Science Learning Outside the Classroom
April 6, 2011
As concern mounts that U.S. students lack sufficient understanding of science and related fields, it has become increasingly clear that schools can’t tackle the challenge alone. This special report explores the field often called “informal science education,” which is gaining broader recognition for its role in helping young people acquire scientific knowledge and skills. Opportunities abound outside the classroom to learn about science, and to inspire a passion for it. Zoos and science museums, robotics clubs, science competitions, and online games are just a few of the options to engage American youths. Education Week reporters examine what informal science education looks like in practice, and what we know about its impact, its potential, and the challenges it faces.