Title: Inspiring Minds Research-engaged STEAM Outreach: Affecting Attitudinal and Attainment Change Through Interdisciplinary Outreach
Stream: Nurturing Creativity & Innovation: New, Innovative & Radical Education
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Finley Lawson, Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom
Stefan Colley, Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom
Berry Billingsley, Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom
There is global agreement that we need to increase the number and diversity of people studying STEM. When this is considered alongside the role of “sustained and progressive” activity in shifting students’ aspirations and attainment, a picture emerges that suggests a need for more research-engaged widening participation practice.
The Inspiring Minds Programme was developed in 2017 as a collaboration between the School and College Engagement Team and the LASAR Research Centre at Canterbury Christ Church University. The aim of the collaboration was to design a STEAM programme that reached students who felt disconnected from their experience of STEM and, assess if the development of an outreach programme built on research-informed pedagogy (epistemic insight) could affect attitudinal and aspirational shifts in the young people attending.
This paper reports data from a mixed methods study with over 400 participants in the Inspiring Minds programme, including re-engagement data with 70 students and quantitative attainment data through a matched comparator study of 47 students from the first cohort. Initial data analysis shows statistically significant shifts in students’ aspiration and future participation in HE. Furthermore, an independent impact study by HEAT on Key Stage 4 (age 16) examination results shows that the attainment difference cannot be attributed to a higher baseline level of attainment. Rather, participants had ‘further to travel’ having started from a lower baseline at Key Stage 2 (age 10), despite this they were more likely to achieve a 9 to 4 pass in English, Maths, and science than non-participants.
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