Opportunities and Challenges in an Ongoing and Collaborative Non-Formal Program for Developing Students’ Trajectories into Post-Compulsory STEM study

Declining and unrepresentative student enrolment in post-compulsory science has prompted many schools to use non-formal science education programs to help motivate students to continue with post-compulsory STEM study. There is research to suggest that including non-formal learning experiences in schools can be more interesting, relevant and inclusive of students which can encourage them to continue studying science post-compulsory. However there is limited evidence to back up this potential, particularly for ongoing collaborative programs which are becoming established in Australia and worldwide. As non-formal programs take on a larger role in student’s science education it is important to understand the opportunities these programs offer for affecting students trajectories into post-compulsory STEM education and the challenges in realising those opportunities.