Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Careers Days in York and Teesside to promote STEM Careers

Students working on the 'Spectroscopy in a Suitcase' activity

Over the next six months CIEC in collaboration with Cogent are holding six careers days (three in York and three in Teesside) to show local students what it is like to have a career in one of the science industries. Each region will have one day for each of 11-14, 14-16 and 16-19 age groups.
The morning sessions will be run by CIEC and will consist of a spectroscopy activity and a workshop based on either the Essential Chemical Industry website or Liquid Crystals. The afternoon workshops will be run by companies in the north already involved with CIEC .
The Careers Days will be free to attend and the programme for the day will run as follows (timings may vary):
9.30        Students arrive
9.45        Introduction
10.00     Spectroscopy in a Suitcase Workshop
11.00     ECI/Liquid Crystals workshop
12.00     Initial evaluation and lunch
12.45     Industry workshop
14.30     Evaluation and close of day

These workshops are a great opportunity for students to get a taste of working in the STEM industries and understanding what an interesting and rewarding career pathway the STEM subjects can lead to.
The dates and number of places available for the workshops will be advertised on the CIEC site soon.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Scientists and Engineers of the Future – Engaging with Primary Schools

Johnson Matthey hosted ‘Scientists and Engineers of the Future: Engaging with Primary Schools’, during the summer, at it’s site in Royston, UK. The event brought together scientists, engineers, teachers, children and industry representatives to promote CIEC’s Children Challenging Industry.
 The event  celebrated two successful years of Children Challenging Industry(CCI) in Royston during which over 600 children from local schools have taken part in lessons with industrial links and benefited from meeting scientists and engineers from Johnson Matthey either as part of an interactive  site tour or welcoming ambassadors in to their schools.  The experience shows the children   what a career in science or engineering could mean for them. Johnson Matthey have expressed their commitment to extending the project to enable more children to take part in the future.
Children from Roysia Middle School, St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and Fowlmere Primary School demonstrated their CCI practical science alongside staff from Johnson Matthey demonstrating science activities children see during site visits.  Speakers included Joy Parvin, Director of the CIEC, who spoke about the fact that in 1919 6% of engineers were women and how current research shows that the 6% figure sadly remains unchanged.  Clare Warren, Primary Science Advisory Teacher thanked all those at Johnson Matthey, and the teachers and children who have made the project such a great success.

 Zoe Linington, Head Teacher at Roysia Middle School, passionately endorsed the project as supporting the next generation of scientists and engineers, ‘It is vital that science is relevant to everyday life. That is where the Children Challenging Industry project has its greatest impact. Young children need to see the relevance of abstract concepts. They need to love their science education so much that they don’t want to give it up. Uptake at A level and degree level must be improved so that as a country we are growing the next generation of innovators. They will be the ones that will solve the difficulties facing our planet. Surely it is our patriotic duty to invest heavily in science education?’
Chris Morgan, Technical Director reinforced why the project is so important to Johnson Matthey and last, but by no means least, children from St Mary’s enthusiastically shared their experience of the project and received the loudest round of applause. 
Research has shown that while children enjoy science in primary school too few of them aspire to become scientists and views about their career aspirations remain fairly fixed through secondary school.  The recent CBI report Tomorrow’s World identified that there are simply not enough young people pursuing study and careers in these areas.  Through this CIEC initiative, Johnson Matthey are working hard to change minds and give children positive messages about potential careers in science or engineering.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Nicky Waller leads NSLC course 'Extending Thinking and Learning in Primary Science'

NY001a15 Extending Thinking and Learning in Primary Science

This course is based upon the ‘Thinking, Doing and Talking Science’ project
from Oxford which worked on the premise that science lessons which are most
successful at engaging and motivating pupils and raising their attainment
feature more practical activity, deeper thinking, more discussion, less (but
more focused) writing and more questioning.

