January 2006 - Posts
This site gives information and guidance about the curriculum changes.
This site is may be of interest, as it shows how ICT can be used to develop school resources in science. The school is North Chadderton in Oldham.
They even have their own blog
The 14-19 strategy confirmed that Science will remain a compulsory subject at Key Stage 4. There will, however, be some changes.
The new programme of study for Science will be introduced in September 2006. Current disapplication arrangements (whereby pupils on a substantial work-related learning programme can be disapplied from Science at Key Stage 4) will cease once the revised programme of study is in place. Subject awards already existing in Biology, Physics and Chemistry will continue to be available during the pilot, as will the existing double award for Science.
The new Science GCSE — Science in the 21st century - is currently being piloted in approximately 50 schools. It aims to engage pupils with contemporary science issues by providing a more flexible structure with a common core suitable for all learners. The GCSE comprises three separate single Science GCSEs:
Core science (common to all)
General (the academic route)
Applied (the vocational route)
The vocational GCSE in Applied Science was introduced in September 2002 and has become more widely available in schools since September 2003.
Fuss free site for GCSE students with sections devoted to radioactivity, forces and motion, energy, electricity and earth and the universe.
Computer animations of physical processes using .mpeg movies showing waves, optics, mechanics and thermodynamics
Exploratorium was one of the first science museums to use the Internet. Packed with over 1500 pages devoted to science topics.
Physics Web contains a wealth of links and teaching aids on its resources page including lecture notes and research papers.
The particles of nature and the fundamentals of matter and force explored in this interactive site. Einstein for beginners.
A site that illustrates how thermonuclear fusion works.
From Cambridge University. An uncluttered simply designed site that tells, in fairly layman’s terms, the fundamentals of cosmology. Includes movies and a links to Stephen Hawking.
A huge physics resource with the latest news from the scientific world.
Helpful GCSE Physics revision notes.
The yahoo directory on physics containing a multitude of links.
Schools are turning to an unusual source to help fill teacher shortages – their own pupils.
A new campaign has been launched by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) encouraging youngsters to design a new recruitment poster to attract physics teachers.
The move follows a critical report which said the subject was in danger of disappearing from state schools altogether because of a shortage of specialist teachers.
A recent study by Alan Smithers and Pamela Robinson of Buckingham university said thousands of pupils were completing GCSE science without being taught by a physics teacher and with little idea about the subject.
Now the TDA is launching a competition inviting Year 12 and 13 A-level art students to use their skills to design a recruitment poster - aiming to encourage more people to train.
Each poster will be entered into one of eight regional heats, with one student from each region winning the chance to see their design become a full size poster, which will be displayed on a billboard near their school.
One overall winner will also win a work placement at DDB London, an advertising agency, plus £250 in prize money for themselves and £250 for their school.
For more information about the competition and to receive a scheme of work, full design brief and the judging criteria email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit the website: www.tda.gov.uk/teachers/bemyteachercompetition.aspx
Big Screen Science involved a group of secondary schools in making ten-minute films on a biomedical science subject. They include an animated film about xenotransplantation made by ten Muslim girls from a tough Manchester comprehensive and dramas on subjects such as stem cells and organ donation. A free DVD of the films and resource booklet can be obtained from:
A new science teachers’ bursary scheme has been launched by BAE Systems, which runs until December 2007. In its first year, approximately 25 fully-funded bursaries worth a total of £40,000 will be awarded to enable teachers to attend the National Science Learning Centre in York. The NSLC is part of a network of Science Learning Centres offering residential courses aimed at supporting teachers in their efforts to increase the take-up of science and engineering courses at post-16 and degree level.
Do you see yourself as the next David Attenborough or Susan Greenfield? FameLab™, the science world’s equivalent of Pop Idol, invites science workers aged 21 upwards to give short talks on a science topic for a non-scientific audience at regional heats in the spring. Twelve UK finalists will be shortlisted to receive two days of intensive training before the final at the Cheltenham Science Festival in June. The winner receives broadcasting time on Channel 4, a UK tour of speaking events and £2,000.
www.FameLab.org.uk; tel: 01242 775824.
International environmental charity Earthwatch is offering secondary science teachers the chance to spend two weeks helping to conserve the coastal ecosystems of the Seychelles.
The Earthwatch Teacher Awards will see four lucky teachers scoop the opportunity to join Earthwatch scientists and fellow teachers from Britain and the Seychelles, on the little populated Silhouette Island.
Fringed with coconut palms, Silhouette is surrounded by coral reefs and mangroves and is home to giant tortoises, bats and tropical birds.
But this is no holiday. Award winners will spend their days identifying previously unexplored coral, mangroves, reef fish, snails, crabs, sponges, urchins and seagrasses to help scientists establish high priority areas for monitoring and conservation.
On their return, teachers will be asked to produce a series of lesson plans based on coastal ecology conservation. These educational resources will be made available to schools in the Seychelles and in the UK.
The project runs from 15-28 August. Places will be awarded according to each applicant’s ability to demonstrate their enthusiasm for the environment by filling in an application form, detailing what they hope to learn and ideas for how to share their experiences with others.
Interested teachers should call Earthwatch on 01865 318826 or e-mail email@example.com
The deadline is 10 February.
A comprehensive study of 10,000 11 year olds due to be published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology states that there has been a dramatic drop in the proportion of pupils able to master basic maths and science concepts as they leave primary school.
The research, which looked at the performance of 11-year-olds in 1976 compared with Year 7 pupils from 2000 to 2003, blames recent government initiatives for a decline in understanding. It also blames teachers for narrowing their pupils’ knowledge by teaching to national tests.
The study compared how pupils grasped such concepts as volume, weight, density and displacement.
Problems included comparing the same volume of liquid in a wide beaker and a narrow tube, and looking at the displacement of liquid by blocks of similar size but different weights. In 1976, 33.4 per cent of boys and 23.9 per cent of girls showed a high performance in these tests, compared with just 5.7 per cent of boys and 4.7 per cent of girls in 2003-4.
Professor Michael Shayer of King’s college, London university, whose research is due to be published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology, said the decline between 1976 and 2000-1 (when 15.2 per cent of boys and 8.1 per cent of girls performed well) may be down to pupils playing more computer games and watching television rather than experimenting with tools and other objects around them.
The Science of Aliens explores our fascination with aliens and the real science underlying the possibilities for alien life.
The exhibition takes you on a journey through the real science of alien life and into the furthest reaches of your imagination. Get up-close and personal with some classic science fiction films and props, then come face-to-face with the weird creatures that inhabit Earth, before exploring far-flung planets and stars.
Enter the "Alien Worlds" of leading scientists and meet the aliens they have imagined in a unique hands-on environment. And before you leave, compose your own personal message to an alien.
Pure Iceland unleashes the power of Europe's most energetic island. Learn about Iceland's quest to become the first nation dependent only on renewable energy sources.
Covering such diverse subjects as volcanoes, ice, water, marine life, the environment, heavy industry and energy technology this free exhibition explores the treatment of Iceland's energy industry through drama interpretations and stories presented by actors, to backdrops of mud volcanoes, lava cones and gigantic projections of the sea at dusk.
Tel: 0870 870 4868; ww.sciencemuseum.org.uk
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