Jun 182015
 

OPAL

To mark the official UK-wide launch of the Big Lottery funded OPAL project this year, the OPAL team (Open Air Laboratories) have revised and updated their national surveys for people to use in all corners of the UK. To view and download the new surveys right now visit www.opalexplorenature.org/surveys

People of all ages can now contribute to scientific research in their local area on everything from invasive species to environmental quality.

The programme, led by Imperial College London, has been inspiring communities in England to discover, enjoy and protect their local environment since 2007. Last year the scheme started work with Scottish school pupils, teachers, community groups, colleges and universities. The project and its partners have now engaged with more than 850,000 people submitting more than 50,000 records about their local environments.

OPAL Director Dr David Slawson said: “We are very pleased to be able to roll out OPAL in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Not only are people learning more about their environment, but this valuable data is helping scientists learn a great deal about biodiversity in our country, especially in areas they would never normally be able to study, such as back gardens. We hope many more people will join in, explore nature and contribute to our knowledge of the environment across the whole of the UK.”

A number of local events are being held to mark OPAL’s expansion across the UK, where people have been getting hands-on with nature and getting a taste of the surveys. People can find out about other OPAL events in their area at http://www.opalexplorenature.org/OPALActivities

 

 

 

 

Mar 242015
 

There’s still time to get your competition entries in for the Our Environment Competition!

PWP_2926

Stirling HS John Muir Award Group Survey image 2 (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s easy to enter and you can win £1000!

Identify an environmental issue in your local area/school grounds.

Collect data about the issue (these easy-to-use surveys might help you!)

Young people can present their ideas for solving the problem (via presentation, leaflet, poster, video, photostory – or something else!)

You have until March 31st!

http://www.environment.scotland.gov.uk/get-involved/the-big-discussion/youth-discussion-competition/

env_competition

May 082014
 

CPD session 

 28th May from 16.00-17.00

Lynn Wilson, Key Accounts Manager (Textiles), Circular Economy Team at Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) will deliver a GLOW TV session introducing circular economy textiles and clothing industry models and how examples could be applied to class project work. It will also cover ZWS current work with the clothing industry – Sustainable Clothing Action Plan 2020 and the consumer side of this work – Love Your Clothes (www.loveyourclothes.org.uk) as well as Circular Economy Business Models in clothing retail.

ZWS is commissioning a series of master classes for textile and clothing industry experts, academia and education practitioners to up skill in areas such as zero waste pattern design; assembly for disassembly; fibre processing and dry dyeing and printing, to be delivered from January – December 2015. Four places per master class (there will be 16 in a class) are offered to teaching staff responsible for national curriculum development. Those wishing to attend must apply by preparing a proposal identifying how it will contribute to their professional development and how they will disseminate the learning. An introductory one day event introducing the topics will be hosted by the Scottish Textile and Leather Association in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland in September and the date will be announced shortly.

This session and the master classes proposed will be of interest to teaching professionals across disciplines from Science to Design and Technology as well as more traditional textile and clothing curriculum areas such as Home Economics and Art and Design.

Click on the link below to sign up for this session.

Sign up here!

Mar 252014
 


Friday 14th March saw around 150 P6/7 children from 4 schools visit Dundee Science Centre to participate in the Magnificent Microbes day, part of the Magnificent Microbes project, a joint venture between the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee and Dundee Science Centre Science Learning Institute.

The children had the opportunity to meet scientists and researchers from the University of Dundee, and with them explore the magnificent world of microbes, including getting hands-on with techniques used by microbiologists.  There was a wide range of activities and games to take part in, including learning about biofilms, glow-in-the-dark bacteria, discovering what microbes look like, finding out which of our favourite foods owe all they are to microbes, and an exciting opportunity to grow common microbes from their hands in a petri dish.

Children and teachers alike were amazed by the range of activities on offer. From the feedback we received it seems that this session had a very positive effect on the learners’ attitudes towards microbes, and that the scientists successfully engaged with school pupils over the necessity of microbes to our lives and the important research taking place at the University of Dundee.

This project has been running since February 2014 and began with professional learning for teachers and classroom based activity to discover the degree of the children’s prior knowledge and understanding of microbes.  This children’s time with us at Dundee Science Centre will be followed up with further learning in class, supporting literacy, numeracy and encouraging creativity, as well as opportunities to have scientists visit the schools to work with the children and discuss their learning.  The project will culminate in a Celebration Day at the University of Dundee, where representatives from each class, their teachers and families will join the Magnificent Microbes researchers to share their learning from the project – a chance for the children to teach the scientists!

