Science Museum Group announces new Academy of Science Engagement

Date: 12 March 2018

The Science Museum Group today announced a major new initiative with the support of BP to tackle the UK’s STEM shortage; the founding of an Academy of Science Engagement to improve and co-ordinate informal science learning across the country

By regularly bringing together museum professionals, teachers and STEM educators at sites in London and Manchester, the Academy will improve the quality and increase the provision of informal science learning experiences for the next generation of scientists and engineers.

The Science Museum Group Academy of Science Engagement will open its doors at both the Science Museum in London and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester this September. It will build on the legacy of Enterprising Science, a five-year partnership between BP, the Science Museum Group, King’s College London and University College London, that used the concept of science capital to understand how young people from all backgrounds engage with science and explore ways to increase their engagement. Science capital is a measure of your relationship with science, how much you value it and whether you feel it is ‘for you’ and connected with your life.

Research shows that the more science capital a young person has, the more likely they are to study science post-16. Yet national survey data shows that 27% of all 11 to 17 year olds have low science capital, particularly those from disadvantaged schools and communities. This limits their opportunities and outcomes in life and contributes to the shortfall in young people in the UK choosing STEM subjects.

Launching during the Year of Engineering, the Academy will support educators in helping students find more meaning and relevance in science and, as a result, engage more with the subject.

Susan Raikes, Science Museum Group Director of Learning, said: ‘Founding the Science Museum Group Academy of Science Engagement with BP enables us to strengthen and consolidate our work to increase science capital across the UK. By engaging a variety of educators across the whole spectrum, we can truly make a difference to the career chances of the next generation.’

Peter Mather, group regional president, Europe and head of country at BP, said: ‘In our industry and many others, the greatest challenges can only be tackled through STEM, but there is a shortage of young people studying STEM subjects. As the founding partner of the Academy of Science Engagement, BP are pleased to be working alongside STEM experts and influencers to encourage even more young people to engage in STEM for their future careers.’

For further information, please contact Simon Thompson on 020 7942 4357 or simon.thompson@sciencemuseum.ac.uk.

Notes to editors

About the Science Museum Group

We are the world’s leading group of science museums, welcoming over five million visitors each year to five sites: the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York; the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester; the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford; and Locomotion in Shildon. We share the stories of innovations and people that shaped our world and are transforming the future, constantly reinterpreting our astonishingly diverse collection spanning science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. Standout objects include the record-breaking locomotive Flying Scotsman, Richard Arkwright’s textile machinery, Alan Turing’s Pilot ACE computer and the earliest surviving recording of British television. Our mission is to inspire futures - igniting curiosity among people of all ages and backgrounds. Each year, our museums attract more than 600,000 visits by education groups, while our touring exhibition programme brings our creativity and scholarship to audiences across the globe. More information can be found at group.sciencemuseum.org.uk

About BP

BP is a global energy business with wide reach across the world’s energy system. The energy we produce serves to power economic growth and lift people out of poverty. In the future, the way heat, light and mobility are delivered will change. We aim to anchor our business in these changing patterns of demand, rather than in the quest for supply. We have a real contribution to make the world’s ambition of a low carbon future.

We have operations in Europe, North and South America, Australasia, Asia and Africa, and employ around 75,000 people.

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