You will be able to:

- clarify appropriate standards of expectation in primary science
and explore how to provide a rich and stimulating environment for children

- develop a clear understanding of progression and differentiation
in science

- develop a range of strategies to promote learning using higher
level thinking skills, effective questioning and discussion

- become more confident in delivering a range of practical
enrichment and extension activities

This is a residential course, two days 28-29 September 2015, followed by two
more days 8-9 February 2016
. Apply for an Enthuse award bursary to cover the
cost of professional development activities provided through the National
Science Learning Centre – meals and accommodation are included.

More details of the course here...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Roysia Middle School, Royston, is an enthusiastic fan of the joint CIEC and Johnson Matthey project

Roysia Middle School has been involved with the joint CIEC and Johnson Matthey (JM) project since the appointment of the CIEC Advisory Teacher, Clare Warren, in Royston. Clare delivers science lessons in school linked to concepts the children are able to see in action during their site visit to the Johnson Matthey site at Royston.

Zoe Linington, Head Teacher of Roysia, is a passionate supporter of the initiative and spoke at a
recent joint CIEC and JM event held at Johnson Matthey.  She strongly believes that primary children should be encouraged to enjoy science and think of it as a possible future career, “Young children need to see the relevance of abstract concepts. They need to love their science education so much that they don’t want to give it up.”

Certainly the pupils from Roysia have greatly enjoyed their experience as some of the following comments, made during their visit to JM demonstrate. Some of the children enjoyed particular aspects of the visit, “I enjoyed making the wash coat because you got to see some awesome things.”, “The ketchup experiment.  EVERYTHING!” and “I enjoyed the tour because I learned something about industry.”  Whilst other children just loved all of it “I liked everything because you all made it fun as well as practical.” and “I liked every fing.” [sic].

Monday, July 13, 2015

CIEC has a big presence at the ASE Primary Science Conference, 30th June 2015 at NSLC

CIEC were well represented at the recent Primary Science Conference held at NSLC, York at the end of June.

Joy Parvin, CIEC Director, was present with two of the CIEC Advisory teachers, Jane Winter and Nicky Waller.

Jane Winter’s session – Science in the Outdoor Classroom – was very popular with the delegates. More than 20 teachers explored ways to use the outside environment to enthuse children about science.  Activities included investigating natural materials and man-made fabrics to find which were suitable to make fairy houses, parachutes and rafts and building a science den out of bamboo canes.

Nicky Waller gave a workshop entitled 'Exciting Science Activities for EYFS and KS1'. Once again the audience were very receptive to all Nicky’s ideas for activities as they were very simple, covered basic science concepts and easy for the non-specialist primary school teacher to carry out with the very youngest scientists in school and help develop children's questioning and observation skills.

The teachers particularly liked ideas for making fossilized dinosaur eggs to hide around the school grounds and then go hunting like palaeontologists in order to carefully uncover what is hiding inside! Another favourite was the variation on the Crafty Crow Aesop's fable whereby children have to help Sylvia the bird reach the water inside the jam jar so that she can have a drink after a long and thirsty flight!

Nicky also gave the plenary keynote address - she outlines her theme below.

The initial title was 'Putting the wow into working scientifically' until I redrafted the title during the actual session to ensure that my message was clear. The new title then read 'Keeping the wow in Working Scientifically' to ensure that teachers are not just using wow science activities shared at conferences, websites, YouTube etc. whereby you have that 'wow' moment with the children but then nothing much more than that. It is crucial that, with every and any science activity we share with the children, the most important aspect of the planning phase is to think carefully about what will the children be able to know, understand or do as a result of this activity and then plan forwards from this point. The way in which we keep this going week after week in all our science lessons is to start with the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum and build from there, ensuring that the skills of working scientifically are deeply embedded in everything we teach. I believe, it is only by doing this that we are allowing the children we teach to become the most super scientists they possibly can be.

