Academic research

Promoting young people’s participation and attainment in STEM
& reigniting teacher’s passion for science education

January 2018


The Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS) provides students and their teachers with the opportunities to participate in authentic STEM research and to make valuable, recognised contributions to the scientific community. To date, students aged 11-18 from over 460 schools, across the UK have participated in a variety of STEM research projects. Our evaluation has analysed quantitative attainment and progress data as well as qualitative information from case studies and questionnaire responses.


IRIS has found that this type of research project learning increases the attainment of students, as well as enhancing teacher job satisfaction and retention. IRIS’ work is presented using three case studies of women working with IRIS including, Prof Becky Parker (Director of IRIS and Physics teacher), Ellie Fox (form student of Tapton school, Sheffield, a leading IRIS school) and Dr Lizzie Rushton (Teacher and Head of Evidence and Evaluation, IRIS). This article demonstrates the possibilities to all students and particularly young women, that they are never too young to be a research scientist.


You can search for the full article using the following reference:

Parker, B., Fox, E., & Rushton, E. A. C. (2018). IRIS-promoting young peoples’ participation and attainment in STEM and reigniting teachers’ passion for science education. Impact.