The aim of Science Engagement to Empower Disadvantaged adoleScents (SEEDS) Consortium is to engage adolescents from deprived neighbourhoods in designing interventions that seed an interest in scientific methodologies, promote STEM careers and empower them by enhancing their critical thinking capabilities. All SEEDS partners share a core belief that more can be done to create a better (and healthier) future for adolescents from low-income neighbourhoods.
Adolescents at risk and living in deprived areas have fewer opportunities for out of school activities, informal learning and reduced access to science education. The social determinants of health, specifically deprivation and lower access to health information, have major consequences in terms of chronic diseases. Scientific literacy can be promoted through enhancing health education: health research is well-valued in the society; topics are practical and relevant, and it is important to change unhealthy habits as early as possible; self-leadership and active methods are key ingredients.
SEEDS will foster science literacy and STEM education through raising health awareness through the empowerment of youth in critical thinking skills, self-management and self-care through community-based public engagement. It will improve effectiveness of health promotion interventions in this population, whereby teenagers lead the process to transform their habits, contributing to sustainable behavioural change.