The aims of Science Learning+ Planning and Partnership Grants were to strengthen the research and knowledge base; bridge the practice and research gap; and/or share knowledge and experience in informal science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) experiences. Furthermore, the initiative sought to support practice-based research which falls within or across the following priority areas: understanding learning; engagement in STEM; skills development; equity; diversity; access to informal learning settings; and measurement of outcomes.
Proposals addressed at least one priority area and included: collaborations between at least one organization in the US and one in the UK/Republic of Ireland. In addition, the proposals included a substantive research program, not solely a public engagement activity; genuine partnerships between researchers and practitioners of STEM engagement; experts from more than one STEM area; and more than one informal STEM learning location, platform, or environment. Proposers submitted a single, comprehensive proposal with two budget components, one for US activities and one for UK/Republic of Ireland activities, to NSF.
View the Science Learning+ Partnership Grants solicitation.
There is not a current open solicitation.
Partnership Awards (2017)
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and UK-based Wellcome Trust have announced the funding of five new projects through the Science Learning Plus (SL+) program. The projects will help to increase understanding of how informal science learning activities affect children and young people’s enjoyment and understanding of science. 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.
To learn more about the newly funded projects, visit the abstracts below:
- Science Learning +: Partnering for Equitable STEM Pathways for Underrepresented Youth
- Science Learning+: STEM Teens: Examining the role of youth educators as learners and teachers in informal STEM learning sites
- Science Learning+: Understanding the Role of Embodied Interaction in Pre-K Children's Learning about Science in Informal Settings
- Science Learning+: Youth learning in Public Participation in STEM Research opportunities (crowdsourcing and citizen science) facilitated by natural history museums
- Science Learning +: Broadening Participation in STEM through Transdisciplinary Youth Development Activities
Planning Grant Awards (2014)
- A Collaboration to Develop Tools for Mapping and Assessing the Impact of STEM Experiences Across Different Ecologies - US
- Affinity Spaces for Informal Science Learning: Developing a Research Agenda - US
- Developing and Researching Equity-focused Across-Settings Models for STEAM (DREAMS) - UK
- Enhancing Informal Learning Through Citizen Science - UK
- Exploring Longitudinal Research on Out-of-school Time Experiences in STEM - US
- Investigating the Long-term Impacts of Informal Science Learning at Zoos and Aquariums - US
- Move2Learn: Engaging Preschool Scientists through Embodiment and Technology - US
- Planning a design-based implementation research agenda to investigate digital badges as transformative assessment in informal science learning - US
- Science Live - UK
- The contribution of natural history museums to science education - UK
- Youth Access & Equity in ISL: Developing a Research and Practice Agenda - UK
Analysing the UK science education community: The contribution of Informal providers - The aim of this report is to provide an overview of the support that the informal sector provides for learning and engaging with science.
Review of Informal Science Learning - This report, commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, provides a review of the value of informal science learning to science education in the UK.
Science Learning Plus (SL+) Forum Resource Handout Resources shared by participants of the “Bridging the Practice Research Gap” forum, which took place on InformalScience.org from July 6-17, 2015.
Science Learning+ Grou.ps Site - This networking site was created during Phase 1 of SL+ in order to support applicants in finding new collaborators. It was replaced by the Science Learning+ Forum on InformalScience.org, which no longer available.