Monday, May 18, 2015

Exciting Science Activities for Early Years and Key Stage One

One of Nicky's KS1 activities

The Annual Primary Science Conference held at the National Science Learning Centre, York, is always a highlight in my academic diary. I have been there, without fail, for many years now both as a participant and as a presenter and I will be networking in both of these guises on Tuesday 30thJune this year. The session I have decided to offer as ‘Option F’ in a superb list of choices is one I have titled ‘Exciting Science Activities for Early Years and Key Stage One’. I chose to offer this because, as an experienced primary school teacher, I have taught children in Key Stage Two for the majority of my career, however, after having my own children, I seem to have experienced a personal epiphany in just how wonderful and rewarding planning and teaching science activities for the youngest children in school can be. I also believe that sessions for Early Years and Key Stage One teachers can often be under represented at conferences and events and I wanted to do something to attempt to redress the balance.

My workshop will be practical, whereby you can try out a range of carefully planned, tried and tested science activities either created for or adapted to suit children in Early Years and Key Stage One. I have put a real emphasis on the ‘tried and tested’ aspect of the session, as I believe it is of the utmost importance that every activity I bring ‘to the table’ has been actually been carried out by me, in the classroom with children of the relevant age range. In many of my recent experiences, I have learnt from mistakes, evaluated and adapted ideas that I thought or presumed would work but quite clearly required rethinking or improving. I have built up a bank of science lessons and activities that really do work, I am proud of the resulting product and I am looking forward to sharing these with you on the day.

By Nicola Waller, CIEC Advisory Teacher for the North East

Nicky at a recent CIEC event

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CIEC host an open afternoon for University Colleagues

CIEC have been part of the Chemistry department at The University of York since it was set up in 1988. However, in that time CIEC has had several locations – some not on the central Chemistry site.
Now CIEC is back in the heart of the department it seemed the right time to throw an Open Afternoon so our Chemistry colleagues and colleagues from other departments could visit us, meet the team and have a go at some of our best known activities!

Gayle Pook and Joy Parvin were on hand to explain how we operate to visitors from other departments who may not be so familiar with our work whilst the team of Advisory Teachers demonstrated some of the primary science activities being carried out in primary schools around the country.
Joy with Jacqui Hamilton (Atmospheric Chemistry)…
…and enjoying a tea break with Emeritus Professor Bruce Gilbert (Chemistry)
Jane (left) with Gayle
Nicky Waller demonstrated a bubble-blowing activity from CIEC’s resource Kitchen Concoctions, Clare Warren was busy with a viscosity activity from Runny Liquids and Jane Winter hosted sand castle making from the Key Stage One resource Pencils, Poems andPrincesses. Saleesh Kumar was on hand to show off one of the new Liquid Crystal activities which have been developed by CIEC with Duncan Bruce and Saleesh Kumar (Chemistry Department, York) to be piloted in York primary schools later this term.
Clare (left) explaining Runny Liquids to Katrina Bakker (right)
Jane (right) supervising sand castle building with (from left) Adrian Harrison (Biology), Annie Hodgson, Duncan Bruce, Saleesh Kumar and Kirsty Penkman
The sand pit was a big success!
Saleesh discussing liquid crystals with Liz Swinbank (Education)
Nicky showing some children’s work to Bruce Gilbert
Joy was delighted with the event; “It has been a great opportunity to meet colleagues from Chemistry and other departments and show them what we do for primary science. Our strategy is to contextualise science for primary and secondary pupils, and to make credible connections between school science and the science that takes place in industry and higher education. Involving our colleagues with CIEC activities has hopefully demonstrated how we achieve this”.

Monday, April 13, 2015

SABIC host successful Children Challenging Industry visits for 12 years!

Kirklevington Primary School at SABIC

Kirklevington Primary School visited SABIC on 5th March and met Janet Jones who was hosting the visit. Janet loves inspiring young people. As a female worker in Industry, she feels it is important to empower girls to realise that working in industry is as accessible to them as it is to boys.

Janet Jones said, “The CCI programme offers primary children the opportunity to see our industry first hand.  The children ask fantastic questions and I am amazed at how quickly the time goes when they are with us.  I like to think that during their visit we inspire them to consider working in our industry, even though that decision is a long way off.”

The programme is so well developed now that it is literally ‘off the shelf’. Take a box out, check the equipment and use it - simplicity with minimum preparation. Janet recruited Joanna Bartlett, a Process Engineer, to assist with this visit - she is young, enthusiastic, female and has a Chemical Engineering Masters to her name! Janet has worked for the company for 31 years and she always presents to the children in a fun, relaxed ‘I really enjoy this job’ kind of way. This is exactly what we need to encourage the children to take more interest in Science. The local paper turned up and Janet took it in her stride, smiling through her ‘child friendly’ introduction to the company and sparking up interest without boring them with too much detail. The children quickly became engaged with the activities and had a tour around the site allowing them to see for themselves what it is like.
Enjoying one of the activities

The teachers, Mrs Johnstone and Mr Morgan said “The Children Challenging Industry sessions and the visit to SABIC were extremely enjoyable for both the children and the staff. The trip to SABIC opened the eyes of the children to science in the real world and inspired them by showing them how to be more investigative in their thought processes.
We would like to say a big thank you to SABIC for their continuous support and contributions to the project.”

