New education programme will inspire scientists of the future
A three-year initiative will help London schoolchildren into scientific careers.
The Museum is partnering with Ørsted (formerly DONG Energy), sponsor of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, to develop a new education programme called Generate: Scientists of the Future.
The initiative will explore the role that informal science-learning environments can play in students' science aspirations. Through building relationships with four schools over three years, it aims to help shape pupils' attitudes to and aspirations in science.
Generate: Scientists of the Future seeks to develop children's understanding of, interest in and connections to science, scientists and scientific careers.
The project will both raise awareness of the diversity of science-related careers and emphasise the role that science plays in everyday life - including in jobs that are not typically associated with science.
Initial research from King's College London found that only 15% of 10-to-14-year-olds aspire to become a scientist, despite 70% being interested in science.
Ørsted and the Museum will partner with four schools in Westminster and Lambeth, with the aim of making science more accessible for a diverse range of students. Classes will come to the Museum once a year, free of charge, for a full day of activities.
As well as exploring the Museum’s 80 million specimen collection, the students will also be given the opportunity to meet some of the world’s leading natural history and energy industry scientists.
The Museum will conduct research into the students' attitudes and aspirations in science before, during and after the visits. This will help study the impact of the Museum's interventions and students' engagement with scientists - thus providing invaluable insight for the science and museum sectors.
Matthew Wright, UK Managing Director at Ørsted says, 'Ørsted shares many of the same ambitions as the Natural History Museum in seeking to both safeguard our planet and inspire the next generation of scientists.
'Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our planet today and it is vital that we all take responsibility in protecting the place we call home.'
Ian Owens, Director of Science at the Museum, says, 'We are delighted to work with Ørsted, a company that is signaling its commitment to help protect the planet, not only through its continuing and generous support of the Museum, but also through the strides it has made on its journey to become a purely renewable energy company.'