HEFCW funding awarded to support outreach project

18 October 2018

Students engaging in AS level workshop

The School of Physics and Astronomy has recently received over £199,000 from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) for an outreach project to inspire and support young people to continue their studies in physics to A-level and beyond.

The funding has been awarded to the School to establish a mentoring project aimed at improving participation in physics by school students in Years 11 and 12. The project also aims to address the gender balance in science subjects such as physics and engineering. It is intended to make use of university- employer links and the wide geographical spread of universities across Wales.

The project would recruit and train undergraduate and postgraduate students at five Welsh universities who would then work with a wide range of schools to mentor students undertaking science at Year 11. The mentors would provide support and inspiration to the younger students during their studies and would motivate them to continue with physics and science subjects as they progress.

It is intended that the project will also develop materials and methods that can be used to support students in future years and so will have a lasting effect on the uptake of physics and other science subjects.

The project leader, Dr Chris North, said: “The project is based on the extremely successful Modern Languages Student Mentoring project and we aim to bring together universities, employers and secondary schools to support students to continue their physics and engineering studies to degree level. We want them to understand the opportunities that these subjects will open up for them in the future and we want to support them to achieve those opportunities.”

The project will also be critically evaluated with the aim of extending the successful aspects to other underrepresented subjects such as mathematics.