We are delighted to have been supporting this project, working in partnership with the College of Life Science at the University of Dundee.  To find out more about the Magnificent Microbes project or if you are interested in getting involved in the future, why not come along to our Professional Learning session on 7th May 2014 at Dundee Science Centre, where we will be showcasing some of the activities involved and discussing progressions of learning in sciences from early to second level, focusing on CfE organisers in sciences Body Systems and Cells, and Inheritance.  You can find more information on our website, or contact us on learning@dundeesciencecentre.org.uk or 01382868609 for enquiries and booking.

Mar 242014
 

30th April 2014, Dundee Science Centre, 1630 – 1800 including refreshments

Are you planning learning and teaching in sciences for early to second level? Or thinking about revamping your early, first and second level sciences? Are you an experienced teacher, PT, depute or headteacher looking for a model of staff mentoring and cluster working? Or a student or newly-qualified teacher looking to learn from the practice of others? This is a professional learning session you won’t want to miss!

On 30th April, teachers from primary schools in Perth and Kinross, and from Perth High School, will be joining us to describe how they went from a desire to plan for progression in sciences in the primary schools throughout the cluster, to a successful implementation of a series of rich tasks for all lines of development in sciences, incorporating skills.

Join us to hear how they got started, how they went about it, how they tied it into national resources and guidance, the view of staff on the experience, the pitfalls, and the successes. Teachers will also share some of their rich tasks, implemented in 2013/14, sharing their reflections from the perspective of learners’ experiences.

Charitable funding is available to support your attendance at this session.  For more information, see our website. To book your place, or talk to us about this learning opportunity, contact learning@dundeesciencecentre.org.uk or telephone us on 01382868609.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Mar 202014
 

7th May 2014, Dundee Science Centre, 1615 – 1830 including refreshments

Are you planning learning and teaching in sciences for early to second level? Or thinking about revamping your early, first and second level sciences? Are you an experienced teacher, PT, depute or head teacher looking for a model of staff mentoring and cluster working? Or a student or newly-qualified teacher looking to learn from the practice of others? Are you looking for inspiration for learning and teaching on body systems, cells and inheritance? This is a professional learning session you won’t want to miss!

On 7th May, teachers from primary schools in the Perth High School cluster, Perth and will be joining us to describe how they went from a desire to plan for progression in sciences in the primary schools throughout the cluster, to a successful implementation of a series of rich tasks for all lines of development in sciences, incorporating skills.

At this session you’ll be able to choose from two workshops, including hands-on sciences, led by teachers from the Perth High School cluster, and the Dundee Science Centre Science Learning Institute team.

Workshop A: choice of

  • What makes me me? A Commonwealth champion challenge for early years or early level
  • I am unique! for second level
  • Learning progressions with a focus on early, first and second level ‘Run, Run as fast as you can’, ‘Them Bones, Them Bones and Organs too’, ‘Aren’t we amazing?’

Workshop B: choice of

  • Healthy body bits with loan box and Perfect Poo! for first level (Learning Space)
  • Magnificent Microbes for second level
  • Learning progressions with a focus on first and second level ‘Germ Attack’ and ‘Fergus the Bogeyman’s Party’

Charitable funding is available to support your attendance at this session.  For more information, see our website. To book your place, or talk to us about this learning opportunity, contact learning@dundeesciencecentre.org.uk or telephone us on 01382868609.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Mar 172014
 

30th April 2014, Dundee Science Centre, 1630 – 1800 including refreshments

Are you planning learning and teaching in sciences for early to second level? Or thinking about revamping your early, first and second level sciences? Are you an experienced teacher, PT, depute or headteacher looking for a model of staff mentoring and cluster working? Or a student or newly-qualified teacher looking to learn from the practice of others? This is a professional learning session you won’t want to miss!

On 30th April, teachers from primary schools in Perth and Kinross, and from Perth High School, will be joining us to describe how they went from a desire to plan for progression in sciences in the primary schools throughout the cluster, to a successful implementation of a series of rich tasks for all lines of development in sciences, incorporating skills.

