Friday, October 14, 2022

Career Cards

This post is written by one of CIEC's advisory teachers, Jane Winter

 Primary teachers are increasingly aware of the importance of raising children's science capital.  High science capital means that ALL children realise that they too could have a career in STEM if they chose, rather than dismissing the possibility at an early age as "not something done by people like me".

At CIEC we believe that one of the best possible ways to do this is to give primary school children the opportunity to meet real STEM professionals and learn how the science that they do in school links to the science that happens in industry.  However, this isn't always possible and this is where our free to download resource Career Cards come in.  Each set of cards in the pack feature one of four STEM professionals who works with one of our partner companies Johnson Matthey.  One card contains their photograph, another their job title and another a job description.  The complete set for one person also has information about their hobbies and which subjects they enjoyed at primary school.

Career cards spark discussions which help to break down stereotypes about who can be a STEM professional

Upper KS2 children have responded well to using these cards and their teachers have told us that they lead to discussions which help them to realise that anyone can aspire to be a scientist or engineer and that there are a variety of routes into STEM professions.

The cards can be downloaded from our website.  However, if you don't fancy all that cutting out, a class set of 7 packs of cards can be purchased from our online shop at a heavily subsidised cost of £8.15.  If you use them in your own classroom we would love to hear how you get on.

Thank you to Johnson Matthey for funding the creation of these cards and for continuing to subsidise their cost to schools

Monday, October 3, 2022

New sustainability science activities from CIEC

This blog post it brought to you by Jane Winter, one of CIEC's advisory teachers

CIEC has started the new academic year by adding some more activities to the existing sustainability resource.  Like most CIEC publications these engaging and easily resourced investigations link real life science solutions to environmental problems and the primary science curriculum. 

Sponsored by Innospec, a company that develops personal care products, the investigations support children to consider the environmental impact of products such as soap and shampoo.  In one activity children explore the efficacy of solid and liquid formulation of soap and research the different transport and packaging requirements of these everyday products.  In another they plan an investigation to assess the suitability of different packaging materials, including an innovative soap wrapping that Innospec scientists have developed which dissolves the first time that the soap is used, thus reducing waste.

Children are motivated to work on these challenges to find out how science can provide solutions to environmental problems

As well as linking to the materials strand of the KS2 curriculum the activities provide ample opportunities for working scientifically including observation over time, secondary research and planning a fair test.  There are also cross curricular links including producing written reports for the scientists at Innospec and creating tables and graphs to display measurements taken during the investigations.  

The PowerPoint, which is included in the resource, provides open ended starting points for classroom discussion, letters from the scientists at Innospec and a short video highlighting the long term environmental impact of single use plastics including packaging. 

The resource contains a short video which provides a context for the investigations

These activities, and many more, are free to download from the CIEC website.  If you use this resource in your classroom we would love to hear from you to hear how it went.  Get in touch (preferably with photographs) at and we will send you a hard copy of some of our resources to say thank you.