Supplementary questions

Lots of people have written back to me with comments on the draft plans for the teacher packs. Thanks everyone!

People have been really complementary,

“Looks really useful for tackling the How Science Works criteria that can be difficult to teach”

“The lesson ideas look really exciting”

“Very well thought out”

“Has the potential to really inspire students”

So I think we are definitely on the right lines. People have raised some great questions which we’ll take on board when writing the teacher notes and designing the packs. It’s been really useful. But I’d like to know what the rest of you think about a couple of those issues:-

Lesson 2 – Debate

We had proposed a debate/role play on stem cells. One teacher pointed out that the Democs stem cell exercise is brilliant, and she’s right. Democs is about the best available and I don’t think we can better it for depth and completeness. However, it is quite complex to run and difficult to fit into an hour. We were thinking of doing a similar, but scaled down, simpler activity (teachers who want something more extensive could still use Democs of course). But perhaps that should be on a different topic, rather than re-inventing the wheel.

Question: Would it be better for us to just include a Democs stem cell kit, OR, to provide our own, simpler, debate activity on IVF?

Info sheet 2 – Data handling

We were trying to make sure there was one info sheet on each of the three sciences (chemistry, physics, biology) so we wanted this info sheet to be on a chemistry topic. The trouble is, we can’t think of a good one – the syllabus mainly seems to be about properties of materials and polymers, which it’s more difficult to relate to students in an exciting way (apologies to chemists!). Teachers have suggested lots of great biology topics – cannabis and addiction to hard drugs, health claims for food, claims for beauty products, evaluating alternative medicine (e.g. homeopathy).

Question: Would you mind if there isn’t a chemistry info sheet? Or can you think of an exciting topic for one?

I’d be really interested in your thoughts on these questions. You’re the experts! And if you’ve got any other comments on the packs so far then the more the merrier. Cheers!

Posted on March 18, 2008 by in Evaluation, Science Engagement. Tagged , , , , , , , , . 2 Comments.

2 Responses to Supplementary questions

  1. Dan Hannard says:

    re: debates

    I regularly use the debates kit from with my classes – it structures the debating process very clearly, with easy to follow sections to keep all students involved.

    Best of all, you can use the basci structure to debate any idea, at any level – all you need to provide is some “evidence” or info that the students can use to back up their argument.

  2. Dan Hannard says:

    re: chemistry info sheet

    To tie in with materials science, why not include an exercise based around data from testing sports materials eg sharkskin suits, trainers, cycling helmets etc?

    This would be relevant both for the Applied Science GCSE spec, and in time for the Olympics this summer.

    This year’s EU SchoolNet project is all about materials science. Check out for more ideas about materials.

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