Thursday, December 20, 2012

CCI school wins Environmental Project Award in the north east

Over the last 6 years, BOC - the UK’s largest supplier of industrial gases and engineering solutions, has donated £20,000 to science projects in local schools through its sponsorship of the BOC-NEPIC Industrial and School Environmental Awards. These are presented at the NEPIC Annual Awards Dinner in January each year.
This year, a wide range of excellent environmental projects were put forward by schools across the north east of England. The entries were judged by CCI Advisory Teacher Nicky Waller and representatives from BOC. The winner has just been announced as Kader Primary School in Middlesbrough who plan to develop large areas of their school grounds into a learning environment and wildlife area in order to provide curriculum enrichment for all children.
The project was developed by the children themselves, they built a model and they presented part of their application by video. It was clear that they were committed to using the £2,000 prize money to bring the garden into being.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Positive Feedback from CIEC visit to Nanjing

Below is some feedback from Professor Ye Zhaoning after the three day course that Joy Parvin and Gayle Pook delivered in Southeast University, Nanjing, in November.

Teachers participating gave positive feedback. 90% of the teachers felt much satisfied with the content, activities and training methods, and gained a lot. Context, on-going assessment and talking strategies were the most important ideas [that] teachers learned and would like to practice during their work in the future. Differences between the education systems of China and the UK were also interesting. Joy and Gayle’s comments on teachers’ lesson resources were particularly helpful. “Joy and Gayle are very professional. We’re much moved by their dedication.” Participants said, “Thank them and LBD project for giving us such a wonderful opportunity to learn about new teaching and learning strategies, and we hope to take part in this kind of workshops again.”
Professor Ye Zhaoning (left, pictured during her stay in York) hosted the three day course in Nanjing

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

CIEC Promoting Science visit a Nanjing Primary School

Being greeted at the school
Gayle Pook and Joy Parvin have recently returned from a visit to South East China University, Nanjing where they were delivering primary workshops to primary teachers and advisors.
The workshops included context based practical enquiry, classroom communication strategies and assessment for learning techniques which compliment the Handsbrain- doing to learn ethos being developed at the University. The teachers enthusiastically got down to work on the CIEC activities.  Although Joy and Gayle were there primarily to deliver professional development, one of the highlights of their stay was visiting a local primary school.
At the school they were greeted by some of the pupils giving a presentation (in English) about their school and its history and expertise in caligraphy. This was followed by observing a very active science lesson where the children were exploring conductors and insulators. There was also an opportunity to discuss education in China with the principle of the school.
Working together to find answers

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Teachers in Nanjing participate in CIEC Promoting Science workshops

The teachers try making pencils - an activity from the CIEC resource Pencils, Poems and Princesses.

Joy Parvin and Gayle Pook delivered a series of workshops earlier this week during their visit to Southeast University, Nanjing. The workshops, for primary teachers, were based on CIEC resources used in the UK. 

Testing the fairings for wind resistance - an activity from the CIEC resource Feel the Force.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Co-Directors of CIEC Promoting Science are Delivering Workshops in Nanjing, China

Joy Parvin and Gayle Pook are visiting Nanjing to deliver workshops to primary school teachers. Using CIEC resources (which in the UK are used in the Children Challenging Industry project) the Nanjing teachers are finding out more about how CIEC use industrial contexts to deliver primary science which really engages the children.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Misconceptions in Science

27th September: Nicky Waller (and Tanya Shields) led a workshop focussing on Misconceptions in Science

Some lively group work took place in the session this morning. Nicky invited the visitors to produce a 'mind map' about a science topic they usually teach in China - and to include a deliberate 'misconception'. This was to help demonstrate how easy it is for children to  pick up misconceptions about science. An example everyone agreed on was that many children think that air is 'nothing'.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Visit to Woodthorpe Primary School, York

Tanya Shields accompanied the visitors from Nanjing to Woodthorpe Primary School

Once again the visitors were able to observe how a typical primary school in the UK teaches science. They were involved in a Year 3/4 lesson where the SMart science resource was used. They were able to study the resource in depth after the lesson.
They also had an opportunity to share ideas with the science subject leader at Woodthorpe, Sharon Allen.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Practical IT session

Monday 24th September
Nicky Waller and Tanya Shields ran an IT session this morning.
Today the primary teachers had a go at the kinds of ICT we use in primary schools in the UK, from data-loggers and electronic microscopes to blogs and educational websites. This session was held at the National Science Learning Centre.
Two of the challenges for the group included finding the perfect material for an eye mask and deciding which materials kept a baby's bottle warm.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Setting Science in Context

Gayle Pook and Joy Parvin ran a primary practical session on Day 5 of the Nanjing visit.

