I have been looking at the draft Science Curriculum in England and I will post a series of Mind Maps to show the curriculum visually. I hope this will help people to incorporate the new curriculum (when it becomes live) in their existing schemes of work in a more coherent way. I believe this exercise will also show how coherent the draft curriculum itself is. In fact, a coherent document will be very easy to mind map and for associations to be made, whereas an incoherent document will be something of a nightmare to process in a mind map, as it will be inconsistent and with topics and ideas that have little relations with each other and don’t lead to a consistent understanding of scientific ideas and processes that build on each other. What is your guess? Coherent or incoherent?
Posts Tagged ‘Science’
Tags: Coherent, Curriculum, Education, KS4, Learners, learning, mind map, Mind Mapping, Science, Working Scientifically
Tags: Android, Apps, ASUS, BETT, BETT 2012, BETT Show, Classroom, Earth, eee pad, Google Sky Map, Gravity, My Solar System, Orbit, Physics, Planets, Science, Solar Sizer, Solar System, space, Stars, TES, Transformer
It’s been a while since my last post on Android apps for the classroom and I thought the upcoming BETT show 2012 would be a good excuse to write something about a few really interesting apps I have used to create resources about the Solar System. Another reason for blogging about this is to inform you about a series of workshops I will run on the ASUS stand at the BETT Show on the use of Android devices in Education. So, if you are going at BETT and if you are interested in how Android apps can be used in the classroom, join me any day from Tuesday 10th to Friday 13th January 2012. You can download the resources to run some of the activities described in this Blog post from this TES weblink. We will demonstrate other TES resources that can be used with Android devices at ASUS workshops and I will represent TES as the TES Science Lead starting this January, but this gives a good idea of some of the activities we will consider!
The resources in the link above were created with the ASUS Eee Pad tablet in mind, but they would work very well with other Android devices.
This app is just great! It lets you point your Android device at the sky in front of you and it shows a map of the stars and planets for that particular place and time of the year. But the most impressive feature it the Time Travel function, which lets you set a particular date and time in the past, or future, to see what the sky would look like. So, for example, you could ask your learners to describe what stars and planets Prince William and Kate would have seen on the night of their wedding. You can also search for a particular object in the sky, so if you want to find the position of Mars, you can can type Mars in the search and an arrow pointing at the planet will appear and you can then follow the arrow with your device until you find the object you searched for!
I have already blogged about this app, but I have added it to this resource because it gives good opportunities to develop Numeracy Skills in your learners by comparing magnitudes, orbital period, etc…
This app is even simpler than the previous one, but it is a great way to visualise the size of the planets to scale.
Have a look at the resource I uploaded on the TES website and leave a comment with your thoughts about it, please.
I hope to see many of you at the ASUS stand during the BETT Show.
Tags: @TESScience, Apple, Apps, Dancing, Earth, Gloucestershire, Gravity, imindmap, Innovative, Institute of Physics, IoP, iPad, iPhone, Lead, Moon, Nelson Thornes, Network, Physics, Science, TeachMeet, TES, ThinkBuzan, Times Educational Supplement, Vernier, Video, waves
Last night we had our first TeachMeet entirely dedicated to the teaching of Physics in Gloucestershire and despite the inclement weather and illnesses a few teachers from the region managed to come and give some great presentations! A particular thank you goes to Helen Rogerson (@hrogerson) who took the time to record two videos for us to watch. And that’s what we did! In fact, the TeachMeet began with Helen’s 7 minutes video which showed some great stuff she does wit their learners and parents with revision. Of particular interest to the participants was the part on Electromagnetic Induction, which sparked a series of interesting discussions and caused us to go back and watch the lovely demonstrations several times. This was indeed a lovely part of our TeachMeet that I believe stood out from others I have attended and organised in the past. In fact, it is quite easy to rush through all the presentations trying to fit everyone in and forget about allowing the participants time for discussion and to network. But last night ideas on alternative ways to use the equipment and extensions to the demos were freely flowing and created a very relaxed atmosphere from the very beginning.
