Local schools take part in The Great Science Share
Wednesday, 20 June, 2018
Students from twenty schools across the South West joined the third-annual Great Science Share hosted at Bath Spa University, an event which celebrates children’s science questions and investigations.
The event, held at the University’s Newton Park campus on Tuesday 19 June, saw 100 pupils take part in an exciting STEM challenge - which included making gliders, steady hand games and filters for dirty water – and a table top science fair, where they had the chance to present science investigations they’ve carried out in their classrooms.
The investigations included making marble runs, catapults, scribble bots, hovercrafts, testing the strength of eggs and Formula 1 margarine tubs.
The Bath Spa Great Science Share is part of a national campaign, led by Manchester University in collaboration with BBC Terrific Scientific, which aims to inspire young people from across the UK and overseas to share their science learning with new audiences. The event also provided a platform to share outcomes from two Bath Spa research projects: Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS) and Thinking Doing Talking Science.
The TAPS project has worked with 60 schools across England, Wales and Northern Ireland over the past five years to develop resources that support teachers in teaching and assessing practical primary science – there have been 68,0000 downloads of the pyramid-shaped school self-evaluation tool so far. The Thinking Doing Talking Science project is a randomised control trial looking at the impact of developing higher order thinking skills.
Sarah Earle, Senior Lecturer in Primary PGCE Science and TAPS project lead, said: “This is the first time Bath Spa University has been involved in the Great Science Share and it’s already proved a huge success. Not only has it given students the opportunity to demonstrate their own science investigations, but it has sparked curiosity and intrigue amongst them – which we hope will inspire them to pursue a career in the sciences.”
More than 150 schools and 30,000 children nationwide and overseas took part in 25 Great Science Share satellite events. Now in its third year, after launching in 2016 as part of Manchester’s year as European Capital of Science, it was pioneered, and is run, by Dr Lynne Bianchi, Director of the University’s Science and Engineering Education Research and Innovation Hub (SEERIH).
Dr Bianchi explains: “This campaign is different because it places children’s voices at the heart of the experience – it’s their time to ask their questions, demonstrate their investigations and explain how they think scientifically. To see this grow year-on-year just shows how many people share our belief that curiosity and questions are what science needs to be more about.”
The TAPS project is funded by the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) and based at Bath Spa University’s Institute for Education. It aims to develop support for valid, reliable and manageable teacher assessment in science, which can have a positive impact on children’s learning.