The session on Friday 21st September about teaching science within a context that children understand proved very popular.

There were several animated discussions to consider some 'real life' contexts that pupils would be familiar with in which to set science investigations.Firstly packaging was considered as a starting point. The visitors produced beautiful mind maps which showed all the strands that children could investigate - the environmental footprint of waste packaging was a prominent strand.

Gayle set a challenge involving foam production! After looking at CIEC's new web resource Science of Healthy Skin the visitors were provided with basic equipment and asked to measure the foam they produced. Great fun was had and the conclusion was that shaking detergent and water produced much better foam than whisking!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Visitors from Nanjing make a local primary school visit

Gayle Pook reports on Day 4 of the Southeast University, Nanjing, visit:

Our Chinese teachers from Nanjing visited Wilberfoss Primary and Woodthorpe Primary schools in York this morning. In Wilberfoss they had the opportunity to observe Year 2 pupils in a literacy lesson, Year 4 children carrying out research in the ICT suit and then later solving maths problems, and science in year 6 focused on the Earth and Space.  There was also time for a tour of the foundation stage classroom where the children had been making cakes and our visitors were also enthralled by the assembly which focused on Christian values.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Teachers from Southeast University, Nanjing visit York

Primary teachers from Nanjing district, China, attended two primary sessions this morning where they participated in some typical CIEC primary science activites.
Some of the topics included testing paper towels for 'mopping up' properties, counting seeds in various fruits and seeing how quickly a block of ice melts.
More unusual activities included becoming a human bar chart and  a human line graph!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Science of Healthy Skin - NEW RESOURCE

The Science of Healthy Skin resource is now available through the CIEC Promoting Science web site and as an Activity Book.
The website and hard copy resource have been specially designed to teach 9-11 year olds about a range of products which help clean and protect our skin. Through online and classroom activities, children have the opportunity to develop and implement creative ideas and innovative solutions to scientific and industrial problems. It is based on the work of real companies, in which innovation in science is crucial.
The web pages are for teachers to use directly with their classes, alongside an exciting range of investigations and other practical science activities, which are available as downloadable materials at the start of each section or as an Activity Book available by contacting
Why not look at the web activities now? Click on the link below:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Primary Science Conference

A very successful day was had at the NSLC/ASE Primary Science Conference.
The sun shone and everyone was in a happy mood.  A total of 115 teachers, advisors and people interested in primary science attended.
A roaring trade was done at our stand where our publications are being offered at £1 per copy.    
Sue Andrews ran two workshops linked to the publication ‘Is There Anyone Out There?’, funded by the UK Space Agency and developed by ESERO-UK and CIEC Promoting Science.
A quote from Sue  “The workshops were very well received. I worked myself to the bone ensuring that all went smoothly!”

Friday, March 30, 2012

Industry Ambassadors to support science in the classroom.

Ambassadors from Lucite and FUJI met with the science department  at Northfield School Billingham to begin the development process for a STEM project to take place in school this summer.  The new ambassadors will join Johnson Matthey employees who introduced this initiative at St Michael’s last year.
To extend Children Challenging Industry into secondary schools, CIEC Promoting Science provide support and training for this programme where volunteers from local industry take part in practical science lessons to enhance the context of the lessons and show pupils how science is applied in manufacturing and research.
John Burgess, head of science at Northfield, thanked the ambassadors who attended and said ‘Last night was an excellent start to the process and we look forward to taking the next steps.’
CIEC are looking forward to delivery of this project in the classroom as it more than doubles the number of ambassadors that were involved in last year’s very successful pilot.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fantastic event at the House of Commons

