CREST Star Investigators is a brand new, UK-wide award scheme that enables children to solve scientific problems through practical investigation. The activities focus on thinking about, talking about, and doing science. These could be useful "club" activiites for Y7 or be built into your SoW. The rquirement for students to undertake their own investigation in the new PoS for KS3 means you will be looking for inspiration soon.
Perhaps this scheme is a way of accrediting that work and may act as a motivator.
Follow link to BA site.
The main CREST awards are still very useful and may be more suited for the new PoS at KS3.
I received the following e-mail from Cancer Research UK. The resources may be useful for new KS4 courses.
"I thought you may be interested to know that we have recently launched a series of 4 fully evaluated lesson plans about cancer, health and how science works. The lesson plans link to the key stage 4 science/biology, citizenship and PSHE curricula, and can be downloaded from www.cancerlessonplans.org.uk :
What is cancer? explains the biology of the disease
Trust me, I’m a doctor debates the ethical issues surrounding the use of human tissues in research
Design your own health campaign challenges students to encourage others to adopt a healthy lifestyle
Cancer and viruses highlights the role of viruses in cancer and the possible impacts of a vaccine for cervical cancer
We do hope you have time to go and take a look, and would be grateful if you could highlight these new resources to the science teachers in your area. We would love to hear their feedback - any comments and suggestions they may have should be sent to email@example.com
Many thanks and best wishes,
Senior Science Information Officer
Cancer Research UK
61, Lincoln's Inn Fields
London WC2A 3PX
The Levels Mountain is an approach to teaching that has been developed by Thinking Frame. It is a way of enabling teachers and pupils to understand what progression through the levels of the National Curriculum for Science 'feels like'. It helps teachers and pupils to visualise progression and to see what needs to be done to reach the next level.
The levels are described in terms of models and modelling.
I have provided a Powerpoint presentation to explain the basics of the levels mountain as a way of supporting progress at KS3. A similar mountain could be devised for KS4. The presentation includes exemplars of pupils' work which demonstrate the usefulness of the approach.
A meeting has been arranged by Shaun Obrien at Laleham Gap school for support for the above Specification. JOHN beeby a Chief Examiner and Moderator will be running the day and concentrating on the second year of implementing this new spec.
If you are interested please contact Shaun Obrien on 01843 221946.
This article should really be entitled ... Everything you ever wanted to know about ......
The aim of this article is two-fold:
1. Explain what a blog is, and how RSS (really simple syndication) can be used to share information and spread messages. We also aim to explain how the combination of the two technologies is used in podcasting.
2. Demonstrate how a blog can be used to link and reference a topic to web resources.to help explain things. (You may have noticed that some of the words are underlined; when you click on these it takes you to a site where you can find out more about the topic).
So ... what is a blog? Well, you're looking at one now!
Essentially a blog is a simple to publish web site where you can easily add information, articles, links, and even (in the case of ClusterBlog pictures and files).
A blog maintains the 'posts' in date order, and keeps a permanent online running record of activity, a web log, shortened to 'blog'. It also allows viewers to add comments and respond.
To be effective a blog should centre around an individual person, single issue, or, as in the case of the science advisors 'blog', a single interest subject ... Science teaching and learning! We have put together an acceptable use policy as a guide for clusterbloggers which may be useful as a guide.
Of course, there are millions of websites, so why would you keep coming back to a site? Let's be honest, if you visit a few times and there's nothing new to see on each visit, you stop visiting, unless its a reference site. That's where the cool tool called RSS comes in.
RSS stands for really simple syndication, and turns the astute web user from a reader to a feeder.
Imagine if you had a single web page that brought together all of the things you are interested in, and let you know when something new had been added. That is what RSS is! No more email in-boxes filling up with adverts and spam, just the information you want, when its new! As a bonus you can go back and view all of the past posts as well, so it keeps a record of activity.
Many websites, particularly those that deal with quickly changing content now have a small orange button with either RSS or XML written on it. This is the key to syndicating, as they indicate the presence of a 'feed'. There are some excellent guides to RSS, and the BBC site is a popular source of news feeds.
In order to read a feed, there are two approaches:
1. Download a free feedreader application. This is useful if you use the same computer for all your activities, as it installs on to the computer.
2. If you use different computers, then a web based feed reader is best. There are several available, and most are free including yahoo and bloglines.
Adding feeds is easy, and there are instructions provided. In some instances it requires you to click on the orange button, then cut and paste the URL address line. If you use bloglines, you can often see a button with 'bloglines' written on it. Clicking on this will subscribe you to that sites feed. Many sites have collections of feeds to cover topics and areas of interest, including yahoo.
How can I use it in education?
Imagine being able to publish homework on the Internet, complete with references to web sites.
Keeping a log of a science investigation?
Publishing is a powerful way of communicating, and inspires people. It is especially powerful when readers or feeders comment. Of course, the question of how to make sure readers don't swear or insult is important. Most blogs allow moderation or stop comments unless approved. The approval process ensures that rude or innappropriate comments are avoided.
Where does podcasting come in?
Podcasting uses the same RSS feature as described above! Instead of letting the user know that a website has updated, it simply lets the user know that a new sound file is available. This can be created using a free sound recording program called Audacity, which can be saved as an MP3 file, and downloaded on to an iPod or MP3 player. There are even videocasts!
If you need more information about blogging contact the digital curriculum team or explore the web. Many of the features are free, and they are fun to use, as well as being powerful educational tools.