The Association for Science Education set up the SATIS project in 1984, to help teachers relate school science to its social and technological contexts.The units are a model for developing topical lessons to show applications of science, and illustrate aspects of ‘How science works'. The original SATIS (Science and Technology in Society) project developed 120 units of lesson resources, which are presented in ten booklets.
Context: Development of SATIS followed the recommendation of an ASE working party which had considered how the teaching about the interactions of science, technology and society could be introduced into pre-16 Science courses. The working party had been able to draw on the experience of those who had pioneered two successful post-16 ASE courses: Science in Society and SISCON in schools.
There was a consensus at the time that more needed to be done to relate school science to its social and technological contexts. This consensus was reflected in the recommendations of reports such as Science 5 – 16: a statement of policy from the Department of Education and Science(1985) and Education through science from the ASE.
The units: The key features of a SATIS unit were that they should to be short, easy to use, cheap and relevant to young learners and the curriculum. The units typically required about two periods of class time (that is about 75 minutes). Teachers were encouraged to use the units flexibly - to tear them up, rearrange and modify them. SATIS units were intended to involve young learners as actively as possible. Units involved a variety of teaching and learning methods including: comprehension questions, directed activities related to text (DARTs), small-group discussion, problem-solving, surveys, simulations, decision-making exercises and role-plays.
Updates: In 1991 ASE published UPDATE 91, providing information to update or supplement the 100 units published between 1986 and 1988. In 2009 the Association revised several key SATIS units in order to provide further support for the implementation of the 'How science works' element of the science curriculum for England and Wales. This material was published as SATIS Revisited.