From The Character of Science

Engaging young people with STEM: A Science Capital approach

Prof Louise Archer provides an overview of her teams' extensive research on equitable science engagement with young people (in and out-of-school), focusing particularly on the concept of Science Capital and how this helps explain patterns in science participation and inform ways to support engagement.

Engaging young people with STEM: A Science Capital approach

8th February 2021

We were honoured to host Prof Louise Archer for an edition of the SER Seminar Series. Jon Roberts, whose PhD was supervised by Prof Archer, hosted this installment of our recurring series.

Seminar summary:

Improving representation and widening participation remain important goals of both science education and science engagement. The concept of Science Capital can help us understand patterns in terms of why particular people feel engaged with science while others feel excluded and see science as something that is ‘not for me’.

Drawing on extensive empirical findings from three major studies (the thirteen year ASPIRES longitudinal study; the Youth Equity+STEM project; and research conducted in partnership with teachers to develop the Science Capital Teaching Approach), Prof Louise Archer, The Karl Mannheim Chair of Sociology of Education at the Institute of Education, UCL will provide insight into what Science Capital is and how it has been operationalised in a wide range of contexts, including informal science learning settings (e.g. science centres, zoos, STEM clubs) and school classrooms.

Watch the full seminar here:

Click here to open a new window to our Vimeo page, where this video can be downloaded.



Archer L (2021). Engaging young people with STEM: A Science Capital approach. Invited speaker as a part of the Society and Ethics Research Seminar Webinar Series. 8 February. Online