The new school year is in full swing, and it’s time to look ahead to the exciting events coming up over the next few months, including British Science Week 2023!
British Science Week is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), run by the British Science Association (BSA), which will take place 10-19 March 2023.
Funded by UK Research and Innovation, the BSA is offering Kick Start Grants to schools in challenging circumstances to fund their STEM activities during the Week, as every school should have the opportunity to run brilliant and impactful activities with their students.
There are several criteria which schools can meet to be eligible for a grant. Schools with over 30% of students from ethnic minority backgrounds can apply, as well schools with over 30% of students supported by pupil premium or the equivalent.
This is to support young people who are often disadvantaged, underrepresented in STEM, and underserved in terms of resources. Schools in remote and rural areas are also invited to apply to support science engagement outside cities.
There are four types of grants available, depending on the sort of activities and events the applying school intends to put on:
- Kick Start Grant of £300 to run an activity during British Science Week
- Kick Start Youth Grant of £150 for students aged 10-19 to organise and deliver an activity during British Science Week
- Kick Start More Grant of £700 for schools to host a science event or activity that involves students and members of the local community
- Combined Kick Start Grant and Youth Grant of £450 for schools to run an activity during British Science Week with an additional activity organised and delivered by students
Celebrating British Science Week is a great way to show students that science doesn’t just happen in the classroom, and that stereotypes around who can be a scientist don’t need to hold them back.
Biases can affect how young people see their place in the world, and impact their higher education and career plans. It’s vital to disrupt those ideas and let them know that science is for everyone.
The BSA, whose work includes encouraging and supporting STEM education for all children, is keen to fund events and activities which change students’ perceptions of science and role it plays in their lives.
Events that are cross-curricular, demonstrating how science touches on other subjects like history or music, and getting teachers, professionals and outside organisations whose work falls outside of traditional ideas about science involved are perfect for British Science Week.
These sorts of activities can also be effective in engaging students who wouldn’t usually chose to engage with science, an obstacle that celebrating British Science Week can help overcome.
Schools around the UK have used Kick Start Grants for all sorts of different activities, and seen some fantastic results.
Wilberforce Sixth Form College in a deprived area in Hull used their grant to bring in speakers from local scientists from academic institutions and industries to talk to students about their work and careers in science. Martin Walker, a science technician at Wilberforce, told the BSA:
“You get the professionals in to engage with the children and also it is it brings a real buzz to your environment…
“If you apply for one of these grants, you actually get a tangible feeling, and it spurred me on to apply for other things, and to think bigger and try doing more stuff with other organisations.”
Regent High School, an inner-city school in London used their Kick Start Grant to take the students on a trip to Kew Gardens. Richard Harrison, director of community engagement at Regent High School told the BSA:
“The funding has allowed us to get the kids out … get working with practitioners beyond our school … and it just opens up the conversation around science and makes science something that isn’t just based in a laboratory in school, but something that is filling the world around our students and providing them with opportunities in the future.”
Kick Start Grants applications are open now until midnight on 7th November 2022. Find all the information you need and apply today.