The Surrounded by Science project contributes to the exploration of the nature and effects of science education outside the classroom by focusing on the analysis and assessment of learners’ development of Science Proficiency through their individual learning paths within diverse science learning contexts. To this end, the project has set-up a research agenda with five key objectives.

Evidence-based research methodology

This will facilitate the identification of good science learning practices outside the classroom and will offer a better understanding of the nature and effects of science learning outside formal education.

Digital toolbox

The digital toolbox will consist of two main apps: The Science Chaser and the Science Booster. The Science Chaser app will monitor users’ science-related activities and will provide guidance and recommendations for related future activity. The Science Booster will be a self-reflection and advice tool for informal science education organisations aiming to support a more effective design of out-of-school science learning activities.

Accreditation scheme for informal science organisations

A roadmap for an accreditation scheme for informal science organisations will be developed with the aim to propose opportunities for them to effectively integrate informal activities with formal science education policies and strategies at a local, regional and European level.

Set of proof-of-concept experiments

Several case studies will form the basis for the realization of a series of experiments in real settings. These experiments will help the project team to better understand how users experience these activities and how they affect their learning and motivation.

Innovative impact assessment

An innovative impact assessment scheme will be employed to monitor individuals’ engagement in science-related experiences and their progress towards science proficiency, and to use that information to support learning.