In the session, I shared my interpretation of the classic 'kid friendly elephant's toothpaste' activity using an imaginative story about a wise, well-loved King and clever little scientist named Pip who astounded the entire kingdom. We also heard about Clever Colin who made a simple magnifying glass to help the wizard read his magic spells (we even cracked some tiny codes too!) as well as taking part in measuring exercises, the Curly Wurly stretching world record and discovering a way to make giant gummy bears whilst learning about absorption.

Finally, every participant was given a copy of CIEC's new Progression in Working Scientifically from EYFS to Key Stage 3 booklet. Copies of this can be downloaded free from our website.”

An animated Nicky at her plenary session

Joy felt the day had been extremely successful, ‘The annual Primary Science conference is a great place for primary teachers to meet up, exchange good practice and go home full of new ideas. And I’m sure Nicky and Jane gave them plenty of material for next year!’

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Showing primary children industry in action is fun and improves science understanding!

A recent site visit by Fowlmere Primary School, Royston, to the local Johnson Matthey site on 24th June demonstrated how engaged the children were by what they had seen and the science they had been shown.

The site visit followed class science activities with  CIEC Advisory Teacher Clare Warren. During the site visit the children saw some of the science they had learned about in school in action at Johnson Matthey.

Here are some comments made by the children following the visit:

What the children said:
“I did like learning more things.”
“I enjoyed learning how to make catalyst cover.”
“I enjoyed working in different groups.”
“I enjoyed making the washcoat experiment with ketchup.  I also like seeing the robots working downstairs.”
“I didn’t like my group but did enjoy learning how to make stuff.”
“Science is one of my favourite subjects and I enjoyed everything.”
“I enjoyed the project because it was something different.”
“Science is one of my favourite subjects and I really enjoyed the trip so thank you very much.”

In response to what did you enjoy the most:
“Visiting the site; learning a lot about catalytic converters in vehicles.”
“Having the tour and making the soap.”
“Making and testing our bubble recipes.”
“Doing the salt experiment.”
“Doing experiments in class.”
“Is doing all the experiments that we don’t often do at school.”
“I enjoyed sucking up the ketchup.  Also I like doing the washcoat.”
“Visiting the site.  Holding a catalyst.”
In response to what did you enjoy the least:

“Never sitting down!”
“I enjoyed everything.”
“Climbing up the long, big stairs!”
“Making the soap.”
“I think the bubble experiment wasn’t very sciencey!”
“Look at cars.”

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Joy Parvin represented CIEC at 2015 International Science Education Symposium

Joy delivering her session entitled Linking Science and Technology via Industry Contexts

Joy Parvin, Co-Director of CIEC, was invited to speak at the 2015 International Science Education Symposium in Nanjing, China.  Joy and Derek Bell were the only two speakers from the UK.
Joy talked about the importance of making science relevant to pupils by setting it in industrial contexts.  The international audience were particularly interested in CIEC’s post 16 online resource The Essential Chemical Industry which gives worldwide information on manufacture, uses and production figures of the most widely used industrial chemicals. There was also interest in one of CIECs most popular primary resources, The Science of Healthy Skin, which is currently being translated into Mandarin.  Joy was able to demonstrate how CIEC sets science concepts in real industrial contexts using these online resources and associated practical science investigations.

Joy felt that the CIEC contribution was well received, “Being invited to speak at the symposium enabled CIEC to reach a wider Chinese audience. Another delegation of teachers/science educators from major cities in China is returning to York later this year for both primary and secondary training thus strengthening the York-Nanjing working relationship”.

Joy with Derek Bell (second from the left) at one of the sessions

Monday, June 8, 2015

Inspiring Science in the Outdoor Classroom at ASE Primary Science Conference on 30th June

What are these teachers doing? See below...

I am really looking forward to attending the Annual Primary Science Conference this year.  As well as presenting my own session, I will have the opportunity to attend some of the other sessions and I know that I will learn a lot.  I was especially excited to see that Anne Goldsworthy will be providing the key note lecture as well as another session for, although I have read much that she has written, I have never actually seen her in person.  I have however heard extremely good reports.