Next, IoP award winner Kevin Betts showed a great demo of “Dancing Waves” on custard on the cone of a speaker. You can see his Magic in the video below.
Steve Rice was up next showing us how he uses a sparkler attached to a drill to simulate the gravitational attraction between the earth and the moon. As the sparkler spins around the drill, the sparks fly along the tangent to the circle drawn by the sparkling tip, which helps the learners visualise what would happen if the gravitational pull between the two heavenly bodies suddenly disappeared. I liked this demonstration because it allows the learners to think outside the box and stretch their understanding in the realm of the abstract.
Below is a video of these two lovely demonstrations.
After that it was my turn to talk about how I used one of the best iPhone/iPad apps I have ever come across, the Vernier Video Physics, with my learners. You can find this resources on the TES website here. It was also the first time I publicly announced my new role as Science Lead at TES commencing in January and I explained that, although I occasionally use it already, I will actively interact with the Twitter sphere using @TESScience from then.
We closed the TeachMeet with our sponsors’ raffle, which included a very generous box full of Nelson Thornes books, ranging from GCSE revision guides to a Muncaster tome 4th edition. ThinkBuzan also offered a free copy of their Mind Mapping software iMindMap 5 Ultimate (the last two links are affiliate links, so Google iMindMap 5 instead, if you are bothered by this sort of thing).
Two other teachers emailed me apologising they couldn’t attend due to illness, but they sent links to interesting stuff that they would have shared in person, if they had been there. The first is the YouTube video below about mixing colours with glow sticks shared by Bernadette Willey.
The other tool is Poll Everywhere shared by Lewis Matheson, which seems a really neat tool to use with mobile devices!
I thoroughly enjoyed myself last night and I learnt a lot (as usual) from innovative colleagues in the Gloucestershire Network. I hope to see many more at our next events in the new year.
Tags: BP, Chemistry, EdComs, free, interactive, resources, Science
When EdComs asked me to host a guest Blog post for them I was quite glad to lend them a page. Why? Well because they have developed some great resources and because these are FREE!
Free online Science resource: How Science Works – Clip Bank
How Science Works – Clip Bank is a free interactive Science resource from the BP Educational Service. It provides students aged 11-16 with great examples of real-life science in action.
Short, engaging stimuli show students the real-life application of science within the context of BP’s business. Linked to the UK curricula for Science and Chemistry, How Science Works – Clip Bank features a range of multi-media, including:
- Video clips
- Interactive activities
- Photo slideshows
- Teacher guidance
- Curriculum links for Key Stage 3 (KS3) and Curriculum for Excellence Sciences
- Links to all major exam boards at Key Stage 4 (KS4) and Standard Grade
Topics covered in this resource include:
- Hydrocarbons from crude oil;
- Properties of hydrocarbons;
- Combustion of fuels;
- Energetic reactions.
Find out more at www.bp.com/bpes/howscienceworks
“The video will be an excellent way of introducing this abstract topic to pupils and helping them to put a face to the concept. The animation will reinforce their understanding after the calculations.” Secondary school teacher
For other free resources from BPES please go to www.bp.com/bpes
Tags: ASE, Beads, Clare Thomson, Cold, Convection, currents, Education, Energy, Food colouring, Heat, Hot, Institute of Physics, IoP, Kinetic, Movement, particles, PhysEd, Science, Water
I first saw the demonstration in the video below done by Clare Thomson at the “Best of PhysEd” lecture at the ASE Conference in 2010. Ever since I tried to make various versions of it, from using two very tall gas columns, filming it with high frame rate cameras, etc. But today I think I have made a really interesting variation of this really nice demo. The video below was made this morning in my kitchen.
