King's College London

Objective: To make policy-makers and educators sit up and take notice of the importance of early education about STEM careers.

Challenge: Children as young as ten already see a career in science as ‘not for me’. Despite the majority of children enjoying science at school and viewing scientists positively, fewer than 17% are interested in turning the subject into a career. Researchers also found that parents and children still see science careers as predominantly ‘for boys’. The ASPIRES research team, led by Louise Archer, Professor of Sociology of Education at King’s College London drew evidence from international research literature and new findings from a major 5-year longitudinal research study.

The research suggests that there is a critical period in which schools and parents can do much to educate the next generation about the options available to them. The research report needed to gain the attention of policy-makers, educators and influencers.

Solution

We decided to step away from a more usual, ‘dry’ style of report design and chose instead to use bright, eye-catching illustrations throughout. We commissioned Canadian illustrator Andrew Kolb to produce a series of artworks to illustrate some of the keys points in the report, including ‘Children think all scientists are geeks’, ‘Artistic children don’t choose science’, ‘If I do science, I have to be a scientist’

Reflecting the report title: ‘Ten Science Facts & Fictions: The Case for Early Education about STEM Careers’ we visually presented the report as a case file.

“The report was very well received – better than we ever could have imagined! It helped us make a real impact in STEM education policy circles and was invaluable in communicating our findings way beyond our current networks, to schools, educators and STEM organisations. We were very pleased with the service we received. They were pleasant, friendly, professional and understood our needs very well.”

Professor Louise Archer, King’s College London

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