Bespoke Science Workshops for SchoolsLoveScience
Sarah over at LoveScience talks to us about science in the classroom and about how their bespoke hands on style offers primary school children a creative and immersive learning experience.
Morning Sarah, can we start by asking you which curriculum areas you cover?
"We have a workshop for every subject area in the curriculum. All of which link directly to the statutory requirements set out in the programme of study which allows our schools to book with the confidence of knowing that our workshops will be focused and complement their topic work. As all our workshops are totally hands on, we also introduce as many of the 'working scientifically' criteria as we can in to each of our workshops and can provide an accompanying pack which lists the criteria covered and some suggested extension activities to do with the class.
On top of this, all our workshops are bespoke so our teachers can use our time with us however they choose, either a whole session with one class, splitting the sessions between two classes or even a whole series of workshops for different groups throughout the day. Once we know the time we have, we pick out the experiments that fit in with our teachers' aims and write great workshops just for them!
Without giving away too many of your trade secrets, can we ask you to tell us a bit about how you make your primary school science workshops so engaging?
"We firmly believe that science is best learned by doing and not seeing so all our workshops are totally hands on. The children are encouraged to use different kinds of scientific equipment and do a number of different experiments in each session. Our workshops are run by experienced science teachers so we are able to adapt on the spot to suit a particular class rather than follow a strict formulaic plan. This ensures that everything we do is pitched at the children we have in front of us and they can get the best experience we can deliver.
In order to provide links to other work the children are doing, we can also theme the workshops so fit in with any overarching topic the children are looking at. We have delivered Caveman and Viking themed forensics days, Fairytale themed states of matter workshops and Alien inspired light workshops to name but a few. The possibilities are endless!
Looking back at the school year so far, what have been the five most popular science workshops you've been asked to tailor make for schools?
States of matter - Our states of matter workshops for lower KS2 is incredibly popular. We explore the differences between solids, liquids and gases using models and experimenting with different ways of using each. The children also have a chance to see changes of state in action using hot ice and starting a crystal growing investigation that is left with the school to observe.
Forensics mysteries - We have delivered forensics workshops for all age groups right from Reception! The children solve various dastardly crimes using modified experiments that the police really use to solve the clues. These include fingerprint analysis, blood testing, poison testing, ink chromatography and analysing footprints.
Electricity - Another workshop that can be adapted for any year group. We love bringing the van der Graaff generator into school for a hair raising start and then the children will build all kinds of models using different circuits.
Properties and changes - Certainly our messiest workshop!! We explore different properties that materials have including magnetism, conductivity, pH, density and solubility and why that would make them useful. We then carry out a series of experiments looking at physical and chemical changes and how we can tell the difference between the two. To explore how scientists can exploit the properties of materials, we then use different smart materials.
Light - Light can be a really difficult for children to get their heads around so in these workshops, they get the chance to look at how light behaves in different ways to allow them to provide context to some of the abstract ideas they come across. We use prisms and diffraction glasses to show how light can be split up into a spectrum, investigation refraction using prisms and optical illusions, make our own LED torches to explore how colours in light mix, show how easy it is to trick our brains and investigate light travelling in straight lines using laser pens.
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