Science Education Out School (SEOS)

The main objective of the Science Education Out School (SEOS) project is to examine the processes of science education and communication that occur in contexts outside the traditional classroom where scientific content is taught. This project will identify innovative initiatives and best practices, thereby understanding their implications and impact on different demographic groups, including children, young people, adults, and older people. Children experience informal science educational activities differently than adolescents or adults.

Research indicates that the design of out-of-school science experiences is co-determined by various conditions and constraints, such as geographic or social structures, institutional culture, disciplinary discourses, participant expectations, or feelings of exclusion among underserved audiences. This results in gender-related participation patterns; for example, boys are most of many existing activities such as robotics, chess workshops, or events to promote mathematical talent. This project will conduct a detailed comparative analysis of which extracurricular practices or activities are most relevant to science education. Therefore, it will elucidate how each approach promotes explicitly learning and gender equity and identify the tools and activities that contribute to improving students’ life skills and their interest in science education.

This will allow us to detect valuable educational strategies and tools, which will be studied in several countries, particularly concerning gender and diversity. We will evaluate digital methods and tools (educational games, coding, tutorial videos, etc.) to develop new science-educational activities designed through informal scientific procedures.

Subsequently, the project will propose guidelines to include these heterogeneous experiences outside the classroom in academic curricula. The research design will also capture the critical elements that support the learning mechanism. In fact, from a collection of case studies, this project aims to develop guidelines that promote digital tools and activities for students that promote equality.

In summary, the project seeks to help educational systems better understand new forms of non-formal and informal scientific learning within their borders, beyond the confines of formal science education, where the media and public discourse play a crucial role. 


Analyse Diverse Science Education Methods: Conduct a thorough analysis of various science education methods within and beyond school settings to determine how formal and informal approaches complement each other.

Framework for Science Education Expansion: Develop a comprehensive framework to enhance science education outside traditional classrooms by investigating how knowledge generated in different educational contexts affects civic engagement and acknowledges cultural, age-related, and gender-specific differences.

Interdisciplinary Science Education Metrics: Craft an interdisciplinary model that evaluates the quality and impact of science education, particularly in promoting gender equality, by analysing the interplay between in-school and out-of-school activities.

Identify Educational Spaces and Content: Investigate both digital and physical platforms that provide science content. Assess the role of specialized sections or programs in enhancing out-of-classroom science learning while also evaluating the potential spread of misinformation.

Enhance Communication Strategies: Identify key elements in communication strategies, especially those involving digital technologies, to foster an inclusive science education process that engages all youths, with a focus on girls' participation and consideration of cultural diversity.

Standards for Informal Science Education: Establish guidelines to accredit informal science learning activities, mindful of the variances across international educational systems.

Inclusive Educational App Design: Design a mobile application that caters to diverse age groups, genders, and cultural backgrounds, encouraging interaction with science through exploratory routes in virtual environments that simulate historical scientific locations. This objective's realization is contingent upon securing funding for the development of an App.


Firstly, we would like to thank Cornell University for hosting this project. The Science Education Out School (SEOS) project will be conducted during a research period at the Department of Science and Technology Studies (S&TS) at Cornell University, scheduled from February 1 to July 31, 2024. Furthermore, we thank the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Universities for funding this initiative. This project is financed by the Salvador de Madariaga Senior Mobility Assistance Program from the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Universities of the Government of Spain, under grant number PRX22/00114, awarded to Dr Carolina Moreno-Castro, Professor of Journalism and Principal investigator of ScienceFlows at the University of Valencia. Finally, we would like to thank Dr Bruce Lewenstein (project supervisor) and Dr Stephen Hilgartner (project collaborator), both professors at Cornell University, for their support in carrying out the research stay and the Department of Science and Technology Studies (S&Ts) for backing the project to be developed.