Thomas L & Rushton E (2020) Final Evaluation Report: Physics Mentoring Project. Physics Mentoring Project. Wales. https://physicsmentoring.co.uk/final-evaluation-report/
3Executive SummaryThis report is the final in a series of three that has examined the impact of the Physics Mentoring Project (PMP) led by Cardiff University between January 2019 and March 2020. The focusin this reporthas been on reviewing the project’skey aims of increasing the uptake of physics and positively impacting female pupils’ intentions towardsa science-related career.Summary findings are presented from three cycles of mentoring and the impact on pupils, mentors and schools is discussed
With respect to the project’s main aim of increasing uptake of physics A level, post-participation survey results show that the project has a clear positive effect on those taking part compared to non-participants (40% of students chose “I definitely will” or “I probably will” choose Physics at A level, a 29% increase on those not taking part). In fact, 38% of the mentees taking part moved from being “unsure” about taking a Physics A level to stating that they “definitely” or “probably” will, a statistically significant result (p<0.05). In post-participation surveys, 60% of mentees reported that they are likely to choose a science related career, compared to 38% of their non-participating counterparts.
The report also explores the specific impact of the project on its female participants. Analysis shows that 61% of female students stated that they “definitely won’t” or “probably won’t” take Physics A level before the mentoring, which decreased by 26% post participation, as these girls moved into the “definitely will”, “probably will” or “unsure” categories.
Teachers expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the mentors: “very impressed by their enthusiasm, communication skills and professionalism” and all commented that the time commitment related to running the project was manageable. Teachers also commented that the project enabled them to build partnerships and links with universities, make connections from school physics to the real world and bring role models into school.
The Physics Mentors also see many benefits through participation in the project, including development of organisational, time management and communication skills, improved confidence in their own abilities, valuable experience to include on CV and direct experience of working in schools.
The Physics Mentoring Project team are extremely proud of the report, which can be read in full here. Physics Mentoring would like to thank Ondata Research for their comprehensive research and recommendations which have contributed to the success of the project.