science education, science outreach, third space, dilemmas, inquiry based
To achieve economical growth, countries such as Ireland need to continue to invest in scientific enterprise, which necessitates having more students choose and follow scientific careers. Current literature and policies point out that science education needs structural and methodological changes to respond to this objective of challenging our youth to choose science. This has resulted in an increasing call for science outreach programs. Nevertheless, these programs have been classified as still sporadic and incoherent. To achieve their objectives and potential it is argued that they need to be further integrated within the formal sector, thus creating a third space in science education. This study will address this issue by focusing in the final two years of the primary level science education. Teachers and science outreach practitioners will be faced with methodological issues for fostering studentsí interest in science. This research method will be applied in order to investigate and design an effective model(s) of science outreach. It also aims to comprehend where the issues and tensions lie between science outreach and science education and how they affect the potential for the creation of partnerships between schools and outreach providers.