All people can dream big.
  • What do we want to change?

All people can dream big. However, not everyone has the same opportunities in life and is able to develop to their full potential and fulfil their dreams. Looking into the progression to higher education of ethnic minority and migrant adolescents, specifically those from PALOP backgrounds (African countries with Portuguese as an official language), numbers show that compared to the dominant group, these students are significantly more likely to be kept back a year at their secondary/high school education (50% vs 20%) and twice as likely to follow professional courses (78% vs 43%), a route which very rarely leads to entry into higher education (DGEEC/MEC, 2016, Caminhos escolares de jovens africanos (PALOP) que acedem ao ensino superior).

Through RAISE researchers could take action and help more people, especially school students, to perceive science and technology as an ally, that can help them to fulfil their dreams. In parallel, researchers (and their research institutions) and teachers (and their schools) benefited directly from RAISE.

Researchers received tailored training and had several opportunities to practice and improve their communication skills for non-scientific audiences. Teachers teamed up with researchers and the RAISE team to expand and support the development of the programs. This is expected to help teachers to recognise the additional value of exposure to informal science education and diverse role models throughout life, leading to a deeper understanding of science, its representatives (the researchers) and the scientific method.

In collaboration with ImpactEd, a UK-based charity specialised in evaluating impact of educational programmes, we created a Theory of Change for our programmes and an evaluation framework. Preliminary evaluation of the programs’ impact confirms that both are effectively targeting pupils with low science capital and that their perceptions of scientists and science become more accurate, moving away from stereotypes. Scientists’ self-reported ability to communicate with a wider range of audiences also improved.

RAISE final impact report can be assessed here.

Funded by the European Commission. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.