Category Archives: Sciencey Stuff

Yoga Xrays and more

As a recent convert to Ashtanga yoga this video has me totally enthralled at how our bodies bend, twist and what various yoga poses look like from a skeletal point of view.

From another perspective, this Youtube channel is brilliant resource for teaching from looking at the various bones, locations of organs etc in Keystage 1 science to looking at types of joints and movement in Keystage 3 to much more advanced and in-depth physiological study. There are also immunology, cellular biochemistry and microbiology videos too. The videos are amazing, prepare to lose a few hours…..

42 STEM iPad Apps for Kids

Ready for the some fun STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) iPad apps for primary?

Many apps, with a few exceptions, won’t tell your child how to do a particular method or xactly what is needed so will require some guidance in the first instance . They will however, give him or her practice, repetition, and reinforcement.

42 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).

Caddisfly Jewellery – STEAM in Nature!

We aren’t the only animals with a penchant for self-decoration. Caddisfly larvae protect themselves by constructing elaborate armors from gravel, sand, twigs, and other debris, which they “glue” together using excreted silk. The tiny moth-like insects scavenge whatever material is suitable from their environments, including anything you choose to give them. French artist Hubert Duprat was among the first to take advantage of the insects’ predilections by supplying them with gold flakes, opal, turquoise, rubies, and pearls. The resulting cases are intricate works of art that can be strung up like beads to create one-of-a-kind jewelry. via Caddisfly Jewelry | Ecouterre.

Snap Science- free primary teaching resources

The Snap Science programme has been designed to cover the new primary science curriculum with enquiry, exploration, investigation and true progression at it’s core. Every lesson is already differentiated and the lessons aim to make challenging concepts meaningful for students.  At £100 a Year Group it’s affordable enough but to check out the kind of resources and ideas that are presented Collins Connect have made the Year 3 – Plants module available here Collins Connect – free primary teaching resources. Being a plant biologist, I like the way they are approaching the topic in a questions based way. What is this for? Are all roots the same? Why are petals different colours? This is in stark contrast to the labelling parts of a plant on a worksheet which I have seen way too often in the primary clas

sroom. There is also a lot of scope to develop child-led investigations out of the lessons and easy to put in different types of enquiry in experiments such as pattern seeking and classification.  See what you think!

SFI – SFI Discover Programme Call 2015

logoScience Foundation Ireland, through the SFI Discover Programme seeks to promote the awareness and engagement of the Irish public with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). The mission of the SFI Discover Programme is to catalyse, inspire and guide the best in STEM education and public engagement. All applications must clearly outline how the project will address SFI’s goal to enable an engaged and scientifically informed public in Ireland.

Projects should address this by showing how they

  •          promote and support STEM education
  •          promote STEM career pathways
  •          increase the general public’s engagement with STEM and its importance in society

See here for more details and information on how to apply.

Curious George – STEM Classroom Resources for EYFS and KS1

Active learning begins with curiosity! The Curious George STEM Collection is a great way to help young children understand science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts, such as measuring, building, and simple machines. Lesson plans with Curious George videos offer hands-on investigations and exciting new learning opportunities that will inspire children to explore the world around them. As students ask questions, predict outcomes, share observations, and formulate theories, they establish the science skills and “habits of mind” that lead to academic success and lifelong learning. 

 

Curious 

George STEM | Classroom Resources | PBS LearningMedia.

Problem Prosecco?

uvaGlera is a white variety of grape of Italian origin. Glera is a grape known to many people but perhaps only by it’s former name; Prosecco. Yes, this grape is responsible for that lovely refreshing sparkling wine Prosecco synonymous with warm summer evenings and outdoor dining with friends. The name Prosecco is believed to be derived from the village Prosecco near Trieste, where the grape originated. It has been proposed that it was cultivated already in Roman times, possibly as the vinum pucinum praised by Pliny the Elder, although that is quite a loose link really. But kind of cool.

ruggeri-prosecco-uvaWhat is not so cool is the Glera grapes have suffered a number of poor seasons and many of the vineyards in the Trieste in Italy are reporting significant losses in crop yield this year. Some experts are warning of a very real possibility of a global shortage of Prosecco from this summer.  Roberto Cremonese, Export Manager of Bisol reports that almost 50% of the crop was lost this year due to environmental factors.

“A lot of the vines in the DOC area are newly planted and they ended up soaked – the grapes were rotten and yields were down by half in some cases.”

As a result of this news, my Facebook feed is full of ladies declaring they have stocked up their Prosecco supply so let’s hope this is just scaremongering by a very clever marketing guru somewhere…

Women in STEM

BeFunky CollageJust 13% of science, tech, maths and engineering workers are female. There are several initiatives around the the globe which aims to readdress this balance. From encouraging little girls to play with Lego to mentoring and inspiring female students in University. Many claim a lack of positive female role models is to blame for this gender imbalance. Certainly, I remember only one woman professor in the department I did my degree research in.

I passionately strive to encourage young girls to consider STEM careers and am a member of many organisations such as ScienceGrrl and Project Yamina which are working hard to keep girls interested in scientific research and careers.

Here, Rachel Swaby, author of a book highlighting women’s contributions to science, chooses her favourite female scientists, from the greatest dinosaur hunter to the inventor of Kevlar.

Kitchen (& Shed) Chemistry

kitchen chemWorking in primary science it’s very important to recommend products and equipment that is readily available and accessible to a primary teacher. That means unless there is a super friendly secondary school lab technician nearby, a lot of primary science experiments are resourced from the cupboards, under the sink, in the garden shed, and in the fridge. Now that opens up a whole world of kitchen chemistry which can be just as fascinating as reactions and investigations using chemicals from a “real” lab.

So, I was thrilled to find this infographic on twitter. The chart summarises the reactions and products of 16 cheap household chemicals. It was made by James Kennedy of this blog and you can also find lots more cool infographics there! Please read disclaimers and warnings before use!

MOOC Fever

CE9W1oBW0AAAgEuI think I have MOOC Fever…. MOOCs are Massive Open Online Courses which are open to anyone to join and learn. Recently I have taken part in and Assessment in STEM MOOC and a Community Journalism MOOC so I was delighted to find a MOOC being delivered by the University of Northampton called “Let’s Teach Computing”. I have worked with Helen Caldwell and her team at the Uni before on a creative computing project where science, tech, and art met in a wonderful array of collaborative ideas and resources. So, knowing the fab stuff that her dept is up to I’m really excited about this course and what I can learn for my own personal development but also to see what new ideas I can adapt and introduce into primary computing initiatives over here in UAE.

I’m mostly looking forward to learning about ways to integrate tech into EYFS and KS1 curricula and also ways of improving confidence for teachers delivering the new computing curriculum.  My fave thing at the moment is Augmented Reality apps and using them to embed and integrate learning in a multimedia platform.