By Jenny Harvey, CIEC Advisory Teacher in the North East

Monday, March 16, 2015

Industry visits improve children’s perceptions of industry

A Greneway pupil inspecting substrate during the Johnson Matthey site visit

In February 2015 pupils from Greneway Middle school, Royston, visited the Johnson Matthey site at Royston as the culmination of their Children Challenging Industry (CCI) experience. During their visit the children visited the Technology Centre to find out what catalysts are and what they do and made their own wash coats (the active part of the catalyst). This was followed by a tour of the site where they saw robots applying wash coat to the substrate.
The visit demonstrated how their school activities (the process of developing a good bubble mixture had much in common with the development and testing of wash coats) were directly related to work on the site.
A recent report on the impact of the CCI project in Royston schools demonstrated that children who are shown how science works in the ‘real world’ (in this case in industry) show a greater understanding of science and the possibility that they could have a future career using science.
Teachers taking part in CCI reported the greatest impact as being:
·         Improvement of children’s investigative skills and group work
·         Range of teaching ideas and the practical activities
·         The CIEC Advisory Teacher’s expert knowledge of science and the industrial content of the activities.
The majority of teachers felt their knowledge of teaching science had improved, the class sessions linked well to industry, the site visit was an important component of the experience and that they would use the written resources again. The CCI project also fulfilled their expectations.
At the end of the CCI intervention the teachers showed greater understanding of the interesting jobs available in industry and the economic benefits of industry.
Of the children who participated:
·         Over 80% enjoyed the investigations, learned something new and enjoyed the challenges
·         Over 70% liked learning about industry and now like science more.
The activities the Greneway children worked on in school were:

Below are some observations the children made following their visit to the JM site (positive comments far outweigh any negative comments).

What the children said:
 “I liked it all because I was learning new things.”
 “I enjoyed the ketchup bit because it was really fun and they explained it clearly.”
“I liked watching the robots.”
“The robots move like humans.”

In response to what did you enjoy the most:
“seeing the robots and learning what they do and sorting out the catalyst.”
“making the experiment with all of the liquids.”
“seeing the robots sorting out the catalysts.”
“looking at the cars.”

In response to what did you enjoy the least:
“Walking and walking upstairs and apart from that nothing.”

Deb McGarrity, Royston Site and Community Coordinator commented, "The difficulties of attracting young people into careers in science have been well documented in recent years.  From this perspective, I think it is important that schools in our area understand what Johnson Matthey actually does, and how exciting and varied a career in science can be”.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lotte Chemical UK Ltd host a great site visit for pupils from Errington Primary School, Marske

Year 5 pupils from  Errington Primary School, Marske by the Sea, recently visited Lotte Chemical as the culmination of their Children Challenging Industry sessions led by Jenny Harvey, CIEC Advisory Teacher in the north east.

The class were doing activities from Plastics Playtime and after their visit to Lotte to see the science concepts they had studied in school in action in industry they wrote a very enthusiastic letter of thanks:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Centre for Industry Education Collaboration introduce using industry as a primary science context to even more teachers at the annual Association of Science Education Conference, Reading

Teachers enjoying Nicky Waller's workshop (and the following pictures)

The response to the CIEC talks at the ASE conference this year was overwhelmingly positive with over 70 teachers attending Jenny Harvey’s workshop Embedding ‘Working Scientifically’ Skill within Real-life Contexts.

Jenny was delighted with the response, “Really positive comments with people saying 'Oh, I'm going to tweet about that now' and 'that was just what I needed' or 'that was great, thank you'. People loved the CIEC materials and think they're really useful and different with lots of ideas and examples. They particularly liked the hands on 'real life industrial' scenarios. I still had teachers approaching me the next day to say how much they'd enjoyed my session and that they couldn't wait to start using our resources.”

Joy Parvin’s session on Outstanding Science in Context demonstrated how, by making the children into ‘scientists’ for the industry based CIEC activities helps them to achieve more in both science understanding and an understanding of how science underpins so much of industry.


Nicky Waller’s workshop entitled Exciting Science Clubs for Key Stage One. “People commented how it was great to have a session focusing on the younger primary aged children as there were not many of these exclusively in the ASE programme. I was pleased to have 30 attend and participate in the first session of the day and my intention was to run a practical workshop, where they got to try out a range of carefully planned, tried and tested science activities either created for or adapted to suit children in Key Stage One. They also explored how they can organise and manage a science club in their own school, access reasonably priced resources and inspire even the youngest of our future scientists.”


Monday, January 5, 2015

Meet some of the CIEC (Centre for Industry Education Collaboration) team in Reading at ASE 2015

The complete Centre for Industry Education Collaboration (CIEC) team: (from left) Gayle Pook, Nicky Waller, Jane Winter, Clare Warren, Jenny Harvey and Joy Parvin

If you are attending this year's annual ASE conference at Reading do take the opportunity to meet and chat to Joy Parvin, Nicky Waller and Jenny Harvey.

Jenny is the first CIEC team member to hold a workshop - Friday 9th January at 12.30pm in the Palmer Building, Room 107. Using CIEC practical activities Jenny will be looking at links to the new curriculum, age appropriate standards of expectation in 'Working Scientifically' and how to use these for planning progression through Years One to Six.

Joy Parvin is talking at 3.30pm the same day (also Room 107 in the Palmer Building). Joy will be demonstrating how using freely available CIEC activities can help children develop their science skills by active participation in science activities.
Do come to the talk to meet Joy and get to know more about CIEC.

Nicky Waller's workshop is on Saturday 10th at 9.30am in Room G9 of the AMS Building. Nicky will be demonstrating how there are plenty of suitable science activities for 5-7 year olds who would enjoy a science club.