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SySTEM 2020: Connecting Science Learning Outside the Classroom

2018-05-01 to 2021-04-30


The SySTEM 2020 project, coordinated by Science Gallery Dublin, aims to combat scientific illiteracy and promote STEM education for children and young people in order to prepare our future citizens for scientific and technological transformations.

But what is STEM education anyway? This acronym means Science, Techonology, Engineering and Mathematics education. 

This project focuses on non-formal science education, mapping activities in several European countries like Belgium, Austria, Israel, Slovenia, Serbia, among others, in order to create a set of good practices for educators and/or teachers in these European countries.



During the last decade, science and technology have evolved at an unprecedented pace, and although these innovations benefit society considerably, they have caused some distortions between reality and scientific practice, which in many circumstances overwhelm and lead to the impossibility of understanding the scientific principles involved in the daily life of Europeans.

In addition, the accelerated progress of technology will induce dramatic changes in the labour market. The World Economic Forum predicts that 65% of children who started school now will be working in jobs that do not yet exist. This makes the development of a scientifically and technologically literate society a priority in Europe.


Presentation of the project

Based on this, SySTEM 2020 aims to identify and provide a better understanding of the impact of informal and non-formal science learning practices on young people aged between 9 and 20. The main focus of this project will focus, in practice, on building or developing transdisciplinary learning spaces that become attractive to young people.

A better understanding of the current situation and the development of tools for non-formal education professionals will have the best long term impact on scientific literacy, scientific capital and the involvement of future European policy makers.

As mentioned, this study will map the practices of 19 EU countries, with a special focus on 8 of them and will consider young people from geographically remote, socio-economically disadvantaged, minority and/or migrant communities.


Role of the Youth Foundation

The Fundação da Juventude assumes the role of Third Party and will participate in the following phases:


1. Science Learning at the organizational level - Identification of initiatives related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics;

2. Science Learning at individual level - Identification of young people and data collection;

3. Identification of potential solutions - to the problems detected in the previous phase;

4. Impact evaluation.


This 36-month project started in May 2018 and will end in May 2021. If you want to know more about it, click here!


SySTEM 2020: Connecting Science Learning Outside the Classroom