This 90-minute workshop gave delegates the opportunity to reflect on the morning's discussion, and work in groups to discuss their public engagement challenges and share insights, learnings and ways of working together. In doing this, the participants came up with a core list of challenges facing the STEM engagement sector, and recommended solutions.

 

Challenges

  • Poor perceptions, particularly of vocational routes
  • Diversity (lack of)
  • Need to change the environment around a person as well as that person’s perception and understanding
  • Lack of sustained funding
  • Difficulty in persuading employers to give up employee time
  • How to scale: a single engagement has limited impact
  • Too many initiatives targeting schools and too much competition across the landscape in general competition
  • Engagement delivered in silos, not joined up

 

Solutions

  • Create more opportunities and events where larger organisations and smaller, independent providers can meet to coordinate and align activities 
  • All get behind the same initiatives that work – drop own agendas sometimes
  • Engage parents and teachers as well as young people  
  • Make all interventions audience centred and co-created
  • Build a bigger, centralised, evidence base, to share information on what works
  • Use a shared evaluation tool
  • Define a shared vision

 

Further information and links

Event partner The Engineer's summary of the event

More information about the ASPIRES project a longitudinal research project studying young people's science and career aspirations.