My own session “Inspiring Science in the Outdoor Classroom” will be based outside (whatever the weather) as I believe that the outdoors is the most under used resource in our schools.  As teachers we expend so much energy inspiring our pupils, providing worthwhile cross curricular activities and opportunities for learning when, if we know how to access it, Mother Nature has already done much of the work for us!  There are motivating contexts for all types of science enquiry, a wealth of material for measuring and data handling and real reasons for writing.  Moreover, challenging behaviour is generally less of an issue as children are motivated and engaged; they also appreciate the greater sense of freedom that being outside gives.  Although my session will be aimed at Early Years and Key Stage 1, well behaved Key Stage 2 teaches will be welcome to join us, and might even find something to inspire them too!

Answer: Building a fairy house!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Exciting Science Activities for Early Years and Key Stage One

One of Nicky's KS1 activities

The Annual Primary Science Conference held at the National Science Learning Centre, York, is always a highlight in my academic diary. I have been there, without fail, for many years now both as a participant and as a presenter and I will be networking in both of these guises on Tuesday 30thJune this year. The session I have decided to offer as ‘Option F’ in a superb list of choices is one I have titled ‘Exciting Science Activities for Early Years and Key Stage One’. I chose to offer this because, as an experienced primary school teacher, I have taught children in Key Stage Two for the majority of my career, however, after having my own children, I seem to have experienced a personal epiphany in just how wonderful and rewarding planning and teaching science activities for the youngest children in school can be. I also believe that sessions for Early Years and Key Stage One teachers can often be under represented at conferences and events and I wanted to do something to attempt to redress the balance.

My workshop will be practical, whereby you can try out a range of carefully planned, tried and tested science activities either created for or adapted to suit children in Early Years and Key Stage One. I have put a real emphasis on the ‘tried and tested’ aspect of the session, as I believe it is of the utmost importance that every activity I bring ‘to the table’ has been actually been carried out by me, in the classroom with children of the relevant age range. In many of my recent experiences, I have learnt from mistakes, evaluated and adapted ideas that I thought or presumed would work but quite clearly required rethinking or improving. I have built up a bank of science lessons and activities that really do work, I am proud of the resulting product and I am looking forward to sharing these with you on the day.

By Nicola Waller, CIEC Advisory Teacher for the North East

Nicky at a recent CIEC event

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CIEC host an open afternoon for University Colleagues

CIEC have been part of the Chemistry department at The University of York since it was set up in 1988. However, in that time CIEC has had several locations – some not on the central Chemistry site.
Now CIEC is back in the heart of the department it seemed the right time to throw an Open Afternoon so our Chemistry colleagues and colleagues from other departments could visit us, meet the team and have a go at some of our best known activities!

Gayle Pook and Joy Parvin were on hand to explain how we operate to visitors from other departments who may not be so familiar with our work whilst the team of Advisory Teachers demonstrated some of the primary science activities being carried out in primary schools around the country.
Joy with Jacqui Hamilton (Atmospheric Chemistry)…
…and enjoying a tea break with Emeritus Professor Bruce Gilbert (Chemistry)
Jane (left) with Gayle
Nicky Waller demonstrated a bubble-blowing activity from CIEC’s resource Kitchen Concoctions, Clare Warren was busy with a viscosity activity from Runny Liquids and Jane Winter hosted sand castle making from the Key Stage One resource Pencils, Poems andPrincesses. Saleesh Kumar was on hand to show off one of the new Liquid Crystal activities which have been developed by CIEC with Duncan Bruce and Saleesh Kumar (Chemistry Department, York) to be piloted in York primary schools later this term.
Clare (left) explaining Runny Liquids to Katrina Bakker (right)
Jane (right) supervising sand castle building with (from left) Adrian Harrison (Biology), Annie Hodgson, Duncan Bruce, Saleesh Kumar and Kirsty Penkman
The sand pit was a big success!
Saleesh discussing liquid crystals with Liz Swinbank (Education)
Nicky showing some children’s work to Bruce Gilbert
Joy was delighted with the event; “It has been a great opportunity to meet colleagues from Chemistry and other departments and show them what we do for primary science. Our strategy is to contextualise science for primary and secondary pupils, and to make credible connections between school science and the science that takes place in industry and higher education. Involving our colleagues with CIEC activities has hopefully demonstrated how we achieve this”.

