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Building Bridges
This research project examines family experiences of science in relation to the ‘Building Bridges’ project run by the Science Museum in London. The project started in 2012 and involves year 7 pupils (aged 11-12), their teachers, and families across 20 schools in London and Reading. Pupils at these schools come from various backgrounds, including those that are under-represented groups at the Science Museum, such as certain socioeconomic and ethnic groups. The second phase of the project started with the 2015/2016 academic year and focuses on creating links between families, the Museum, and schools. The project reflects wide-reaching academic and public policy concerns highlighting the importance of engaging a more diverse range of people, including families, with science. This project focuses on families from under-represented visitor groups in particular. The project aims to answer three broad research questions: 1. How might families’ cultural references and values, including their interests and aspirations, affect their engagement with Western science? 2. How do families’ everyday conversations, activities, and skills relate to science content, process, and/or practice? 3. What is the impact of families’ involvement in the ‘Building Bridges’ project on their views, conversations, and activities related to science? All families in the proposed research will come from backgrounds that constitute under-represented groups at the Science Museum and have been part of the ‘Building Bridges’ project since the start of the 2015/2016 academic year. Their involvement thus far has included being provided with resources by the Science Museum (e.g., an activity book), as well as a visit from the Science Museum outreach team to the child’s school.
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