The Association for Science Education
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Outdoor Science

outdoor science

ASE is committed to promoting fieldwork as an effective and inspirational way to teach science.

The 'outdoor classroom' provides a meaningful way to engage learners in practical science, giving them experience of collecting and analysing data, and making predictions in the real world, beyond the limitations of the classroom or laboratory. The wider educational benefits of teaching and learning science through fieldwork in the natural and built environments include teamwork, motivation and its potential to influence positively the choice of science as a future subject of study.

In 2016 ASE will be supporting the Year of Fieldwork, alongside the Geographical Association, Royal Geographic Society with IBG and Field Studies Council. For further information on the Year of Fieldwork please visit

Key Reports

Ideas and activities for the outdoor classroom

For Primary

  • The Great Bug Hunt Use your outdoor classroom and join in the Great Bug Hunt. An annual competition for primary schools to explore the bug world.

For Secondary

  • Thinking Beyond the Classroom is a free resources for KS3 science from King’s College London, developed by ASE. The CPD resource has 10 activities encourage observation, group work and discussion and are easily carried out in school grounds and parks. The resource is designed to show how teaching strategies used in the classroom can be transferred to the outside.

Outdoor Science Working Group (OSWG)

Convened by ASE in 2004 in response to a long and continuing decline in the use of outdoor fieldwork to teach science in the UK’s schools, particularly at secondary level. The OSWG feels that this is detrimental to the quality of science education and reduces the opportunities for children to appreciate everything that science has to offer them, both as future citizens and potential recruits to science careers.

Photo Credit: Pete Boardman, FSC