QUICK: programme-initiative

National Centre for Science Recruitment
Education level:
Secondary Education
Year start:
Short summary:
ENT3R is one of the flagship programmes of the Norwegian National STEM platform (National Centre for Science Recruitment). In cooperation with local universities and university colleges that offer STEM studies, the ENT3R programme offers highly popular free and intensive mentoring, homework support and exam training to junior high and highschool pupils by university students. The programme is represented at 17 STEM university campuses (where the mentoring takes place) all over Norway serving thousands of pupils yearly. 
Description and objectives:

Based on the increasing demand for competence within science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the Norwegian labor market, the ENT3R program was initiated by the Norwegian National Centre for Science Recruitment (NCR) in 2010. The project is coordinated by NCR in collaboration with local universities and university colleges offering STEM studies throughout Norway. The ENT3R STEM training is offered to junior high pupils and high school students.


Participating pupils attend after school activities, typically in the form of help with mathematics and science homework and occasional pupil night arrangements including inspirational lectures by invited guests, pitching of different studies and career opportunities, experiments, pizza serving, quizzes and competitions. The ENT3R sessions and activities are organized by designated project leaders and organized and held at the local campuses by STEM students working as mentors for the pupils. All students working for ENT3R are brought together regularly for courses and exchange of experience. New mentors are trained in basic pedagogics and STEM subject didactics and attend regular gatherings for exchange of experience.


The main objective of ENT3R is to encourage and inspire youths facing a career choice to consider and pursue and education and career within STEM. The “STEM training” activities in ENT3R aims to provide the pupils with:


  • Increased motivation and sense of achievement
  • A more positive attitude towards STEM subjects
  • Increased career choice capability
  • Increased STEM capital


The KPI`s used is a yearly survey among all pupils participating in ENT3R, giving valuable insight and measures of pupil motivation, effects on grades and considerations of future career choices, satisfaction with the mentors etc. Every year we also see our initiatives in context with trends in the universities and colleges admission services.  The ENT3R program is part of th e Norwegian Directorate for Education and Trainings STEM strategy called “close to STEM”.

Today local ENT3R projects are present at 17 campuses offering STEM studies all over Norway. We also have digital ENT3R trainings for pupils who live far from a local project campus. In 2019, 4267 pupils from 390 different schools registered for ENT3R, and close to 3000 pupils attended actively (2 show-ups or more). Projects at large campuses have long waiting lists to attend.   In addition to regular ENT3R lessons, every spring the ENT3R mentors offers extra support to pupils drawn out for national exams in mathematics. The exam-help support is provided in digital classrooms and open to pupils all over the country. In 2019 over 2800 pupils visited the exam-help classrooms and more than 600 pupils received guidance from the mentors.   During the corona crisis all ENT3R activities were replaced with digital assistance in virtual classrooms (see related article under background documents). An inspirational lecture through a webinar in collaboration with Microsoft also attracted more than 200 pupils. The programme ultimately aims for all junior high students and highs school students in Norway to have the opportunity to participate in ENT3R.
As is often the case, the impact of ENT3R independent from other initiatives and programs is difficult to measure. However, the feedback collected through the pupil survey give a strong indication that tjhe programme achieved its objectives through STEM training. Every year a great majority of ENT3R pupils report that they are happy with the project, enjoy the skills and company of the mentors, and benefit from the program. Some highlights from the 2019 results of the pupil survey include:    93% state that they are satisfied/very satisfied with ENT3R  74 % say that their confidence in STEM subject have increased 64 % say their incentive/grades have improved also in non-STEM subjects 55 % of the pupils say they are considering further STEM studies   The programme's main objective in terms of impact is to make more young people aware of the abundance of opportunities within STEM studies. By offering a supplement to classroom teaching, meeting STEM students and increasing the pupil’s motivation and sense of achievement, we aim to encourage a broader range of young people to pursue an education and career within STEM.   The impact of ENT3R was evaluated by an external (independent) research company (SINTEF) in 2011. Among their reported findings were positive effects on the motivation of participating pupils, grades and interests in STEM subjects. The reported effects were greater among high achievement students as compared to pupils with lower levels of achievement (see full report in background documents).   The ENT3R program was also studied through a PhD project entitled "The Role of Recruitment Initiatives in Young People's Choice of STEM Education" by Fredrik Jensen in 2016. In his thesis, Jensen elaborates on the pupil’s appreciation of the ENT3R program, and the mentors positive effect acting as role models providing the pupils with realistic and credible insight to STEM studies. Furthermore, the experience in how to manage new challenges and sometimes heavy workloads is mentioned among the valuable outcomes from ENT3R.   In a paper focusing on the effects of ENT3R on pupil’s motivation to attend and stay in the ENT3R program (Jensen et al, 2013), three aspects were highlighted: the mentors provided good teaching, the mentors created a positive atmosphere, and the mentors engaged in interpersonal relationships. The study points to the importance of carefully recruited and trained instructors and of flexible, responsively designed extracurricular programs (articles and reports available under background documents tab)  
Budget and funding model:
The ENT3R program is funded by the ministry of education and NCR. Through NCR's funding model, the local projects apply yearly for funding based on the number of attending pupils and planned activities. The number of employed mentors also depend on the number of pupils attending. Earmarked grants from the ministry, along with a dedicated part of the budget from NCR is distributed after an evaluation of funding available and project performance. Most of the grants go to wages to mentors and project leaders, while the collaborating universities and university colleges cover the costs for project administration and premises for ENT3R classes.
January 1, 2016
Reports and studies | University of Oslo
The overall aim of this thesis was to understand Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) choices and how they can be influenced by recruitment initiatives at different points...
January 1, 2015
Policy and strategy | Government of Norway
'Close to STEM' is the Norwegian national STEM strategy covering the period 2015-2019. It touches upon a wide range of topics ranging from the energy / green transition and climate to...
March 20, 2013
Reports and studies | Int. Journal of Science and Mathematics...
Considerable resources are spent on initiatives aiming to increase achievement and participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Drawing on focus group...
September 22, 2011
Reports and studies | SINTEF
This report is the outcome of an independent impact assessment of the ENT3R programme. The study was carried out by the SINTEF research copany.  Among their reported findings were...