Join us to hear how they got started, how they went about it, how they tied it into national resources and guidance, the view of staff on the experience, the pitfalls, and the successes. Teachers will also share some of their rich tasks, implemented in 2013/14, sharing their reflections from the perspective of learners’ experiences.

Charitable funding is available to support your attendance at this session.  For more information, see our website. To book your place, or talk to us about this learning opportunity, contact learning@dundeesciencecentre.org.uk or telephone us on 01382868609.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Feb 092014
 

‘I learned not to be scared to talk about cancer’

A really exciting day on Friday 7th February when we welcomed P7 pupils to Dundee Science Centre to work with world-leading scientists from Dundee Cancer Centre. Through hands-on activities, developed and delivered by scientists, researchers and nurses from Dundee Cancer Centre, children learned about cells and cancer.

Children said:

I can’t choose one thing, I loved it all!

I learnt about how the different bloods get ready for scientists! It was fun!

That you should be careful with what you wear outside and that if you eat broccoli it helps a lot.

I learnt that cancer travels faster than normal cells.

There are 200 types of cancer cells

I enjoyed making play-doh drugs

Very easy to understand and was fun

I enjoyed meeting a real scientist

I learnt that strawberries have DNA and what our cells look like! It was fun!

I learnt today about cancer and how it can be stopped.

Teachers were equally positive in their feedback:

Hands on activities are great. Brilliant to see the kids engaging so well.

The people who were doing the explaining, explained very complex concepts in a very understandable way for the children.  It’s something that we will pick up on when we go back to school and share what we have learnt with the rest of the school and try to find out more.

This is the first part of a bigger piece of work, the next steps of which are to work with teachers from secondary schools and Dundee Cancer Centre to develop a workshop to support the broad general education in the secondary setting, or the Senior Phase.  This will provide opportunities for learning for teachers involved, and the pupils in the 10 secondary schools we work with, when we bring our funded outreach to them between September and December 2014.

If you’re interested in being part of this exciting project, and connecting your learners with cutting-edge, world-leading sciences happening in Dundee, please contact Lauren Boath, Science Learning Manager for more information (lauren.boath@dundeesciencecentre.org.uk)

Feb 092014
 

 We’re very excited about the start to our Magnificent Microbes project for 2014, a partnership between Dundee Science Centre Science Learning Institute and the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee.

We are exploring ways to structure and support learning for practitioners, and for children and young people, to increase the impact of what we do, and to ensure our work becomes increasingly sustainable and has a legacy in the classroom.

With this in mind, teachers whose classes are participating in the Magnificent Microbes project for 2014 joined us on Tuesday evening for a professional learning session with Dr Nicola Stanley-Wall and Dr James Chalmers of the Division of Molecular Microbiology at the College of Life Sciences from the University of Dundee.  Together, we explored the world of microbes, including getting hands-on with techniques use by microbiologists.  Feedback from participants was very positive, including

“…really helped me get into the project.  I am now excited rather than scared not knowing what would lie ahead.”

“I’m excited about how much they (the children) will enjoy the learning.”

“I now know how to approach a topic about microbiology and I will also be less scared to try this with my class.”

and we’re very much looking forward to children working with us over the course of the project, including working with the scientists in school, at Dundee Science Centre, and coming together to share and celebrate their learning in May.

Before the session we asked teachers to write down everything they think of when they hear the word ‘microbe’ and we did the same afterwards.

Watch this space for more on the sustainable legacy of the project…and how you can get involved in the world of microbes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Dec 162013
 

What is the Magnificent Microbes project?

The Magnificent Microbes project is a joint venture between the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee and Dundee Science Centre Science Learning Institute.  The project, run in 2010 and 2012, has been received very positively by children and teachers alike, being described as “exciting”, “inspiring”, “a great way to understand more about microbes”. Teachers described the impact on children’s learning, and enthusiasm for science as a result of taking part. Participation provided teachers with opportunities for professional learning which had built capacity and improved their knowledge, understanding and confidence in learning around the Body Systems and Cells organiser within Curriculum for Excellence.

The project includes:

–       pre-visit activity (supporting literacy)

–       visit to Dundee Science Centre to participate in Magnificent Microbes day (themes: hands-on science, positive role models, cutting-edge research on the doorstep)

–       post-visit learning (supporting, literacy, numeracy and encouraging creativity)

–       post-visit opportunities to have scientists visiting the school

–       Celebration Day (sharing learning, supporting literacy)

–       display of children’s learning about Magnificent Microbes in the Prism at Dundee Science Centre in May / June 2014

Where does the Magnificent Microbes project fit within Curriculum for Excellence?

