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Going beyond the one-off: How can STEM engagement programmes with young people have real lasting impact?

DeWitt, J; Archer, M; Davenport, C; Keenan, O; Coghill, L; Christodoulou, A; Durbin, S; ... Hou, L; + view all (2021) Going beyond the one-off: How can STEM engagement programmes with young people have real lasting impact? Research for All , 5 (1) pp. 67-85. 10.14324/RFA.05.1.07. Green open access

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Abstract

A major focus in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) public engagement sector concerns engaging with young people, typically through schools. The aims of these interventions are often to positively affect students’ aspirations towards continuing STEM education and ultimately into STEM-related careers. Most school engagement activities take the form of short one-off interventions that, while able to achieve positive outcomes, are limited in the extent to which they can have lasting impacts on aspirations. In this paper, we discuss various different emerging programmes of repeated interventions with young people, assessing what impacts can realistically be expected. Short series of interventions appear also to suffer some limitations in the types of impacts achievable. However, deeper programmes that interact with both young people and those who influence them over significant periods of time (months to years) seem to be more effective in influencing aspirations. We discuss how developing a theory of change and considering young people’s wider learning ecologies are required in enabling lasting impacts in a range of areas. Finally, we raise several sector-wide challenges to implementing and evaluating these emerging approaches.

Type: Article
Title: Going beyond the one-off: How can STEM engagement programmes with young people have real lasting impact?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14324/RFA.05.1.07
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.14324/RFA.05.1.07
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 Archer, DeWitt, Davenport, Keenan, Coghill, Christodoulou, Durbin, Campbell and Hou. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited.
Keywords: impact, schools, young people, interventions
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123574
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