The Physics Mentoring Project places trained undergraduate and postgraduate students in secondary schools across Wales, to mentor and inspire future physicists.
Our mentors are undergraduate and postgraduate students from six universities across Wales (Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Swansea, Wrexham, and the University of South Wales). All mentors have a post-16 Physics qualification (or a post-16 qualification in physical sciences). The project holds a two-day training weekend each year which is delivered by our Agored Cymru-accredited partners CreoSkills.
Pairs of mentors are then matched with secondary schools across Wales. They mentor up to twelve Year 9 – 11 pupils across six mentoring sessions, either hosted in the school, online, or in a blended format. There are two cycles of mentoring per academic year: October to December and February to April. Awards and Recognition ceremonies for mentors, mentees, and teachers are held at the end of each year in partner institutions.
The mentoring resources have been designed and created based on the Science Capital Teaching Approach (SCTA). The SCTA was co-developed by researchers and secondary teachers across England, and aims to increase pupils’ “science capital” (all science-related knowledge, attitudes, experiences and social contacts a person has).
Evidence shows that this approach:
- Improves pupils’ understanding and recall of science content
- Helps pupils find science more personally relevant
- Deepens pupils’ appreciation of science
- Widens and increases pupils’ engagement with science in lessons
- Improves pupils’ behaviour during science lessons
- Increases the proportion of pupils seeing themselves as “sciencey”
The project began in 2018 and has since run 8 cycles of mentoring, rigorously evaluated by OnData Research LTD in order to ensure the aims of the project are successfully met. You can read our evaluation reports here.
We are kindly funded by the Welsh Government and our partner institutions across Wales.