In an engaging and interactive lecture based around the ethics of working with children and young adults, Newcastle College’s STEM Outreach Officer David Rogers demonstrated the importance of Outreach’s work. Inspired by this, I headed to the BBC News website to find a recent feature on potential University investment into schemes teaching Primary School students about University.
Children from an ‘advantageous background’ can so often grow up in a different world to their lesser-well-off counterparts; a world where terms like ‘degree’ and ‘university’ are familiar from a young age – instilling an ambition and an automatic head-start on their competition. With the lesser-privileged children often not receiving this vital information, what can be done? It’s that all-important word again – communication. And who can provide this? That’s what Outreach is here for.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is such a popular question, to which many children will reply with “Footballer”, “Actress”, etc – it’s not often that the answer will be “Scientific Researcher”.
In most cases they’ve never heard of such a thing.
There’s a world of opportunities out there for every child, they just need exposure to them, and future Outreach plans to educate children from all backgrounds could be the key to this. Given the right encouragement and confidence to pursue a place at University, we could soon be seeing a future where the doors are more open to the lesser-privileged than ever before, the way it should have been from the start.