Recreating this demo is very simple and I strongly recommend you do it with your classes, because the colours in the video don’t really reflect what you can see with your naked eye. I used water beads that I previously immersed in water containing blue food colouring for the cold water beads and red food colouring for the hot water beads. You will need to leave them in dyed water for about 8 hours. Then, I put cold water in the glass with blue beads and boiling water in the glass with red beads. When you mix cold and hot water with the cold water at the top, the red bead (much hotter) will rush upwards and the blue beads (much colder) will fall downwards. As the two types of beads swap places you have a nice simulation of what happens to the particles from hot and cold water, i.e. with more or less kinetic energy, when they mix. You have a very visual representation of a convection current forming in the two glasses. There is a limitation though, in fact, you can see that after a while the red beads begin to fall and collect at the bottom on top of the blue beads, but this is still quite effective at making the point that they have swapped places.
Tags: ASUS, Evernote, Physics, Polaris Office, Science, Science on Stage, Tablet, Transformer
This blog post has two aims. One is to continue the series of posts on my experience of the ASUS Transformer, which is becoming a really inseparable “friend” in my work, and the other aim is to give you an update of the Science on Stage Europe Conference held in Copenhagen last month. The reason I am marrying the two is because I used my Transformer to keep a sort of journal of the event…
So, my adventure in Copenhagen began by using my Tablet on the plane to read the Conference programme I had conveniently and easily downloaded beforehand as a pdf. Two stuarts on the plane asked me if I had broken my laptop in two pieces when they saw me holding the tablet detached from the docking station and on this note I have to correct my earlier concerns about the locking system. I have to say that now that I got used to it, and that I have read the symbol on the lock properly , attaching and detaching the keyboard is very easy and quick!
To take my notes I tried different tools, starting from evernote. It is a shame that iMindMap has not developed a version of their amazing software for Android platforms, or I would have certainly used that. However, Evernote didn’t seem to be the best option for the venue I was in. In fact, for problems with the filters in the network (I believe) Evernote would not allow me to sync my previous notes properly, so I had to abandon the app for Polaris Office, the built in Office equivalent for Android. I was very pleased with the choice and I cannot see any difference, and certainly nothing inferior, to the iPad versions. One of the best things was to be able to capture a photo directly inside the document I was writing from a workshop, or a talk. The integration between the front and back camera and the Polaris Office package is really neat and handy.
So, here is a short account of my favourite parts of the Science on Stage Conference in Copenhagen.
1) Meeting up with the Italian Contingency was a real treat, especially looking at the clever free fall experiments from Giovanni Pezzi (Palestra della Scienza del Comune di Faenza) who attached a wireless webcam inside a box which would contain some experiments (e.g. a mass on a scale) that would go crazy when he dropped the box from a 5 m staircase.
2) The gravitational lenses in teh calssroom workshop where Rosa Ros demonstrated how she uses the base of wine glasses to simulate the effects of gravitational lenses in her classes. Other really fascinating resources can be found on the EAAE’s website.
3) The amazing Mithosis Mamba that Richard Spencer got us all to dance in the “wake up session”. This was an hilarious and very clever way to memorize processes and I can’t wait to make my own dances to teach about physical processes to my classes
4) The awards ceremony where a number of inspiring projects were given the recognition they deserved:
- High Speed/slow motion –> Micheal Vollmer, Klaus-Perter Mollmann Germany
- Colourful Science –> Catherine Tattersall Ireland
- Thermoelectric Solar Energy –> Inma Abad, Pere Compte Spain
- Cosmi Wants to Know –> Ida Regl Austria
- Studying Chemistry with Pliny the Elder –> Gianluca Farusi Italy
- From Rainbows to the Chemistry of Colours –> Elias Kalogirou Greece
- See the sound, hear the light –> Jan Pavelka, Ondrej Pribyla Czech Republic
Tags: ASUS, Blog, echalk, Flash, NGfL Cymru, Science, Science on Stage, Tablet, Transformer
With this Blog post I will start a series of posts on the ASUS Transformer Tablet and I am actually writing from one of these right now. This post is about First Impressions… in fact, my brand new Tablet arrived just yesterday and I already love it.
I am in a hotel room in Copenhagen representing Britain, together with other Science Educators (mainly from IoP), at the Science on Stage Europe Conference and, while I would normally have taken my laptop and iphone out and used them extensively by now, I have mainly used my Transformer so far and my laptop has not come out of its case yet.
