to highlight the relevance of science to diverse 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. We support secondary schools in:
- identifying, valuing and linking their students' home-based knowledge, identities, expertise and experiences and linking these to science, to make science education more meaningful, inclusive and relevant to diverse students’ lives.
- developing pedagogies that build science capital within everyday science lessons
- making use of museum-inspired pedagogies and out of school learning experiences within science teaching.
The Science Capital Teaching Approach
The Science Capital Teaching Approach is designed to support teachers in helping students find more meaning and relevance in science and, as a result, engage more with the subject.
The ideas for the approach were co-developed and trialled over four years between Enterprising Science researchers and 43 secondary science teachers in England.
The Science Capital Teaching Approach teacher’s pack offers a comprehensive introduction to the approach, including exercises and photocopiable resources.
University College London and King’s College London
Enterprising Science is underpinned by the rigorous and evidence-based research carried out by teams at UCL and KCL.
Find out more about the UCL/King’s College London team and the project research.
The Science Museum is applying and delivering the UCL/King’s College London research in practice by supporting teachers, designing resources and developing a CPD programme and providing practitioner-based expertise about museum learning.
Find out more about the Science Museum's role in the project.
Enterprising Science: Talk Science
Enterprising Science: Talk Science, run by the Science Museum
Talk Science is an inspirational training course designed for secondary Science teachers across the UK to share innovative tools and techniques to engage and inspire discussion around contemporary science in the classroom.
The course draws on the Science Museum's expertise in developing contemporary science exhibitions and managing dialogue and debate.
Topics covered include: How Science Works, event formats, powerful questions, planning discussion lessons and facilitation skills.
CREST Award Scheme
CREST Awards, run by the British Science Association
CREST Awards are the only nationally recognised accreditation scheme for project work in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) for students aged 11-19 years.
Why register for CREST Awards?
- It's a way of getting nationally recognised accreditation for students' project work
- It provides evidence of problem-solving skills and challenges students to extend their work independently
- UCAS endorses the inclusion of CREST Awards achievements in personal statements. (UCAS website)
- It motivates students of all ages and abilities.
Engineering Development Trust (EDT)
BP supports three schemes run by EDT
Links teams of six 12 to 14 year-old students with companies to work on environmentally themed Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics projects.
Email Go4SET or phone 01707 393 323 for more information.
Engineering Education Scheme (EES) England and Scotland
Teams of four 16 to 17 year-old students work with local companies and universities on real scientific, engineering and technical problems (England and Scotland).
Email EESE or phone 01707 393 323 for further information.
Headstart provides hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) activities and engineering taster courses at some of the country's top universities to encourage young people into technology-based careers.
Business in the Community (BITC)
Business Class is a Government-endorsed programme which develops partnerships between schools and businesses
Business Class is a Government-endorsed programme which develops partnerships between schools and businesses. It is rooted in the needs of the school and underpinned by strategic support and collaborative action.
School and local business partners are grouped together, enabling them to meet on a termly basis to share best practice, identify common challenges and accelerate improvement.
BP is the National Champion for STEM for the Business Class programme.
Find out more about Business Class from BITC
STEM Learning Ltd
STEM Learning Ltd is the largest UK provider of STEM education support
STEM Learning Ltd (formerly the National STEM Centre and the National Science Learning Centre) provides world-class professional development activities and quality-assured teaching resources to support the teaching of STEM.
The website www.stem.org.uk houses the largest collection of resources and CPD activities in the UK.
Visit the website to access free resources and CPD activities.
Supported by BP, Project ENTHUSE increases access to professional development training
Project ENTHUSE is a unique partnership of government, charities and employers that have come together to ensure a world-leading STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education for all young people across the UK, regardless of background.
Project ENTHUSE funding enables teachers and others involved in STEM education subjects, from primary through to post-16, to access high quality, subject specific professional development throughout their careers.
You can also read our research report for the latest guidance on how businesses and other organisations can provide support and inspiration for STEM in schools.
SGOSS: Governors for Schools
SGOSS is a national charity set up by the Department for Education, specialising in recruiting skilled, committed and enthusiastic governors
Any school can visit the SGOSS website, create a profile, add their governor vacancies and list any specific requirements. SGOSS will then endeavour to match the school with suitable volunteers from its database - including some from BP. All SGOSS services are free to schools.
BP is a long-term supporter of SGOSS, helping to develop systems and processes for matching volunteers to governor opportunities in schools.