The science classroom should provide more challenging, authentic and higher-order learning experiences, more opportunities for students to participate in scientific practices and tasks, using the discourse of science and working with scientific representations and tools. It should enrich and transform the students' concepts and initial ideas, which could work either as resources or barriers to emerging ideas. Advanced experimentation facilities, rich scientific databases, analysis tools and digital educational resources are publicly available, and can provide a catalyst for science learning.
In this framework the Conference will highlight and promote exemplary science education and outreach activities for schools. Such a process will help to chart the course into the future. By building on the best of current practice, theconference themes aim to take us beyond the constraints of present structures of schooling (pedagogical, organisational and technical barriers) toward a shared vision of excellence. The conference will present a series of exemplary practices, resources and applications (analysis tools, data repositories, simulations and advanced visualizations) that provide students with experiences that enable them to achieve scientific literacy, criteria for assessing and analysing students' attainments in science and learning opportunities that school programmes afford. It will offer a window onto live scientific experiments and phenomena, ongoing research, and the personalities and stories of working scientists across the globe.