GET YOUR WHOLE SCHOOL BUZZING ABOUT SCIENCE!
“What is science? Is it a body of facts, to be memorised and regurgitated? Or is it a method for finding out facts and testing and refining ideas?” Katherine Mathieson, TES blog.
In today’s blog we’ll be looking at our Young Science Ambassador Scheme and why its practical nature makes it such a valuable programme in the current educational climate.
Our Young Science Ambassador programme is now in its third year, with 25 schools booked on in this October alone. The aim of this nationwide scheme is to help schools raise the profile of science and get children really involved to lead the science agenda in their school.
So how does it work? Quite simply, we come to your school and spend the day training a group of 4 to 6 pupils to become Young Science Ambassadors. Crucially, the children experience a series of hands-on practical activities and learn the science behind them. They receive a set of lab coats and a big box of kit to help them perform a range of science based roles at school. Schools will generally cluster together in groups of around 4 to share the cost of the day.
And it seems as if this kind of scheme is needed more than ever in the current educational climate. Earlier this year, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, commented that focus on exams and league tables was forcing science to be “squeezed out” of the primary school curriculum. And in a time constrained timetable, the practical aspect of science is being particularly overlooked. Katherine Mathieson, chief executive of the British Science Association, likens this to asking children to learn how to play football from a textbook!
Astoundingly, a poll published in 2017 found that more than a quarter of teenagers take little or no part in science experiments in school, even though many pupils would like to experience more practical lessons. The ‘doing’ part of lessons are frequently the most engaging, as well as leading to the understanding that, as Mathieson says, “science (is) something more than just a bunch of facts”.
“Fantastic hands-on science fun!” (Teacher at Young Ambassador school)
Underpinning the National Curriculum in KS1 and KS2 is the element of “Working Scientifically”, essential enquiry skills building on Early Years learning through play and exploration. Practical activities and enquiries are a vital part of this, enabling children to ask and answer scientific questions, predict and observe, use equipment, draw conclusions, and, very importantly, discuss their findings using scientific language supported by evidence.
If you feel that meeting all of these requirements in an amazingly fun and engaging day is for you, then why not get in touch? It’s something new and different; the journey to getting the whole school buzzing about science starts here!
“A great day – very inspirational and packed with science fun!”