IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Louise Archer and Tim Peake explore what can be done to increase science participation

26 September 2019

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) professor Louise Archer has taken part in an event with British astronaut Time Peake at the UK Space Conference today (26 September).

Teacher and pupils in a science lesson

Professor Archer delivered a talk on why many young people don’t see science as a subject for them. She spoke about what can be done to tackle this through increasing and diversifying participation in the sciences.

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The talk examined research from the ASPIRES and APSIRES 2 projects which tracked the development of young people's science and career aspirations from age 10-19.

The IOE project revealed the barriers to young people participating in science. These include gender, race and socio-economic inequalities. Another barrier was the way in which school science can make it hard for many young people to continue with science.

The project has gone on to inform the policy and practice of many organisations who work to increase and widen participation in STEM.

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The conversation covered the importance of these findings and why outreach activity is so important. The participants also spoke about which types of outreach activity are most effective.

Professor Archer and Tim Peake were joined by Jeremy Curtis (UK Space Agency) and Jessica Leigh (student at Imperial College London) in the discussion.

The UK Space Conference ran from 24-26 September at the International Conference Centre in Newport, Wales.