How can science centres and schools develop learning environments for school students and contribute by mutual understanding to science education policy as well? This session highlights situations that integrate free choice with formal science learning environments and looks at partnerships where formal science education calls upon science centres to provide the overall learning environments and teaching for students. Topics presented will consider the potential for these partnerships to improve science curriculum and contribute to education policy. Communication strategies, opportunities to share innovative practices and ways to evaluate and measure success can enhance the outcomes of these collaborations. Speakers from around the globe will describe the fundamental challenges, implementation, assessment and outcomes of free choice learning institutions operating formal learning environments. Participants will be able to share projects and ideas that combine formal and free choice learning institutions and will be encouraged to forge collaborations for launching their own projects.