I will post on more specific issues in this series, e.g. how I used the ASUS Transformer for work and leisure and how my three boys are responding to it, but for now here are my first impressions.
1) The full QWERTY keyboard and touchpad are just out of this world! I probably would not be bothered writing this post with a Tablet, if I hadn’t this feature. Docking the tablet just makes life a million times easier and it is so quick to navigate apps and the internet with a mixture of typing from the keyboard and swiping of your fingers on the screen, a perfect match! Quite amazing is also the extra battery the keyboard gives you, as well as extra ports, etc…
2) Flash!!! At last I own a fully portable device that actually allows you to browse the internet freely. I was showing the Tablet to my friend and colleague Neal at lunch time and we started to talk about NGfL Cymru resources (the company I work for) and eChalk (one of our Partners). As both have resources based on Flash I could still show Neal all our stuff without the frustration of pointless blocks… He was well impressed and I gained a convert
3) Front and back camera! Really handy and quite impressive quality. This is a photo of my stand at the conference taken with the Transformer.
This is the first time I upload a photo in my blog directly from a mobile device and I have to say that ASUS has made it surprisingly easy
Not so great:
1) The docking station isn’t that easy to fit and it seems to get disconnected quite easily, but that could be just me having to get use to it.
2) The interface, though very sleak and pleasing in design, isn’t as intuitive as I was hoping. It took me a while to get round a few things, but that will get better when I will have had more time to play
Overall, I am absolutely delighted to have such a lovely device to use and I am very pleased with how much easier it is making my life already, e.g. one thing I haven’t mentioned was the ease of downloading documents, like rich pfds, directly on the Tablet and how useful it was to be able to read the programme of the event on the plane before getting there!
Look out for my next blog post on this new breed of high-tech Transformers
Tags: First Campus, Forces, Glamorgan University, Gwauncelyn Primary, Hands on Science, Howell's School, John Chase, Nanotechnology, Nuclear Fusion, rap, Science, Science Photo Library, Stars, Tonypandy Community school, Whitchurch High, White Dwarfs
I was really privileged yesterday to find myself as one of the Judges of the First Campus Hands On Science “Science RAPs” competition. The event was opened by a fantastic Rap created by John Chase with a video in the background created entirely using Science Photo Library images and videos. The way John represented Science in his Rap and the fantastic integration of images and videos edited by Alison Somerville of Photo Library made the whole experience quite Magic!
Then, it was time to watch the video Raps entered by learners from various schools. All entries were really inspiring and entertaining. We had entries from Howell’s School (Llandaff), Whitchurch High School, Tonypandy Community College and Gwauncelyn Primary.
So, the winners were in this order:
- Overall winner “The life of a star” by the White Dwarfs (Tonypandy Community College) with a fantastic and really scientifically sound rap on the life cycle of a star. I am sure this group learnt a lot by writing this rap and this topic will really stick!
- Runner up and highly commended ‘Nanotechnology’ by Dr Incy-Wincy + Mouse (Gwauncelyn Primary). This was a phenomenal entry. In fact, it was our only Primary entry, but the amazing Anas (Year 6) entered on his own and did all the recordings and editing. The Science in his video is really sound and the topic really interesting. Well done Anas, a great job!
- Best Entertainment Value (Whitchurch High School). This group of Yr9 pupils chose some really entertaining clips on forces and they really seemed to have great fun doing it!
- Best Original Analogy (Howell’s School). The “Fusion Love” rap from this group of girls in Howell’s was a really cool analogy between a love story and two nuclei that fuse (merge) in a nuclear fusion reaction.
Apart from the lovely trophy the winning school received, there were lots of really cool prizes for everyone. In particular the overall winners won a HD Flip Camera each. There were also shopping vouchers for the runner up and other great goody bags for everyone.
This was a really worthwhile experience for the learners who became so involved in their fantastic work, and not only for the prizes they received, but because of the learning process in the whole project!
It would be great to have more entries next year, so make sure you look out for the competition and send your entries in!