Youth Participation Project

Project leader: Dagny Stuedahl

Project period: 28.08-2013 – 20.06.2014

Participants: INSPIRIA Science Center, Greåker secondary highschool, UtVite

Expand also explores the role of science centers for science engagement by involving youth in a qualitative and participatory study. This sub-project is based on youth participatory action research methods and earlier work focusing on involving youth in museum research (Cammarota & Fine 2008, Stuedahl & Smørdal 2011), and aims to achieve a better understanding of the complexity of youth`s aspirations and engagement in science centers – and the role science centers may take. The project involves students a science class in the upper secondary science program Greåker high school (2013-2014). The school has an established partnership with Inspiria Science Centre, as part of the focus on entrepreneur-based education. In the project the students learned basic research methods from social sciences, and collaborated with the researcher on challenges related to youth engagement deined. By way of their survey the students are gaining insights into youths motivations and interests for science, and define elements of science centre experiences that youth may prefer on their own terms. In this way an outcome of Expand will be to contribute to understanding of science aspirations, but also how science centres can contribute to ongoing discussions on museums role for general youth development and life long education (see e.g. Koke & Dierking 2007, Zipsane 2007).