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!