While there has been national research into children’s fears and aspirations for the planet, little information exists . This is especially true for young children and particularly those from marginalised communities.
Thanks to funding from ASDC’s Bold Futures programme, we’ll be able run interactive STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, maths) workshops with two audience groups: Hampshire Young Carers and children from Leigh Park in Havant. We'll help our very young audiences express their hopes and fears for our planet so we can learn about the issues that are most relevant to them. This will be the first phase in a genuine co-creation process. First, understanding our audiences' needs in order to work with them to build their agency. Then to develop responsive, relevant science activities that will equip them with the confidence and skills to make a difference to people and planet.
This project addresses the existing power imbalance between children, community leaders and policy makers. Through working together, we’ll be placing children at the centre of discussions and creating a platform for them to use their voices to inform and inspire collective action.
The output of the project will be the creation of two short films, co-produced with the children to capture their voices and to summarise their concerns and aspirations. These films will act as a call to action, not only for our Charity, but to be shared with community leaders, environmental groups and policy makers.
We're focussing this project on two audience groups:
Children from Leigh Park in Havant
This borough ranks within the lowest decile in the 2019 Indices of Multiple Deprivation Index. We've gathered first-hand experiences of families attending our recent workshops in this area, with many parents saying that opportunities to participate in science-related activities are few and far between. One parent told us “it is essential that in an area like ours, where children may be limited to STEM experiences, that we have the ability to access workshops like these”. We're proposing to work with a small proportion of children in this area, forming the first of our audiences.
Hampshire Young Carers
Young carers face limited opportunities for socialisation and engagement in their wider community, resulting in a greater risk of becoming isolated and underrepresented.
We’re excited to be able to work with both communities and look forward to learning more from the children and the project.
Bold Futures is a national science engagement programme developed by the Association for Science and Discovery Centres, the Museums Association and The Liminal Space.