How can science competencies and concepts be taught and learned meaningfully and fruitfully? What knowledge and skills are necessary to enable young people to live a fulfilling life in a future society that will be faced with major scientific and social challenges?

These questions guide our research. We examine students and citizens’ knowledge and skills about natural scientific phenomena and try to capture and explain these learning processes. That is, we look at and try to understand and explain changes in people’s thought structures on the basis of interventions, which are guided by theory and based on evidence.

To do so, we draw on findings from neurobiology, cognitive linguistics and natural science didactics. Our research framework is informed by the model of educational reconstruction (MER) and experience-based understanding (embodied cognition).