The BBC, in partnership with Wellcome, has launched a new campaign aimed at inspiring primary age children to become excited and enthused about science.
The campaign is called Terrific Science and will run for 18 months across the UK.
Currently, fewer than 15% of 10-14 year olds state that they have aspirations to become a scientist, and girls are even less likely to consider a science related career.
By targeting children still at primary school, this campaign hopes to inspire children to become excited by science from a young age, and to carry this inspiration into their GCSE, A level, University and career choices.
Careers advice and guidance also has a vital role to play in supporting this campaign. Children need to have their eyes opened as to where science can take them – it isn’t all about becoming a Scientist!
CASCAID has 1.5m current users of our cloud-based careers guidance services and through this we can gain unparalleled insight into the career interests and choices of young people in the UK. Using this data we are have a clear picture of the understanding and interests of young people in relation to the world of work and potential career paths.
Data taken from our 2016 report, ‘Career Big Data: Mining young people’s interests and choices to improve outcomes’, reveals a similarly bleak picture regarding the understanding of the importance of science, from amongst our young users.
Our data reveals that no traditional science careers appear in our ‘Career Exploration Top Ten’ or ‘Career Shortlisted Top Ten’ (with the possible exception of Doctor).
When using our careers guidance services, we ask our users to state which work activities they like and dislike, so that we can match them to an appropriate career. The top ten work activities which appeal least to young people include:
- Begin interested in Chemistry
- Being interested in Physics
- Using maths to solve technical or scientific problems
*use the link below to view the full report
Research reveals that under the age of 9, children are excited and fascinated by science – but something happens from the ages of 10-14 to dampen that enthusiasm. This Terrific Science campaign will certainly go a long way to helping to maintain this young enthusiasm and take it further.
Studying science can open up a whole world of opportunity – there are hardly any areas of work that won’t benefit from a knowledge and understanding of science. We need to get this message across to young people – science is exciting and can take you to places you may not have thought about. We need to remove the image of the person wearing a white lab coat, safety goggles, leaning over a test tube (although this can be a relevant image for some careers!), and replace it with visual representations of the science relevant career areas below:
- Charity Work
- Writing and Publishing
- Armed Forces
- Computer Games
- Low-carbon careers
- Film/TV/Music Production
- Hair and Beauty
- Space Industry