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By Beth Hawkins on

The launch of the new Science Museum Group Academy

Today we launched the Science Museum Group Academy - the brand new home for all our science engagement training.

This new Academy will bring together professionals from the formal and informal STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning sector, including teachers, museum/science centre professionals, and others involved in STEM communication to help engage the widest possible audiences with STEM.

Why have we set up the Science Museum Group Academy?

Helping people to find meaning and relevance in STEM is at the heart of what we do and as a group of museums, our mission is to inspire futures.

STEM can help broaden young people’s life choices and opportunities, and by helping more, and more diverse audiences to be inspired by and feel more connected with science, we can help to improve science participation across society. But, we can’t achieve this on our own, we need to create and support a community of good practice to maximise the impact of STEM experiences for the widest possible audiences.

The Academy builds on the legacy of the Enterprising Science project, where we worked in partnership with University College London, King’s College London and BP. This project used the concept of science capital to understand how people from all backgrounds engage with science and how their engagement might be increased through different science-related experiences. 

Academy course with facilitator at front with back facing the camera and teachers sitting at tables.

Our approach to training

The training is founded on our science communication and informal science learning experience of engaging a wide range of audiences with STEM – from contemporary science and hands on experiences to object interpretation and engagement – both in and beyond our museums.

Our hands-on, practical courses are underpinned by science capital and wider science engagement academic research and share our creative approach and philosophy to assisting discovery through active participation and social interaction.

Although the Academy is new, we have been delivering STEM engagement practitioner training for over a quarter of a century.  Over the past 5 years alone, we have delivered training to over 2,800 teachers across the UK and internationally (including Hong Kong, South Korea, and across Europe).

We have also trained STEM professionals from organisations including The Royal Society, training exhibitors for their Summer Exhibition, and the Royal College of Pathologists, as well as STEM professionals who support our events and programmes across the Science Museum Group including the Manchester Science festival and our Tomorrow’s World events.

Teachers sharing their guesses for what is in our Mystery Boxes.

New training spaces and an online hub…

As part of the launch of the Academy, we are opening two new training spaces. These will be in the Science Museum, London in October 2018, and the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester in late 2019.

As well as having these dedicated spaces, we will continue to deliver courses across all of our sites and throughout the UK and internationally.

To support the courses, we have also created a new Academy online hub which will share practical ideas, resources and research summaries on different aspects of science engagement.

The start of an exciting new journey…

The launch of the Academy is just the start of many new opportunities. We are excited about where the Academy could take us and what new partnerships and collaborations it will bring us…

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