The NERUPI framework uses the concept of Subject Capital to describe the subject-related activities and understandings that children from professional families are more likely to experience which enable them to engage more readily with the school curriculum.
Subject Capital was based on the concept of Science Capital that Louise Archer, our keynote speaker, developed as part of her Aspires project researching inequalities in engagement with STEM subjects and careers. Louise and her team have been funded to work in this area since 2009 so have a wealth of research that illustrates some of the key factors that impact on academic success and career opportunities in STEM.
The Aspires project has made an important contribution to the field of educational research and has also supported schools and teachers setting out to broaden participation. The Aspires research is also highly relevant for HEIs offering subject-based interventions to support schools through enhancing the school curriculum.
Our keynote speaker was Professor Louise Archer, UCL Institute of Education. Louise is an expert in science capital and patterns in science participation. She is currently directing three large national research projects (ASPIRES 2, Enterprising Science, and Youth Equity & STEM).
Members had the opportunity to hear about case studies of STEM outreach activities and evaluation from NERUPI Network members at Imperial College London and the University of Bath.