From exhibitions on contemporary science to periodic table tea towels in the gift shop, museums and science centres are brimming with science content.
With amazing authentic objects, cutting edge science stories and hands on experiences, museums and science centres are a rich learning resource that spark curiosity and show how science has transformed all our lives.
Science, technology, engineering and maths achieve incredible things, it can be exciting, awe inspiring, even entertaining and fun, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will automatically make a personal connection with it or feel that it is something for them.
Research shows us that many young people who enjoy science, grow up feeling that it is not for them.
We have found that many people see that science is just a subject that is taught in school and don’t see that it has any relevance to them beyond the classroom – yet in one form or another, it is part of our daily lives.
I’m not sure now when I first encountered science capital.
Whether it is on a school visit, as a family day out, or maybe through an experience online, there are many different reasons why museums and science centres are such great places for engaging people with science.
Over the past few months we, at the Science Museum, have been working in partnership with TES and the Arts Council England.
STEM engagement is at the heart of what we do in our museums, and science capital provides us with a research based insight which builds on our understanding of what influences and shapes people’s engagement and attitudes towards science.
In November 2016 we launched the first wave of our new and updated hands-on resources for use in the classroom or at home.
Science capital research has highlighted the need to create links between young people’s science experiences at school, home, and out of school (for example, in museums).