Winchester Science Centre announced as partner in national programme to encourage more diversity in science

Winchester Science Centre is delighted to announce that it has been selected as a partner for a new national programme to increase diversity and inclusion in science.

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Winchester Science Centre is one of only 15 science centres and museums nationally who will be delivering initiatives as part of the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres and the Science Museum Group's ‘Science Capital in Practice’ programme. This programme is part of the Science Museum Group Academy, which focuses on embedding good practice informed by the latest science capital research, to enable children and adults from a more diverse range of backgrounds to participate in science-related experiences and feel that science ‘is for me’.

Research into science capital, has been led by the work of Professor Louise Archer and her team from University College London and King’s College London. Science capital is a measure of our engagement or relationship with science and is made up of what you know about science, how you think about it, what science-related activities you do and the people you know who use and talk about science.

As one of the selected centres, Winchester Science Centre will receive a grant, training and additional resources to facilitate them to apply the concept of ‘science capital’ to their STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) engagement activities with their local communities, families and schools.

Winchester Science Centre was chosen as one of the selected partners after impressing the panel with a programme to widen participation in STEM on the Isle of Wight. The grant will be used specifically to fund the development and execution of a comprehensive evaluation plan for this project.

This programme builds on the Science Centre’s other inclusion programmes, including a three-year partnership with priority schools in Southampton, funded by The Goldsmiths’ Company, to build science capital. The announcement was made on 18 March, at the Manchester launch of the Science Museum Group Academy at the Science and Industry Museum.

Karen Davies, Head of Learning Research and Resources, Science Museum Group, said: “We were hugely impressed by the quality of proposals we received and are delighted to be working alongside the 15 partner organisations to build a community of good practice across the country. This is a great opportunity to test ideas informed by the research that will have longer term benefits for the centres, and which allows those audiences they engage with to feel that science, and science centres and museums, are for them.”

Dr Penny Fidler, CEO of The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC) said: "We are delighted to be a key partner in this national programme. Championing diversity and inclusion in science is at the heart of what ASDC and the Science Centres and museums do daily. This programme will support centres to nurture the scientific talents and entrepreneurial minds across our whole population, not just those who are already interested."

This programme has been made possible through the Science Museum Group Academy’s founding partner, BP, who also funded The Enterprising Science Project which focused on much of the early academic work on science capital.