Reaching the under-served and growing population of home-educated students

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: School of Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

Our main aim is to reach the under-served community of the Home Educated students and families, and increase
their science literacy to facilitate their full participation to the science debate and decision making process of future technologies.

In particular we aim at:
1. Increasing the number of home educated students taking physics and maths at GCSE
2. Conveying to them and their families the excitement of STFC cutting edge science
3. Adding specialised physics knowledge to their curriculum, related to STFC science
4. Enhancing their experimental skills when working in a real laboratory environment
5. Showcasing new possibilities and varieties of careers
6. Increasing awareness of what scientists do, their motivations and work ethic
7. Providing a platform where home educated children can meet and share
8. Creating links with the home educated students and their families beyond the workshop days

By engaging with home-educated-students families, our educational impact will be on the whole home educated family and not only on the students, as it will encourage science discussions to enter the family life. This will improve science literacy of family members that might not otherwise have chosen to engage with science.

Planned Impact

We have strong links with many University outreach officers via The Ogden Trust. We participate in the annual meeting for Ogden Outreach Officers and we have previously trained many Ogden Outreach Officers in delivering our own workshops.
We will inform the Odgen Trust officers about our events/workshops and any successful outcomes of this project.
We have strong links with the Institute of Physics. We are members of their Outreach and Public Engagement Network (OPEN) and participate in their meetings, often presenting our work and relevant workshops.
We have strong links with the STEM ambassadors programme and have run training workshops for members of the STEM ambassadors community.
We plan to present this new initiative at IoP, Odgen Trust, STEM meetings so that other institutions and Universities can think of getting involved with the home educated community.

We aim to publish our resources online, thus allowing others to download and use them easily (e.g.
https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/physics/outreach/primary-schools/particle-physics-workshop.aspx)
We will put an article/advert into one of the magazines/websites that home educated families use to get information.
We will benefit from the existing networks to spread the news of the project on social media.
We have recently started a mailing-list for Home Educated families which was joined by 44 families on its first day and has currently 75 families, growing at a constant rate of a few families per week. This list will allow us to have direct links with the more local families, spreading the word for further family engagement with the University.

We publish papers in educational journals, such as Physics Education, and we present our work in conferences, on the sessions for outreach (e.g. EPS-HEP 2017). We plan to publish at least 3 papers in educational journals, in collaboration with our network coordinators, summarising the impact of the project. We aim to present this project at the Education sessions of main particle/astro/nuclear Conferences before the end of the three years.

Publications

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