Coordinated by the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, SySTEM was a 3 year,  EU funded Horizon 2020 project.

Starting in May 2018, SySTEM focused on science learning outside the classroom, mapping the field across Europe, evaluating a number of transdisciplinary programmes to design best principles for educators in this field, and also examining individual learning ecologies by piloting self-evaluation tools for learners which will document science learning outside of the classroom. The study mapped practices in 19 EU countries, including in-depth studies in 8 of these countries, covering learners between 9–20 years from various backgrounds including those from geographically remote, socio-economically disadvantaged, minority and/or migrant communities. The goals of the SySTEM project are:

  • To generate a thorough, extensive and widespread overview of non-formal and informal science learning in Europe that contributes to the knowledge base of science with and for society. This investigation will occur at the level of individual learners and organisations operating in this field.
  • To involve stakeholders including learners from a diverse range of backgrounds in the definition of the main challenges regarding science learning outside classroom and to co-design ideas and concepts that support the acquisition and recognition of scientific knowledge in non-formal and informal learning settings. To assess the learning effects, the quality and any visible impact  of non-formal and informal science education on European citizens.
  • To design and develop new tools and frameworks and practices for implementation in non-formal learning programmes. This activity will be supported by a technology platform that can be used by STEM learners in both non-formal and informal settings, which can also be used as an credentialisation tool.
  • To analyse results from initial roll out of new practice and build on this within immediate practice amongst partner groups. Evaluate the success and learnings of the tools developed and improve their efficacy through an iterative design process in collaboration with partners. Communicate this reflective practice further through communication and dissemination carried out.
  • Through dissemination via research papers, conferences, workshops on key tools developed we will communicate and disseminate the critical findings of this project over the duration of the three years. While a mechanism to inform our peers of this work we will also seek to engage with our peers, stakeholders and the general media to enable further feedback loops.

Learnovate’s Role

Learnovate led the ‘Develop and Execute’ work package with the aim of designing and developing a range of tools including: self-evaluation tools for students, facilitators and organizers; a credentialisation tool; self-monitoring tools for informal learning in order to contribute to the creation of personal learning portfolios. Co creation with learners will play a key role in how these tools will be developed.


  • Science Gallery Dublin (Trinity College)
  • Learnovate Centre (Trinity College)
  • Waag Society
  • Ars Electronica
  • Ecsite
  • Aalto University
  • Centre for Social Innovation
  • Capital of Children
  • Kersnikova Institute
  • Museo Nazionale Scienza e Technolgia Leonardo da Vinci
  • Centre for Promotion of Science