Monday, June 9, 2014

How to use water to de-mystify science and industry!

Children from Billingham South Primary School constructing a heat exchanger in school

Getting primary age children to focus on a career may seem like a tall order - but given the need for skilled employees in the science industries it makes a lot of sense.

A recent article in Process Engineering Magazine ‘Skills shortages are a number one concern’ included the following points:

 “Skills shortages are now the no. 1 issue for the process industries worldwide, industry leaders report. The problems, they say, are most acute in countries which have, over recent times, reduced their focus on manufacturing.”
Science can seem a little mysterious to young children, and often primary teachers have no science background which compounds the idea that science is 'difficult'. By using science materials that are context based and using everyday materials (what could be more basic than water) it is easy and enjoyable to introduce primary children to the excitement and possibilities of both science in school and beyond.
Using the CIEC resource 'Water for Industry' children see how important water is to the process industries whilst investigating corrosion and constructing their own heat exchanger out of a plastic drinks bottle!
By following a 'water cycle' from a reservoir, through an industrial site where it is treated, used as cooling water, and treated again before being returned to a river, the children investigate corrosion of materials, filtration techniques, heat exchange and carry out an extension activity on pH adjustment to regulate the acidity of the water.

Download Water for Industry (free) from the CIEC site

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