“Tinkering EU: Building Science Capital for ALL” is the second project funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (2017-1-IT02-KA201-036513). It wants to continue the work of Tinkering EU: Contemporary Education for Innovators of Tomorrow (2014-1-IT-02-KA200-003510) that introduced the Tinkering method in Europe for the first time.

Tinkering, inspired by the USA-based experience of the Exploratorium of San Francisco, is proven to be a powerful tool that contributes successfully to the improvement of key competences and skills and connects science knowledge, skills with the requirements of the contemporary labour market.

The first project implemented the innovative pedagogy of Tinkering at European level, through activities and resources primarily addressed to adult learners and educators in formal and informal education institutions.

The new project wants to extend the target and pursue new goals by integrating Tinkering activities and method into the school context. It aims to respond to the contemporary society’s needs through activities and resources that support a learner-centred culture, improve science education and develop the 21st century skills – all of which are fundamental for active citizenship, employability, social inclusion.

The project intends to explore the use of Tinkering in school education for the development of Science Capital with a specific focus on teachers and students from disadvantaged communities.
Inspired by the work of Pierre Bourdieu on social inequalities, Science Capital is more than learning about scientific concepts and processes; it encapsulates the various influences that a young person’s life experiences can have on their science identity and participation in science.

Science Capital is what one knows about science, how one thinks, the attitudes towards science, what one does, and who does one know in science as they go through life. It helps understand that science is useful to many roles and fields outside those that directly use it and is important for improving life chances, equity and success of all young people.

The project will integrate Tinkering in the school science education practice in each partner country aiming to:

  • improve the science skills of young people, especially those from disadvantaged groups
  • contribute to developing 21st century skills: creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, critical thinking
  • improve school practice through an innovative pedagogy (Tinkering) and a new science education approach (Science Capital)
  • promote a student-centred learning approach
  • support the work of teachers
  • encourage exchange of expertise and practice between formal and informal learning institutions
  • create a Europe-wide community of practice focusing on the use of Tinkering in STEM education.

Tinkering EU addresses students of 8 to 14 years old and their teachers as well as museum professionals through the following activities and resources:

  • Tinkering activities in museums followed up by work in class
  • A series of training workshops for teachers and museum professionals
  • An online publication discussing the methodological approach focusing on the relationship between Tinkering and Science Capital
  • A self-reflection tool for teachers to use to examine the impact of the work on their practice
  • Several dissemination actions at local, national and European level
  • A Europe-wide community of practice working on Tinkering and Science Capital.

Once ready, all resources will be available online in this website.