Monday, April 13, 2015

SABIC host successful Children Challenging Industry visits for 12 years!

Kirklevington Primary School at SABIC

Kirklevington Primary School visited SABIC on 5th March and met Janet Jones who was hosting the visit. Janet loves inspiring young people. As a female worker in Industry, she feels it is important to empower girls to realise that working in industry is as accessible to them as it is to boys.

Janet Jones said, “The CCI programme offers primary children the opportunity to see our industry first hand.  The children ask fantastic questions and I am amazed at how quickly the time goes when they are with us.  I like to think that during their visit we inspire them to consider working in our industry, even though that decision is a long way off.”

The programme is so well developed now that it is literally ‘off the shelf’. Take a box out, check the equipment and use it - simplicity with minimum preparation. Janet recruited Joanna Bartlett, a Process Engineer, to assist with this visit - she is young, enthusiastic, female and has a Chemical Engineering Masters to her name! Janet has worked for the company for 31 years and she always presents to the children in a fun, relaxed ‘I really enjoy this job’ kind of way. This is exactly what we need to encourage the children to take more interest in Science. The local paper turned up and Janet took it in her stride, smiling through her ‘child friendly’ introduction to the company and sparking up interest without boring them with too much detail. The children quickly became engaged with the activities and had a tour around the site allowing them to see for themselves what it is like.
Enjoying one of the activities

The teachers, Mrs Johnstone and Mr Morgan said “The Children Challenging Industry sessions and the visit to SABIC were extremely enjoyable for both the children and the staff. The trip to SABIC opened the eyes of the children to science in the real world and inspired them by showing them how to be more investigative in their thought processes.
We would like to say a big thank you to SABIC for their continuous support and contributions to the project.”

By Jenny Harvey, CIEC Advisory Teacher in the North East

Monday, March 16, 2015

Industry visits improve children’s perceptions of industry

A Greneway pupil inspecting substrate during the Johnson Matthey site visit

In February 2015 pupils from Greneway Middle school, Royston, visited the Johnson Matthey site at Royston as the culmination of their Children Challenging Industry (CCI) experience. During their visit the children visited the Technology Centre to find out what catalysts are and what they do and made their own wash coats (the active part of the catalyst). This was followed by a tour of the site where they saw robots applying wash coat to the substrate.
The visit demonstrated how their school activities (the process of developing a good bubble mixture had much in common with the development and testing of wash coats) were directly related to work on the site.
A recent report on the impact of the CCI project in Royston schools demonstrated that children who are shown how science works in the ‘real world’ (in this case in industry) show a greater understanding of science and the possibility that they could have a future career using science.
Teachers taking part in CCI reported the greatest impact as being:
·         Improvement of children’s investigative skills and group work
·         Range of teaching ideas and the practical activities
·         The CIEC Advisory Teacher’s expert knowledge of science and the industrial content of the activities.
The majority of teachers felt their knowledge of teaching science had improved, the class sessions linked well to industry, the site visit was an important component of the experience and that they would use the written resources again. The CCI project also fulfilled their expectations.
At the end of the CCI intervention the teachers showed greater understanding of the interesting jobs available in industry and the economic benefits of industry.
Of the children who participated:
·         Over 80% enjoyed the investigations, learned something new and enjoyed the challenges
·         Over 70% liked learning about industry and now like science more.
The activities the Greneway children worked on in school were:

Below are some observations the children made following their visit to the JM site (positive comments far outweigh any negative comments).

