Opinions

The most cataclysmic event in one afternoon

How do you incorporate the complete story of the Big Bang and other galactic phenomena into your key stage 4 and 5 lessons?The trick is to draw on the expert experience and amazing resources of the University of Hertfordshire at the Bayfordbury Observatory. This is where a group of teachers visited as part of a CPD activity on Astrophysics.The...


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Sensory science: engaging students through hands-on approaches

It really is amazing to enter a classroom when the children are absolutely delighted to see you. It’s something I experienced whilst developing lesson plans for special needs schools.As a science specialist, I used my experience running workshops to devise six super-sensory hands-on chemistry lessons – and then I took them into John Watson School...


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Cutting edge science: the science of now

The University of Manchester gets Nobel Prize for graphene. Gene therapy could eradicate cancer and heart disease. Large Hadron Collider scientists developing new cancer treatments.These are just three headlines that have emblazoned the front of national newspapers in recent times. When students think of science they are often taught to look...


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Why volunteering is good for you

It’s always nice to be recognised for your efforts which is why I was delighted to be selected as one of three Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Inspirational Committee Members for 2017. Volunteering is something I have always cared about and have done throughout my life, starting as a voluntary swimming teacher whilst at sixth form college...


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The road to success: how the A14 construction project is inspiring young people in STEM

Carrying around 85,000 vehicles per day across Cambridgeshire, the A14 trunk road, which is managed by Highways England, is a vital transport corridor between the West Midlands and East Anglia. However, it is frequently congested and traffic is often disrupted by breakdowns and accidents.A section of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon...


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Ideas for teaching identification and classification in the primary classroom

From a very young age, children like to sort things. They will pile things of a particular colour or shape together and ask the names of everything they see to classify them.There are those children who will only use the red bricks to build their towers and a common activity in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) classrooms is to sort the things...


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Reversing climate change with the HEDRA project: designing the future home occupants

Climate change is happening. Unless we educate people from a young age, we have little chances of reversing the current climatic trend and ensure resilience in the future. It is important to provide simple and easy-to-do actions for everyone to take, that can reduce the impact we have on the environment with an immediate effect.The HEDRA (Home...


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Taking learning outside: how you can celebrate Fascination of Plants Day

Sometimes people find it difficult to get themselves enthused about plants, let alone their students. To tie in with Fascination of Plants Day and Outdoor Classroom Day on 18 May 2017, I decided to see if I could think of anything fascinating about a notoriously dull plant, celery.Apart from wondering if eating celery makes you use up more...


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Taking the fear out of physics

In my experience, when science teachers hear the word ‘physics’ they seem to go pale and swiftly move on to another subject. For some, finger nails on a chalkboard would be a preferable experience.By degree, I’m not a physicist, I spent many of my academic years studying medicine at Bristol, but during my training my circumstances changed rather...


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Is it ever OK to admit you find teaching biology difficult?

Chatting with a colleague the other day, I had one of those light bulb moments. She said how difficult it was for her to admit that she found teaching biology difficult.As a degree qualified chemist with industry experience, she had subject expertise and plenty of ideas for teaching chemistry and physics, but didn’t feel confident about her...


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STEM Learning magazines

Our insightful magazines contain interviews, features, news, and tips on teaching and learning in STEM-related subjects.