This is a fantastic clip from an American version of “Dragon’s Den” which I think would make an excellent starting point for a discussion on “how science works”. It’s so good it could have been made for this very purpose: Some obvious questions to get the discussion going: Are the Dragons right or are they just being rude by refusing to allow the guy to show them more of his “research”? (He claims to have lots more he can show them) What, if anything, is wrong with the salesman’s research?… Read more Selling Snake Oil →
Sorry for the awful title to this post – but I have been inspired by “John Travoltage”, the most fun Physics interactive I have ever encountered. I should warn you… Read more Simulate to Stimulate →
Watching sodium being put into water is one of the few things that everyone seems to remember from school science lessons. I would encourage all science teachers do do as much as they can “for real” when it comes to teaching the “reactivity of metals”. If for some reason, there are some experiments you can’t do in school, there are some videos from the Royal Society of Chemistry that you might find useful. There are also a wealth of such videos on youtube, if you are prepared to spend the… Read more Reactivity of Metals →
October is Black History Month in the UK. I’d bet most science teachers would struggle to name a single black scientist from history. Whilst it may be important to make students aware of the historical contributions of black scientists, I think it’s perhaps more important to make children aware of the work that black scientists are doing today, particularly in Africa. The film below is one I made back in 2006. It is a portrait of the winner of the 2006 Royal Society Pfizer Award – for “an outstanding, innovative… Read more Black History Month →
Here’s another video that might come in useful when teaching about acids and alkalis – Rosie Coates shows us her favourite chemistry demonstration involving a giant test-tube and some universal indicator solution. As well as showing us a fantastic demo, Rosie explains how the science of acids and alkalis can have important real-world applications. This is another video where it’s really worth hitting the “HQ” button on the youtube player after you’ve hit “play”.
I love teaching about acids and alkalis at KS3 because there’s quite a bit of fun practical work you can do – making an indicator out of red cabbage is an activity that Year 7 always seem to love. The textbook way of starting this topic is to talk about about acids and alkalis around the house… but this might be far more dramatic / interesting way to introduce the subject: The clip is from Smalltalk Diaries, a series of ten short shows about the lives of minibeasts.
No need for further description.
The University of Nottingham’s Periodic Table of Videos is a genius idea – one that I wish I had come up with myself. I’d really like to recommend the site to teachers because short videos of those elements you can’t show in class would be incredibly useful. Unfortunately, due to the varying quality of the videos, the site fails to live up to its potential. The idea of inter-cutting footage of demonstrations with a scientist talking about the element just doesn’t work in a lot of the videos; I would… Read more The Periodic Table of Videos: a great idea ruined by poor execution →