What the children said:
 “I liked it all because I was learning new things.”
 “I enjoyed the ketchup bit because it was really fun and they explained it clearly.”
“I liked watching the robots.”
“The robots move like humans.”

In response to what did you enjoy the most:
“seeing the robots and learning what they do and sorting out the catalyst.”
“making the experiment with all of the liquids.”
“seeing the robots sorting out the catalysts.”
“looking at the cars.”

In response to what did you enjoy the least:
“Walking and walking upstairs and apart from that nothing.”

Deb McGarrity, Royston Site and Community Coordinator commented, "The difficulties of attracting young people into careers in science have been well documented in recent years.  From this perspective, I think it is important that schools in our area understand what Johnson Matthey actually does, and how exciting and varied a career in science can be”.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lotte Chemical UK Ltd host a great site visit for pupils from Errington Primary School, Marske

Year 5 pupils from  Errington Primary School, Marske by the Sea, recently visited Lotte Chemical as the culmination of their Children Challenging Industry sessions led by Jenny Harvey, CIEC Advisory Teacher in the north east.

The class were doing activities from Plastics Playtime and after their visit to Lotte to see the science concepts they had studied in school in action in industry they wrote a very enthusiastic letter of thanks:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Centre for Industry Education Collaboration introduce using industry as a primary science context to even more teachers at the annual Association of Science Education Conference, Reading

Teachers enjoying Nicky Waller's workshop (and the following pictures)

The response to the CIEC talks at the ASE conference this year was overwhelmingly positive with over 70 teachers attending Jenny Harvey’s workshop Embedding ‘Working Scientifically’ Skill within Real-life Contexts.

Jenny was delighted with the response, “Really positive comments with people saying 'Oh, I'm going to tweet about that now' and 'that was just what I needed' or 'that was great, thank you'. People loved the CIEC materials and think they're really useful and different with lots of ideas and examples. They particularly liked the hands on 'real life industrial' scenarios. I still had teachers approaching me the next day to say how much they'd enjoyed my session and that they couldn't wait to start using our resources.”

Joy Parvin’s session on Outstanding Science in Context demonstrated how, by making the children into ‘scientists’ for the industry based CIEC activities helps them to achieve more in both science understanding and an understanding of how science underpins so much of industry.


Nicky Waller’s workshop entitled Exciting Science Clubs for Key Stage One. “People commented how it was great to have a session focusing on the younger primary aged children as there were not many of these exclusively in the ASE programme. I was pleased to have 30 attend and participate in the first session of the day and my intention was to run a practical workshop, where they got to try out a range of carefully planned, tried and tested science activities either created for or adapted to suit children in Key Stage One. They also explored how they can organise and manage a science club in their own school, access reasonably priced resources and inspire even the youngest of our future scientists.”


Monday, January 5, 2015

Meet some of the CIEC (Centre for Industry Education Collaboration) team in Reading at ASE 2015

The complete Centre for Industry Education Collaboration (CIEC) team: (from left) Gayle Pook, Nicky Waller, Jane Winter, Clare Warren, Jenny Harvey and Joy Parvin

If you are attending this year's annual ASE conference at Reading do take the opportunity to meet and chat to Joy Parvin, Nicky Waller and Jenny Harvey.

Jenny is the first CIEC team member to hold a workshop - Friday 9th January at 12.30pm in the Palmer Building, Room 107. Using CIEC practical activities Jenny will be looking at links to the new curriculum, age appropriate standards of expectation in 'Working Scientifically' and how to use these for planning progression through Years One to Six.

Joy Parvin is talking at 3.30pm the same day (also Room 107 in the Palmer Building). Joy will be demonstrating how using freely available CIEC activities can help children develop their science skills by active participation in science activities.
Do come to the talk to meet Joy and get to know more about CIEC.

Nicky Waller's workshop is on Saturday 10th at 9.30am in Room G9 of the AMS Building. Nicky will be demonstrating how there are plenty of suitable science activities for 5-7 year olds who would enjoy a science club.