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Concerns raised over students STEM aspirations

4 December 2013

Concerns raised over students STEM aspirations

In research published today, ASPIRES (an ESRC funded project run by Kings College London), reports only 15% of young people aspire to become scientists. This figure is disproportionately low compared to students’ reported interest in science.

Interestingly, the research finds that negative views of school science and scientists are not the main problem, but that a family's 'science capital' and STEM careers awareness are key factors that influence students' aspirations.

The report recommends embedding STEM careers awareness in lessons. The Association for Science Education provides 11 free ASPIRES case studies for teachers as lesson ideas to achieve STEM careers awareness in the classroom. All associated lesson plans, worksheets, powerpoints (ppts) and links are available to download.

Annette Smith, ASE CEO said: “The ASPIRES project has led to some enormously useful findings as we plan science learning for the advent of the new National Curriculum in England.  ASE has been very pleased to host the case studies and to be part of the advisory group over the past five years. We have used the publications from this and the other projects in the TISME group frequently in our work and the final report will make a valuable addition to this literature.”

More information


Young people’s science and career aspirations, age 10–14 ASPIRES report, 04 Dec 2013. View the full report

See all 11 case studies with full free downloads available ASPIRES The Intervention: Teaching about science careers