Enterprising Science Project

 

Overview

Enterprising Science is a ground-breaking five year partnership between the Science Museum Group (Science Museum, London; National Railway Museum, York; Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester; the National Media Museum, Bradford), King's College London and BP.


Through outside-the-classroom and informal science learning approaches used by museums and science centres, the project aims help more young people find science engaging and will provide opportunities for their future aspirations and ambitions.


 

 

Enterprising Science is underpinned by the concept of 'science capital', a measure of the science-related qualifications, knowledge, interest, scientific literacy and social contacts that a person has access to. 

Building on research from the King's College London ASPIRES project and practical expertise from the Science Museum's Talk Science programme, the focus is on developing young people’s science capital and on understanding the relationship between school, home and museums to best support this. 

We strongly believe museums and science centres are in pivotal positions to help build science capital, by developing connections between teachers, young people, and their families. We support secondary schools to integrate engaging museum experiences and approaches into their teaching, and help them tap into their students' home-based knowledge and experiences to make science more meaningful and relevant to young people.

Since 2013 we have been busy working on several strands of research and development including:

  • collaborative design-based research with teachers and families;
  • action research CPD programmes with teachers and museum educators;
  • Talk Science teacher CPD
  • resource development; 
  • dissemination and publication. 

Throughout the project, we are creating an 'engagement toolkit' of activities, techniques, and experiences that will be shared with other museums, science centres, schools and CPD providers across the country and internationally.

Enterprising Science is delivered nationwide from the Science Museum in London, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, the National Railway Museum in York, and the National Media Museum in Bradford.

Visit the King's College London Enterprising Science webpage to find out more about this partnership and keep up to date with the outputs of the project research.

Visit our funder BP's minisite.

For more information about the project and the opportunities involved, please email us at: learningresources@sciencemuseum.ac.uk

 

Meet the Science Museum team

 

The Enterprising Science team at the Science Museum
  

Christopher Whitby
Learning Audience Researcher and Advocate
My favourite object in the Science Museum is…
...the trephination kit, used to drill a small hole into the skull as a means of curing a range of illnesses, including mental health problems, headaches, and even letting out evil spirits. What intrigues me about this object – apart from it being wonderfully gruesome – is how it shows that science is always changing, and what we believe to be true, or the best way of doing things is changing all the time (even if some people still practise this today). It is exciting to think that people are constantly researching, exploring, and altering the way we think about the world – that, and I would prefer another, less scary, way to deal with a headache.

Tanya Dean
Learning Resources Project Developer
My favourite object in the Science Museum is…
... Rowley's Original Orrery, which is one of the first orreries ever made. I love orreries; I have always enjoyed finding out about space, and they are such a great way to visualise the movement of the planets. The craftsmanship is amazing; I love the mechanical nature of it. It combines science with art, two of my favourite things, and reminds me of the Joseph Wright of Derby painting A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery 1766.

Micol Molinari
Learning Resources Project Coordinator
My favourite object in the Science Museum is…
...the Lockheed 10A Electra aircraft, because I love to imagine what it would have felt like to buy a ticket for its maiden voyage. The anticipation and excitement as we wait for takeoff on the runway… Are my fellow passengers talking to each other, giggling nervously? Are they in awed silence? Are we being told to fasten our seatbelts, like we are so used to today? It must have been amazing to be one of the first lucky passengers to fly in this awesome aircraft. Standing under the shadow of its wings I can be one of them.

Jane Dowden
Learning Resources Project Coordinator
My favourite object in the Science Museum is…
... a tiny bottle containing an original sample of William Perkin's Mauveine dye. The 18 year-old was trying to develop a cure for malaria when he produced this purple dye by accident. William’s ability to see potential in a failed experiment and his business ambitions led to the beginning of a whole new industry in synthetic dyes. And it means I can wear purple!

Beth Hawkins
Learning Resources Projects Manager
My favourite object in the Science Museum is…
... Antony Gormley's Iron Baby. I love how it is an unexpected art piece to find in the Science Museum, hidden on the floor between the display cases. It generates so much curiosity, so many questions and reactions, depicting something very fragile and beautiful and yet made from iron, a material that is so strong. I'm intrigued by how some people want to stroke and nurture it, whilst others kick it!

Kate Davis
Learning Resources Project Developer
My favourite object in the Science Museum is…
... the Vickers Vimy biplane.  This object blew me away when I first saw it! This was the first plane to fly non-stop all the way across the Atlantic Ocean and I couldn’t believe that I was actually standing underneath the genuine article.  The adventures that Alcock and Brown had during their flight are amazing and I wonder, if this plane could speak, what tales it could tell. 

Laura Bootland
Learning Resources Project Developer

My favourite object in the National Railway Museum is…
...the bullion box. This unremarkable looking object brings to life one of the most audacious crimes of the century: the First Great Train Robbery. In 1855, a train steamed out of London carrying £12,000 of gold bullion (over £2 million today) bound for France. During the journey, the boxes were carefully opened with copied keys, the gold switched for heavy lead shot and the boxes resealed. The heist wasn't discovered until the boxes arrived in Paris and it baffled the police.
Who had taken it? How had it happened? It might not look much, but this small wooden box filled with lead can tell an incredible story of love, betrayal and crime on the railways.