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.


Science and Technology in Society 9

SATIS book nine includes What are the sounds of music?, Which bleach?, Your stars - revelation or reassurance? and IT in greenhouses.

The ten units in this booklet are:

901 The chinese cancer detectives: Reading, questions, role-play and practical work related to the story of the identification of the...

Science and Technology in Society 10

SATIS book ten includes Chocolate chip mining, Lavender, Why 240 volts?, and Trees as structures.

The ten units in this booklet are:

1001 Chocolate chip mining: A practical, problem-solving activity linked to analysis of data about copper mining.

1002 Quintonal - an industrial hazard: A...

Science and Technology in Society 11

SATIS book eleven includes A special type of hearing aid, The eruption of Mount St Helens, and Project management.

The ten books in this unit are:

1101 Breast or bottle? Information, questions, data-handling, discussion, devising stories, mini role-plays and a design brief. Attainment targets 1,3, 11...

Science and Technology in Society 12

SATIS book twelve includes From Babylon to biotechnology, Earthquakes - in Britain?, Radiotelescopes, and Are you made of stardust?.

The ten units in this booklet are:

1201 Agrochemicals and the environment: Data handling, information, questions and discussion. Attainment targets 1 and 2.



Published by


Share this resource