• Parallel Session E-5
  • Panel

Connecting Socially and Educationally Vulnerable People with Science and Education

Friday 17 Nov 2017
7F Jupiter

Session Concept:
Science engagement can be a tool for social inclusion. Worldwide, it is being recognised that science centre activities with carefully chosen formats and contexts not only foster learning and education, but can serve to counteract isolation, fear and educational inequalities. With examples from three continents, this session will explore strategies how science engagement institutions reach out to socially and educationally vulnerable people. Easily accessible spaces and programmes are attractive for educationally deprived groups, whether due to low socioeconomic or migrant background. In Europe, recent refugee and migrant movements require efforts towards including the newer members of communities. In Mexico and Kenya, science centre programmes have been established to prevent young people becoming migrants by providing attractive learning opportunities inside their own country, fostering interest in higher education and entrepreneurship.
The role of science centres should be changing from being merely educational towards becoming sociopolitical actors, advocating equity and social justice.


Barbara Streicher
Executive Manager, Science Center Network


Barbara Streicher
Executive Manager, Science Center Network
Pop-up knowledge rooms and innovative settings provide for meaningful encounters between various groups, including refugees and migrants. We will also address mobilising museum and science communication actors towards a stronger focus on social inclusion.
Gerardo Ibarra Aranda
CEO, Explora Science Centre
Explora Science Centre targets young people in under-resourced communities that normally do not attend science centres according to their needs to learn. The aim is to foment their interest for STEM learning in their own town.
Silvia Prock
Head of JungeUni, Children´s University of the University of Innsbruck, The JungeUni Innsbruck , the University of Innsbruck
As refugees came to Europe, the Children´s Universities of Austria developed concepts to support refugee children and teenagers to take part in the Austrian education system. Concepts are presented to show positive approaches.
Kristin Leigh
Deputy Director and Director of Community Engagement, Explora Science Center
United States
Explora’s Cradle through Career STEM Learning Strategic Focus and community engagement initiatives have helped welcome immigrant and refugee communities, and work WITH, rather than FOR, them to change conditions and engage, educate, and employ.