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By Beth Hawkins on

Engaging all audiences with STEM: A science capital informed approach

Research around science capital highlights that there isn’t a single place, action or experience alone that will help improve engagement and equity around STEM. Our booklet pulls together science engagement and science capital research to answer the question, what role can informal learning environments play?

Museums, science centres, zoos, aquariums, and all other informal learning environments are places where attitudes and values towards science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) can be positively influenced. We all play our part in the learning and engagement ecosystem. Informal learning environments not only provide inspiring, engaging, and memorable experiences, they are also well placed to connect, support and complement other learning opportunities – in schools, at home, and out and about.

By working and experimenting with the guidance and recommendations from both science capital and science engagement research we, at the Science Museum Group, have been making sense of what we can do to use and apply the insights into good practice. The result of this work is summarised in our ‘Engaging all audiences with STEM: An equitable approach informed by science capital’ booklet.

The booklet shares how we have been working with the concept of science capital and the opportunities and benefits it can bring to informal learning environments like ours.

It also looks at some of the many practical questions and considerations that we can make to reflect on our STEM engagement experiences. It includes our core engagement reflection points, which are key ideas that are drawn from science capital and wider engagement research that should be considered when developing and delivering any type of audience engagement experience.

There is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach to using and applying research, and not all informal learning environments are the same. But we all have our own different opportunities in the work that we do, and ultimately, if we can all work together to make our STEM experiences accessible for the widest possible audiences, we can maximise the impact of what we do, for everyone.

5 comments on “Engaging all audiences with STEM: A science capital informed approach


    1. Hi Gabriela, what an honour that you would like to cite us and our work!

      If you are including something from the first version of our document, please cite:

      Science Museum Group (n.d.) Engaging all audiences with Science: Science capital and informal science learning.

      However, if you would like to cite the latest version of the document, please use this:

      Science Museum Group (n.d.) Engaging all audiences with STEM: An equitable approach informed by science capital.

      Thanks so much – please let us know if there is anything else we can help with.

      Best wishes,

      Science Museum Group Academy team

      1. Thank you Lauren! Sorry for the amount of messages. I am planning to use this material in the context of museums in Brazil. Thanks for the support

        1. No need to apologise! That’s fantastic. Please keep in touch as we would love to read your work once it is finished.

          Best wishes,
          Science Museum Academy team

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