Sophie has a background in informal science education and engagement, having worked on interdisciplinary science engagement and education projects as a producer and evaluator since 2016. This work has spanned freelance environmental workshops, youth centre projects, facilitating ecological field work and public engagement funded activity.
Currently Sophie is studying for her PhD part-time alongside her role as Research & Learning Coordinator at Science Gallery Dublin where she helps design and deliver programmes for 15-25 year olds. She is funded jointly by the LISS DTP and the Rosalind Driver scholarship. Her roles beyond King's College London and Science Gallery are as a contributing member of Science London, and as Curator and Producer of Einstein's Garden for Green Man Festival and Plant Pot Ltd.
Thesis title: How does non-formal environmental education influence young people's perceptions of their role in environmental action?
Sophie hopes to explore non-formal environmental education (EE) programmes in order to build an understanding of how these activities, the topics they address, and the processes they use to do so, influence the ways in which young people feel about the environment and their role within it. To do so, Sophie plans to use a multiple case study approach which explores a number of environmental education initiatives that are differentially situated within the EE learning landscape. She hopes to build understanding around how the programmes' framings affect the ways that young participants develop their relationships with the environment and environmental activism.
Her preliminary research questions are:
- What aspects (such as justice, science, sustainable development and further themes) are prioritised by EE programmes?
- What are the resulting experiences, knowledge and feelings of young people who take part in EE programmes? How do these differ with respect to programme focus?
- How do environmental education experiences and their framing affect young people building their environmental identities and actions?
Principal supervisor: Dr Melissa Glackin
Secondary supervisor: Dr Heather King