Cutting edge science research to broaden youth participation in science & technology fields

16 February 2018

On 7 February, the first co-creation event of the Expanding (Event) Horizons project took place at Leiden University. Nearly 30 educators, scientists and consultants from diverse backgrounds, among whom API's Dr. Anna Watts designed inclusive projects for engaging students from underrepresented minority groups with educational Science and Technology activities.

This event marks the first step in a process of co-creation to design inclusive projects for engaging students with Science, Technology, Engineering  and Mathematics (STEM) activities. The participants identified key challenges during a brainstorm session and used these to design projects with fundamental science themes like gravity and light, that will engage students from all backgrounds, as well as parents, teachers and schools.

‘To include, not to exclude girls and minorities from other groups,’ said the participants. The co-creation session resulted in a wide variety of projects to inspire underrepresented minorities and girls from 9 to 16 years old from all backgrounds to interact with science, including outside of school – a multidisciplinary ‘Mission to Mars’ school project, science and maker clubs in informal learning environments, and teaching kits made by universities to share cutting edge science research.

Future sessions will focus on prototyping and evaluating educational STEM activities that are relevant to the target groups. These projects will contain engaging experiments and visual designs, including relevant role models. The activities will then be assessed, prototyped, tested in classrooms and reviewed by educators.

The start of Anna's presentation

Diversifying the science student population

The newly-launched Expanding (Event) Horizons project supports one of the National Science Agenda’s key goals: making the science student population in 2040 as diverse as the Dutch population. Using a process of co-creation, the project will develop STEM educational activities, centred on fundamental science themes of gravity and light. 

These topics will be used to stimulate youth participation in cutting-edge scientific research from underrepresented minorities and girls in the Netherlands. The project aims to reach children from 9 to 16 years old from all backgrounds.

Co-creation design for STEM education

A wide variety of projects were proposed, like a multidisciplinary ‘Mission to Mars’ school project, science and maker clubs in informal learning environments, and teaching kits made by universities to share cutting edge science research. These projects will contain engaging designs and experiments, include relevant role models and inspire to interact with science outside of school.

https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/news/2018/02/cutting-edge-science-research-to-broaden-youth-participation-in-science--technology-fields

Published by  Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy