In 2011 the Wellcome Trust commissioned two reports to review what science learning opportunities exist outside schooling in the UK, who is engaging with them and what impact these activities have on young people’s interest in science.
These reports found that young people from low socio-economic status (SES) families are less likely to have access to informal science learning opportunities, which places them at an educational and, in the long term, economic disadvantage. The Wellcome Trust has therefore identified a need to conduct further research with young people from low SES families to establish how they can be best engaged with informal science learning opportunities.
The results of these two reports have been pulled together into a practically-oriented summary, which includes recommendations for applying this learning to informal science engagement.
This paper reviews the relevant literature and identifies areas where there are gaps in knowledge or where previous research needs updating.