Monday, June 30, 2014

How can we engage less priveliged children with education in general and science in particular?

Quit a bit of research lately seems to show that the underprivileged indigenous population are falling behind in their educational attainments when compared with other underprivileged groups - with boys also lagging behind girls. How can we engage these children and get them interested in improving their life chances?
One of the classic educational tools is using 'learning by doing' - something CIEC has proved can improve science attainment .
All CIEC activities are context based - so why not try Turf Troubles  ?
Turf Troubles investigates the best conditions for growing grass suitable for a sports pitch. Tie this work to the World Cup/Wimbledon/golf/whichever sport your children like!
Turf Troubles
A sports company wish to provide a turf surface at a sports ground suitable for a range of activities. Information is required on suitable grass types and the best growing conditions. They also need to know how much water will be needed, and the effects of soil type. By investigating various conditions of plant growth the children discover which will produce the best grass.

For children aged 7-9

Monday, June 16, 2014

Johnson Matthey appreciate the importance of encouraging young scientists into industry

Pupils from St Marys RC Primary school, Royston, taking part in a soot filtration demonstration at the Johnson Matthey site at Royston
Congratulations to Adel Neale and Debbie McGarrity who were part of the winning entry in the
 ‘People and community development collaboration’ category in Johnson Matthey’s Collaboration in Action Awards. They were nominated for their involvement with the Children Challenging Industry programme now running in the Hertfordshire Johnson Matthey site. They have been working with the CIEC Advisory Teacher for Hertfordshire, Clare Warren. Clare delivers the CCI lessons in school before the children visit the JM site at Royston. So far being involved in CCI has enabled JM to introduce 300 school children to science and industry. Johnson Matthey’s Chief Executive Robert Macleod was delighted that JM is reaching so many primary children because ‘collaboration is a key part of Johnson Matthey’s business strategy as we enter our third century ‘and he sent his congratulations to Adel and Debbie.  

 Johnson Matthey is also involved with CCI in the North East where Jenny Harvey, CIEC Advisory Teacher for the North East, organises site visits by local children to the Billingham JM site as part of their CCI involvement.


Children from Billingham South Primary School visiting the local Johnson Matthey site after working on Water for Industry in school

Monday, June 9, 2014

How to use water to de-mystify science and industry!

Children from Billingham South Primary School constructing a heat exchanger in school

Getting primary age children to focus on a career may seem like a tall order - but given the need for skilled employees in the science industries it makes a lot of sense.

A recent article in Process Engineering Magazine ‘Skills shortages are a number one concern’ included the following points:

 “Skills shortages are now the no. 1 issue for the process industries worldwide, industry leaders report. The problems, they say, are most acute in countries which have, over recent times, reduced their focus on manufacturing.”
Science can seem a little mysterious to young children, and often primary teachers have no science background which compounds the idea that science is 'difficult'. By using science materials that are context based and using everyday materials (what could be more basic than water) it is easy and enjoyable to introduce primary children to the excitement and possibilities of both science in school and beyond.
Using the CIEC resource 'Water for Industry' children see how important water is to the process industries whilst investigating corrosion and constructing their own heat exchanger out of a plastic drinks bottle!
By following a 'water cycle' from a reservoir, through an industrial site where it is treated, used as cooling water, and treated again before being returned to a river, the children investigate corrosion of materials, filtration techniques, heat exchange and carry out an extension activity on pH adjustment to regulate the acidity of the water.

Download Water for Industry (free) from the CIEC site