Aims of ASPIRES 2 Participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is an international priority issue for government, industry and the science education policy and practice community. There is widespread concern that participation in STEM needs to be improved for reasons of both national economic competitiveness and social equity. ASPIRES 2 will extend the unique dataset developed by the first ASPIRES study. Building on our previous research, we are continuing to track our students over the crucial next five years in order to understand the changing influences of the family, school, careers education and social identities and inequalities on young people's science and career aspirations. Crucially, we will relate these to their actual subject choices and attainment in national examinations in Year 11 (GCSE) and their post-16 choices.This tracking of young people's aspirations and educational outcomes comprises the crucial 'final link' in our longitudinal project, and will have strong bearing on educational policy and practice. The ASPIRES 2 project aims to address the following five questions:
- How are students' educational and occupational aspirations formed, and how do they change, over time?
- How are subject choices and (GCSE) attainment related to aspirations, and how are these patterned over time?
- How are aspirations shaped by families and schools (including experiences of school science and careers education)?
- How are aspirations shaped by gender, class and ethnic identities?
- How can findings be translated for stakeholder audiences, specifically for policy-makers/intermediaries, teachers, students and parents/families?
To find out about our findings so far, see our publications page.