Science Opens Doors

This is a project aimed at persuading more children to embark upon a science based career.

The basis of the Project was researched by Clive Thompson and Sir Geoffrey Allen, and follows up on work done by the ASPIRES Team at Kings College London [KCL] which found that junior school children like doing science at school, but by the early years in secondary school, about three quarters have decided that they do not want to be a scientist.

The Project team discerned that this is because they and their parents and teachers are unaware of what scientists do. This lack of knowledge is serious because the UK alone needs 820,000 more science qualified people in the next decade. Also of the 5.8 million people employed with science and mathematics qualifications, only 20% of them are pure scientists, the remainder are employed in engineering, health, education, manufacture, banking and many more industries. Thus Science Opens Doors aims to promote ‘Careers from science’ not just those in science.

The Project aims to access the prime influencers of junior school children, their parents and teachers, and brings them together with the children in the classroom with a science agenda.

Since 2014, over 50 visits have been made to Junior Schools, mainly in the London area, to average audiences of about 30 students and 20 parents/carers.Questionnaires completed separately by children and adults show universal approval for both the events and the messages about careers from science. It is notable that 7 years after the creation of Science Opens Doors, the 2017 Government Careers Strategy includes an intent to introduce careers as a topic to Junior Schools.

If you want further information, please contact Clive Thompson at

The programme of primary school visits, which commenced in July 2013, by a team of Assistants Clive Thompson and Barry Maunders, Liveryman Mike O’Brien and Steve and Jennifer Smyth of joinedupscience has continued successfully through 2016. 10 schools have been visited with 3 more scheduled in the new year which will bring to 40 the total of schools visited since the programme commenced. The Tallow Chandlers and Paviors have again added financial support and 3 of the schools they support have been included in the programme.

So far coverage has been limited to London schools and the team have sought ways of expanding the programme in concert with the Centre for Industry Education Collaboration (CIEC) part of the University of York. This has resulted in a pilot programme of school visits to 3 primary schools in Lincolnshire which will be completed in the new year and will confirm how the expansion plans will be implemented.

Attendance has been good to excellent with 50 children and 40 parents at Parsons Green (not quite beating the record attendance of 32 parents and 63 children), and 38 children and 26 parents at a Muslim faith school in Tooting. In all the visits the audiences have enthusiastically received the presentations and joined in the discovery experiments