The Native Scientist project: promoting STEM and multilingualism through outreach

Stephanie Zihms, Joana Moscoso (Contributor), Patrick Rebuschat (Contributor), Ana Catarino (Contributor), Tatiana Correia (Contributor)

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


The Native Scientist (Native) project trains and engages international scientists to deliver school workshops that combine science with language education. It brings together scientists and children with a common heritage language, and aims to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), language diversity, and role model interactions. The purpose of this study is to (i) describe Native’s workshops and (ii) present results of a first evaluation on the impact of the workshops.

Born from the desire of a group of foreign-born scientists in the United Kingdom (UK) to inspire underachieving, low socio-economic background immigrant children to do better in school and aim higher, the Native project was launched in June 2013 within the London-based Portuguese diaspora. It quickly expanded to other diaspora or cities in the UK and the rest of Europe. In 2014, the project was running in 4 different languages - French, German, Portuguese and Spanish; and in 2015, the project was present in 3 countries - UK, France and Germany. Today, the Native project is being delivered in 10 different languages (Arabic, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish) and is present in 6 different European countries, namely UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands and Norway.

While most people would agree that prioritizing STEM public engagement at an institutional or governmental level has several positive outcomes, including the fact that it encourages scientists to leave the ivory tower, experts in science communication have criticized that many outreach initiatives preach to the converted, engaging members of the public that are already engaged and having limited capacity to attract ethnic minorities or people from low socio-economic, low-educated backgrounds. Having this in mind, the Native project was designed to target immigrant pupils who speak a home language (also referred to as the heritage language) and a school language and have therefore the potential to become bilingual.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2019
EventEuropean Geoscience Union General Assembly 2019 - Austria Center Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 7 Apr 201912 Apr 2019


ConferenceEuropean Geoscience Union General Assembly 2019
Abbreviated titleEGU 2019
Internet address


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