COSMOS stands for Creating Organisational Structures for Meaningful science education through Open Schooling for all, and it is a H2020 funded project, which uses socioscientific inquiry-based learning (SSIBL) in science education as a pedagogical means of opening up schools to their communities. COSMOS aims to address the challenges of low interest in science and science career aspirations, and the underrepresentation of female students and those from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds in formal and non-formal settings, at the primary and secondary education phases.

To transform, and open, schools from an ‘inwards’ towards an ‘outwards’ mode of engagement in, with and for their communities we aim to develop wore teams of collaborators within our participating schools, that can work together on making science education more relevant for pupils and beneficial for both them and their communities. The communities of practice we develop will be focused on relevant and meaningful socioscientific issues (SSIs) for the students and their community, to enhance and ensure engagement of all societal actors, and consequently enhance students’ interest in science and science careers using SSIBL. At the same time, we will ensure the viability and sustainability of open schools created by working closely with teachers, stakeholders and school leadership offering teacher professional development, supporting networking and collaboration and capacity building.

The COSMOS consortium (13 partners, 7 countries) provides transdisciplinary cooperation and expertise in non-formal and formal science education, expertise in pre-service and in-service science teacher education, and, strong societal links within their communities, all of which warrant the successful development of organisational structures for networking and collaboration, the creation of CoP and the use of SSIBL as a pedagogy within science education.

During 2022-23 school year, we co-designed and implementation units of work in a primary school focusing on the socioscientific issue of biodiversity loss, and in a secondary school focusing on the socioscientific issue of pollution and waste management. We had the opportunity to present the work done by these schools at our Successful COSMOS teacher conference in Prague!

We are currently working with two primary schools and two secondary schools in further developing our previous units of work, and co-designing with our partner schools new SSIBL units to consider more socioscientific issues and  how these can be addressed within communities of practice.


The researchers involoved in this project are: Dr Andri Christodoulou, Dr Marcus Grace and Samantha Weston.

You can find more information about the SSIBL framework here.

UK Project partner: Winchester Science Centre

Project coordinator: Utrecht University, The Netherlands

The COSMOS project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No.101005982.