NUSTEM Research and Evaluation Activities
The research interests of our research and wider NUSTEM teams and broad and multi-faceted. Three common interests of the group are:
Exploring Aspects of Science Capital
We find ‘science capital’ a useful concept for helping to shape the conversation about why (or why not) children and young people aspire to careers in STEM, yet as a large proportion of NUSTEM’s work is with young children in primary schools, we began by exploring how we could translate the study of science capital among our younger audiences.
We found that measuring science capital in younger children is challenging, and many elements can’t be adapted for use with younger children, without involving children’s parents or carers. However, elements of science capital we have explored among
Theory of Change Approaches
We have developed a Theory of Change (ToC) for increasing the diversity and number of young people choosing a career in STEM post-18, focusing on three key audiences: children and young people; their teachers and schools; and their parents and carers. This Theory of Change provides the theoretical underpinnings and context for the complex mix of interventions necessary to lead to a significant change in the number and diversity of those choosing STEM careers.
Our research continues to test and refine the Theory of Change, and expand the Theory of Change to additional audiences including employers and Higher Education.
Additionally we act as consultants to other organisations, charities or projects looking to develop their own Theory of Change.
Integrating and Improving Accessibility of Evaluation during Interventions
NUSTEM believe good evaluation is of exceptional value and importance to STEM interventions, helping us understand what works and what doesn’t, undercover unintended consequences of interventions, and in the continual improvement and refinement process. However we also understand that asking children to take part in research and evaluation activities can take time out of their education, and asking time-stretched teachers and families to do the same can be an unwelcome burden.
Therefore NUSTEM’s research is around developing evaluation models and tools that are well-integrated into project deliveries, with benefits to learning as well are necessary to evaluation. Some of our project’s in this area have involved:
The core members of NUSTEM’s Research Team are:
Other members of the NUSTEM team are also active researchers, and the team regularly collaborate with academic staff at Northumbria and other Universities on research activities. You can find out more about these research activities on our projects page.
If you would like to know more about our research or research findings, or discuss a research opportunity, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or with a member of our research team directly.
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