Informal and Non-Formal STEM Engagement

ECTS Value: 6 ECTS

Contact Hours: 30

Self Study Hours: 72

Assessment Hours: 48


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

When it comes to STEM education and engagement, formal education cannot address it alone. Museums, Science Centres, Nature Centres, Aquariums, Planetariums, Job Shadowing, Work-Based Learning and On the Job Training are among the several thousand informal and non-formal STEM initiatives and institutions that regularly engage people in observing, learning, and using STEM knowledge, skills and competences. This module will provide an opportunity for course participants to build bridges between formal, informal and non-formal STEM Engagement practices through programs covering a variety of topics and approaches. 

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Identify good STEM practices and implement them to different target audiences;
b. Create activities for STEM engagement that are suitable for informal and non-formal scenarios;
c. Liaise with informal and non-formal STEM institutions and initiatives.


a. Develop an understanding of the difference and importance of the role of informal and non-formal STEM engagement in society;
b. Demonstrate the importance of the role of science literacy in formal and informal/nonformal STEM engaging activities;
c. Outline methods and processes available to create activities suitable for informal and non-formal STEM engagement scenarios;
d. Develop an understanding of a variety of activities related to informal and non-formal STEM engagement;
e. Express the differences between formal and informal/non-formal STEM engagement;
f. Explain the role of scientific literacy and participatory approaches in informal/non-formal STEM engaging activities towards active citizenship.


a. Apply creative tools to organise activities for informal and non-formal STEM engagement;
b. Identify and apply different participatory approaches to STEM engagement with a widerange of audiences;
c. Demonstrate an ability to critique literature and case studies of informal and non-formal STEM engagement activities.


Assessment Methods

This programme adopts continuous and summative methods of assessment including assignments, online tasks, reflective journals, projects and video presentations. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List

1. Susan M. Stocklmayer , Léonie J. Rennie & John K. Gilbert (2010) The roles of the formal and informal sectors in the provision of effective science education, Studies in Science Education, 46:1, 1-44, DOI: 10.1080/03057260903562284
2. Kind, V (2012) Science teachers’ knowledge of science in Oversby, J (2012) (Ed) ASE Guide to research in science education. ASE, Hatfield.
3. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23674.
4. Citizen Science – Innovation in Open Science, Society and Policy. Edited by Susanne Hecker, Muki Haklay, Anne Bowser, Zen Makuch, Johannes Vogel, and Aletta Bonn and foreword by Carlos Moedas, Commisioner (2015-19) Research, Science and Innovation, European Commission. Online for free:

Supplementary Reading List

1. Osborne, J and J. Dillon (2008) Science Education in Europe: Critical Reflections, a report to the Nuffield Foundation
2. Lloyd, R, R. Neilson, S. King, and M. Dyball (2012) Review of informal science learning The Wellcome Trust, London.
3. ASPIRES: Young people’s science and career aspirations, age 10-14 (2013) Project report, Department for Education and Professional Studies, Kings College, London:

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