The projects will help to increase understanding of how informal science learning activities affect children and young people’s enjoyment and understanding of science. Each project will receive total funding of up to £1.5 million.
All five are collaborative partnerships between organisations in the UK and the USA, and between teams with expertise in research and expertise in leading informal science learning activities.
We believe that this collaborative approach will enhance both research and practice, producing insights that help researchers and practitioners to better understand the impact of informal science activities, how they work and why.
Informal learning opportunities – in designed venues like museums, online material such as TED Talks or pop-up spaces in a park or shopping centre – may be a more accessible way for many young people to engage with science, and can help to put classroom learning into context.
Wellcome’s Review of Informal Science Learning in 2012 identified the importance of creating a ‘learning culture’. Science Learning+ is bridging research into informal science learning and people who conduct informal learning activities.
The five new projects follow 11 projects funded by Wellcome, NSF and ESRC in 2014. Their longer duration and larger budgets will enable them to answer bigger questions.