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Enterprising Science

The Enterprising Science Project

The Enterprising Science project has now ended. Access copies of the Science Capital Teaching Approach or the Improving Science Participation policy recommendations  here. Follow the most recent work of the Science Capital team at UCL IOE here.


Enterprising Science is a five-year partnership between King's College London and the Science Museum, funded by BP (2013-2017). This research and development project uses the concept of ‘science capital’ (science-related qualifications, interest, literacy and social contacts) to understand how young people from all backgrounds engage with science and how their engagement might be supported. 

Our Research

Our research shows that the more science capital a young person has, the more likely they are to study science post-16 and to see science as 'for me'. Yet, our national survey shows that 27% of all 11 to 17 year olds have low science capital, particularly those from disadvantaged schools and communities. Low science capital limits their opportunities and outcomes in life, and contributes to the shortfall in young people in the UK choosing STEM subjects.


Enterprising Science research team:

  • Developed the conceptual framework of science capital
  • Examined the factors that influence science engagement and participation among young people
  • Worked in partnership with teachers to develop ways of building students' science capital

Our findings point to the importance of:

  • Identifying and valuing  their students' diverse funds of knowledge, (identities, expertise, interests and and experiences)
  • Linking these funds of knowledge to school science to make science education more meaningful, inclusive and relevant to students' lives
  • Reflecting on the ways in which students' contributions are valued
  • Broadening what counts as 'science' to help more students, particularly those from diverse backgrounds, feel able to participate

Our Funders

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BP provided £4.3 million to fund Enterprising Science, a partnership between King's College London and Science Museum, over five years (2013-2017). Find out more about BP and the BP Educational Service.












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