An Evaluation of the Impact of Widening Access Skills in Primary Schools (WASPS) initiative

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This paper focuses on the impact the Widening Access Skills in Primary Schools (WASPS) initiative has in stimulating interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) subjects with children aged 10-12 years. The paper presents an overview of the project, reflecting on its contribution to promoting STEM with primary school children. Short questionnaires were presented to ten teachers (quantitiative) and focus groups were conducted with twenty-eight pupils (qualitative) to evaluate success of the project. Findings show that WASPS has been positively received by participants. It is contributing to Information Communication Technologies (ICT) skills development, complementary to the Northern Ireland ICT curriculum, exciting participating pupils in STEM subjects. The WASPS project is original and novel; the format is generalisable and could be adopted to other schools, subject areas, University Faculties. However, while the project itself has been successful, true impact will not be evident for a number of years when participating pupils enter higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-135
JournalPerspectives on Practice and Pedagogy
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Sept 2012

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