SiS Catalyst is About Change

Our children are growing up in a world where our beautiful planet Earth is under direct threat from our human activities, where technology is developing exponentially and where our ability to communicate globally is becoming commonplace. 

If our institutions are to keep up with these changes, we believe that we need to address the fundamental question of how we include children in the dialogue between society and our scientific and technological communities.

SiS Catalyst takes a broad approach to science as inter-connected branches of learning, because we believe that the solutions to the big research questions of the future will be found through interdisciplinary working, free from the artificial boundaries that we have created between academic disciplines. At the heart of this is our collective learning at institutional level.

There are two main pillars of work within the project; the mainstreaming of science in society activities for children through the development of practical and easy delivery guidelines and support, and the mobilisation of the political processes involved required to effect change. There are three crosscutting themes: Listening to Young People, Recognising the Role of Students and Building the Dialogue with Key Players (organisers, scientific researchers and managers). These will work across the lifetime of SiS Catalyst to ensure that these unique perspectives are listened to all aspects of delivery.

Our work focuses on young people currently unlikely to progress to higher education, and an important element of our project is the identification of ‘locally defined minorities’, and this is an important first step towards defining social inclusion targets and priorities at institutional, national and European levels.

As this project involves children and students, we will consider  the ethics of this; producing guidelines with pan-European applicability. The impact of the project will be measured through the development of tools which enable Higher Education Institutions to self evaluate and test their progress, both on a strategic and practical level, and to locate these in regional, national, European and global contexts.

Our ambitious four year European Commission funded  Framework 7 project, is one of the first Mobilisation and Mutual Learning (MML) Action Plans, leading to new ways of doing research and developing technologies which encompass societal needs and concerns.