As you can see from the photograph above, the event hosted by Esther McVey on behalf of CIEC Promoting Science was a great success.
After introductions from Esther McVey and Joy Parvin the industrialists and MPs attending the event were able to ask the children (from St Michael’s secondary School, Billingham) all about their experience of being involved in CIEC Promoting Science activities. George was particularly enthusiastic and even had a job offer from one of the industrialists present!
We are delighted that so many members from both Houses and so may influential industrialists were able to attend and look forward to keeping them up to date with future projects at CIEC Promoting Science.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Exciting New Resource from CIEC Promoting science

During February-April CIEC Promoting science has an exciting new resources for you to trial. Aimed at teachers of 9-11 year olds, this resource focuses on ‘scientists at work’ making sun creams, soaps, bath foams and more. This is achieved via a series of classroom practical activities and investigations, and interactive website. In addition, you could have the opportunity for an industry ambassador to visit your classroom, depending on your geographic location.

The curriculum-linked classroom activities are explained in clear concise teachers’ notes and activity sheets, which can be downloaded from the website.

If you would like to take part in this trial please contact us on providing an email address to which you would prefer the electronic resources to be sent. We will send you a questionnaire to complete and return after the trial, and welcome children’s feedback as well as samples of work and photographs of the children/ambassadors in action (subject to permission for use).

Monday, January 16, 2012

CIEC Promoting Science at the House of Commons

After a fantastic ASE meeting where our workshops were well attended and received, we are preparing to visit London later this week.
On Thursday January 19th Esther McVey MP, Chair of the Chemical Industry All Party Parliamentary Group, is kindly hosting a reception on behalf of CIEC Promoting Science at the House of Commons. The CIEC team will be there with teachers and children from St Michael’s Secondary School, Billingham, to meet other MPs, influential industrialists and bodies such as the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Academy of Engineering. We will be able to demonstrate (with the children’s help) just how effective getting involved with CIEC is for promoting science in school and introducing a generation of children to the science based industries.

Monday, January 9, 2012

CIEC at the ASE Annual Conference - Liverpool

This year teachers from as far as Australia attended our sessions at this year's ASE conference.  It was lovely to discuss science with teachers from all over the world and find a common understanding and enthusiasm for primary science.
A particular highlight was the AZSTT Primary Science Teacher Awards.  Six awards were presented to teachers from across the UK.  The CIEC team were delighted to see Nina Spilsbury, Malcolm Sargent Primary School, collect her award.  Nina has worked closely with the CIEC team, through the National Science Learning Centre, to promote and develop science in her school.  Prize winners received a cheque for £1,000 for the teacher and a cheque for £1,000 for the school – plus a certificate and ASE Membership for one year for the teacher.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Meet CIEC Promoting Science at the ASE Annual Conference

4 – 7 January 2012 at The University of Liverpool

CIEC Promoting Science are once again in residence at the ASE Annual Conference which is held this year at The University of Liverpool.
You can visit the team on their stand CS10 and chat about CIEC projects and resources.
The team are also delivering several sessions (some booked):

Friday 6th January 2012 – 14.00
Getting Practical
New horizons: practical ideas for space discovery in the primary classroom
(Gayle Pook, Sue Andrews)

Friday 6th January 2012 – 11.30-13.00

BC42 Primary science and stories… from industry (repeated Saturday 0930)
Joy Parvin, Gayle Pook, CIEC Promoting Science, University of York

Contextualising science increases children’s enthusiasm for the subject. In addition to using fictional stories and poems, there are great stories from industry that enthuse children and teachers, whilst providing insights into the relevance of school science to the world of work, and STEM career opportunities. But how do you access these stories? This session will introduce you to interactive websites, practical classroom science activities, strategies to work directly with industry, and complimentary teaching materials; thus providing the tools to develop these opportunities for your school.
Discipline: Curriculum development
Target audience: 7-11

Friday 6th January 2012 – 16.00
Creative primary science – fun,practical, engaging!
(Tanya Shields)