Creative Tuition Collective Report:
THE IMPORTANCE OF INTENTIONALLY INCLUSIVE SPACES IN STEM
Reviewing the experiences and lessons learned from LGBTQ+, disabled and BAME attendees of Polar Horizons 2021
Written by Pollyanna Sheehan, CTC Lead Researcher
Co-researched by Epiphani Sié, Assistant Researcher
Edited by Lara Lalemi and Dr. Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley
The report on our research project undertaken by Creative Tuition Collective as part of the Diversity in UK Polar Science Initiative is now published! The report outlines the Importance of Intentionally Inclusive Spaces in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through a case study of the Polar Horizons 2021 Programme and was funded by the National Environment Research Council (NERC).
The Polar Horizons programme was created as a way of improving the diversity of UK polar science. Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, it was aimed at building new connections and collaborations between the UK Polar Science community and those from currently underrepresented groups, particularly racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ and disabled people. The report is an eye-opening compilation and analysis of the experiences of university students and early careers researchers in STEM. Focusing specifically on early career researchers’ experiences in education so far, this report explores what inclusivity means, what makes a space inclusive, what expectations researchers have of organisations in terms of diversity, representation and inclusivity. Additionally, this research serves to amplify the voices and experiences of the participants from minority backgrounds.The report also includes an action-plan of practical steps that can help to make education and work environments and be truly inclusive and welcoming to all.
Lara Lalemi, Founder and CEO of Creative Tuition Collective, said “These findings are important to the polar science community and the STEM education sector as a whole as they poignantly reinforce the importance and impact of embedding inclusivity within our institutions and organisations. The feeling of belonging should not be taken for granted, the feeling of belonging is powerful.”
The report also includes interviews with the organisers of the initiative and reflects on their experiences of creating an inclusive space. Pilvi Muschitiello, Impact Facilitator at British Antarctic Survey and co-organiser, said of her experiences “It was powerful to get to stop and think about what organising Polar Horizons meant, and what the practical and personal challenges of working day-to-day for equity, diversity and inclusion are. Looking back on what we achieved, but also why we do this work and what we’ve learned.”
Dr Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley, Director of Innovation at BAS and co-chair of the Diversity in UK Polar Science Initiative, said “This report, written by Early Career Researchers from Creative Tuition Collective with a deep understanding of the challenges faced by minorities, gives highly valuable and authentic insights into what makes a genuinely inclusive environment. It invites us to listen and learn - and pursue inclusivity with persistent intent, for the benefit of the entire community.”
Read the report here:
BRISTOL BLACK JOY PROJECT
In December 2020, Voice & Influence Partnership, Creative Tuition Collective, Kiki Bristol and Our Land collaboratively commissioned an exploration into the Bristol Black Queer experience through the expression of joy. The project was designed to capture the joy felt in finding an accepting, creative and innovative queer community for those who identify as QTIPOC and allies and to showcase this to school students. This report details a review of the success of the first session run at City Academy with around 15 students in year 10/11. Read the report below!
The Creative Tuition Team were Social Innovation Programme winners
By Emma Boomfield, Jessica Slater, Mia Forster, Alice Lang, and Ed Polley
Creative Tuition Collective were lucky enough to feature in the Spring 2021 Bristol Hub and Burges-Salmon LLP research project. It was a fantastic experience that explored two projects:
Project 1 consisted of collecting both primary and secondary research looking to understand what learning and engagement platforms are used by young people within the STEM space, how many students are engaging with coding and why it's important. The group analysed the current attraction to the technology market, consumers needs and business needs for young people aged 16-25.
Project 2 sought to understand whether young people wish to learn about the STEM community through the medium of an online magazine. Research was conducted on what student/university science magazines exists presently, including analysis of what they look like, their structure and which of these elements are most attractive to students.
Recommendations from both projects will go on to inform further work and opportunities Creative Tuition wish to provide. Keep an eye out for these in the coming year, we will keep you informed.