Working with the youth sector
We’re working with the youth sector to help give young people from disadvantaged backgrounds more opportunities to engage with and take part in science activities outside school.
On this page
Why it’s important
Youth organisations can reach, support and inspire disadvantaged young people in a way that schools and informal science providers sometimes can’t.
We know that science can excite and inspire young people, as well as giving them skills and opportunities to improve their futures. That’s why we’d like youth organisations to include more science activities in their programmes, in addition to sports and the arts.
We want young people to have more opportunities to access and enjoy science on their own terms. We believe that this will help to challenge the idea that 'science is not for people like me'.
What we’re doing
Curiosity: a £2 million funding scheme
We’ve partnered with BBC Children in Need to launch Curiosity, a £2 million funding scheme. Its aim is to help youth organisations develop and deliver inspiring science activities for disadvantaged children and young people in the UK. Some of the organisations will be trying out these activities for the first time.
Following an initial round of funding, our final round of funding is offering grants of up to £120,000 over three years.
Find out more about the Curiosity scheme and read our report, The role of informal science in youth work: findings from Curiosity round one.
Engaging with the youth sector
Our report, The context of youth workers [PDF 722KB], explores what motivates youth workers, what their priorities are, and some of the challenges they face.
It includes a guide, How to communicate with youth workers [PDF 740KB], intended for science communicators to use if they want to engage with the youth sector to develop or run informal science learning activities for disadvantaged young people.
Support for youth workers
If you’re a youth worker, and want to develop and use science-related activities in your programmes, see tips and examples from the pilot training scheme we ran for youth workers from the Prince’s Trust Fairbridge programme.
- ‘STEM-ulating’ Youth Workers [PDF 695KB] – how the training scheme worked.
- ‘STEM-ulated’ Youth Workers [PDF 865KB] – how the youth workers have been putting their training into practice.
Our report, Context matters for disadvantaged young people and informal science activities [PDF 1.1MB], explores the impact of informal science activities on young people when delivered by youth workers.
- Diversity and inclusion – making science and health research open to anyone with a great idea – is one of our priority areas.
- Find out more about the work we’re doing to support informal science learning.
- Our study, Experiments in engagement [ZIP 1.8MB], identifies ten steps to successfully engage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with informal science activities.