About SySTEM 2020.


Science and technology has transformed our lives dramatically. It is an area however, that is continuing to evolve and shape our world. Supporting our future citizens to keep up with this pace will not only benefit the citizens themselves, but the whole society. 65% of children beginning school now will be working in jobs that currently do not exist. Therefore making sure they are prepared and equipped with 21st century skills is crucial. SySTEM 2020 aims to solve this challenge by tackling scientific literacy and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths) education of children and teenagers across Europe.

Science learning initiatives outside the classroom are crucial in educating and forming Europe’s next generation of researchers and innovators. By gaining insights into these initiatives all around Europe SySTEM 2020 wants to gain a better understanding of the types and kinds of programmes in operation, learn from each other and collaborate to be able to respond to challenges ahead.

The Approach

SySTEM 2020, coordinated by Science Gallery Dublin, will approach this by mapping initiatives that encourage learning beyond the classroom across 19 countries. Within 8 of these, in-depth studies will be carried out to look at how children and teenagers between the ages of 9-20 years old react to these types of environments. By including learners from minority, economically disadvantaged and migrant communities, this project will not only look at the organisations, but also the individual learner themselves.

Through SySTEM 2020’s research-practice approach, new tools will be created and tested to support educators in designing and implementing flexible learning environments that depend on the learner, location and subject. From this, the gap between schools and out of school learning initiatives will be bridged, assisting our future citizens to think more creatively and critically in this changing world.

Key Outputs

Over the next three years SySTEM 2020 will produce a mix of tools that will be open for the wider community to use.


An online visualisation tool where over 2000 STEAM initiatives will be mapped providing a network of organisations for you to connect with


Self-evaluation tools for learners


In-depth reports that examine science education outside the classroom


A toolkit for educators to assist in carrying out best practice


Provide scope for learners to obtain recognition or credentials for being involved in out of school learning initiatives

What is the difference between non‑formal and informal learning?

Informal learning – Learning resulting from daily activities related to work, family or leisure. It is not organised or structured (in terms of objectives, time or learning support). Informal learning in most cases is unintentional from the learner’s perspective. It typically does not lead to certification.

Non-formal – Any organised and sustained educational activity that does not correspond exactly to the definition of formal education. Non-formal education may, therefore, take place both within and outside educational institutions, and cater to persons of all ages.

Formal learning – Learning that takes place through a structured program of instruction which is generally recognised by the attainment of a formal qualification or award.

Photo by Waag


Explore SySTEM 2020’s latest tools and findings to help support and cultivate pathways to welcome learners from all backgrounds into science learning.