“At second level (SCN 2-13a), through practical activities carried out in a safe environment, learners can explore examples of microorganisms that are beneficial and harmful e.g. the use of yeast in bread making and the importance of bacteria and fungus in the breakdown of waste in compost columns. This can be further developed… to include practical activities to safely test for the presence of microorganisms in the local environment. The effects on growth of microorganisms of a variety of factors, such as temperature and disinfectants, can also be investigated. This leads on to the exploration of the use of microorganisms and enzymes in industry at fourth level.”

Education Scotland (2009) Concept development in the sciences paper

“Through research and discussion I have an appreciation of the contribution that individuals are making to scientific discovery and invention, and the impact this has made on society”

Education Scotland (2009) Curriculum for excellence: sciences experiences and outcomes

Participation in the Magnificent Microbes project supports development of the capacities of Curriculum for Excellence:

Successful learners

Attributes: enthusiasm and motivation for learning; openness to new thinking and ideas

Capabilities: use literacy, numeracy and communication skills; think creatively and independently

Responsible citizens

Attributes: respect for others

Capabilities: develop knowledge and understanding of the world and Scotland’s place in it; evaluate environmental scientific and technological issues

Effective contributors

Attributes: resilience

Capabilities: communicate in different ways and in different settings; work in partnerships and teams; create and develop.

Involvement in the project includes starter activities for use with learners, prior to the class to Dundee Science Centre. The project will be completed in the classroom following the Magnificent Microbes day in March 2014. These activities have been designed to be used flexibly, to ensure that they can be used to meet the needs of children in their own context, and to develop skills in literacy and numeracy appropriate to second level.

Literacy across learning

Participation in the project provides opportunities for learners to developing literacy skills through:

  • explaining their thinking to others (Listening and talking for learning, Literacy across learning: principles and practice);
  • finding, selecting, sorting, summarising and linking information  from a variety of sources  (Reading for learning, Literacy across learning: principles and practice);
  • making notes, developing ideas and acknowledging sources within written work, and developing and using effective vocabulary (Writing for learning, Literacy across learning: principles and practice).

Creativity in Sciences

After the visit

Within the class, we would like the children to create a piece which represents and communicates their learning.  Scientists from the University of Dundee would be delighted to come to each school to talk about this with the children. This provides the opportunity for learners to share their thinking and use others’ contributions to build on thinking.

From each participating class we would invite the children who created the work(s) to join us, with their teacher(s) and their families, at a Magnificent Microbes Learning Celebration at the College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee.

Numeracy in sciences

 “Having discussed the variety of ways and range of media used to present data, I can interpret and draw conclusions from the information displayed, recognising that the presentation may be misleading.

I have carried out investigations and surveys, devising and using a variety of methods to gather information and have worked with others to collate, organise and communicate the results in an appropriate way.”

Education Scotland (2007) Curriculum for excellence: numeracy and mathematics experiences and outcomes

At second level learners have an extended range of presentation methods, including bar and line graphs, from which they can select the most appropriate for presenting the data/information they have collected.  They identify the relationship between the variables and use this to draw an appropriate conclusion, consistent with the findings.

Education Scotland (2013) Assessing Progress and Achievement in the Broad General Education in Sciences

After the visit

Within ten days of the visit, we will send a photograph for each child of the microbe growth from their hands. We would ask the children to carry out a class survey and select the most appropriate method for presenting their data / information from which they can consider whether or not it is possible to draw any conclusions about gender differences in microbe growth. This activity provides opportunities to develop numeracy through appropriate interpretation of numerical information, using it to draw conclusions and make reasoned evaluations.

Celebrating learning

At the Magnificent Microbes Learning Celebration at the University of Dundee, the team from Dundee Science Centre and the scientists and researchers involved with the project will be joined by children from all of the classes participating in the project. We will use the children’s work to create a display about their learning. At this celebration, the children will have the opportunity to explain to the scientists at the University of Dundee what their work shows, why they have chosen to do the work as they have done, and why they chose that particular aspect of the learning. Through this, they will have the opportunity to organise their ideas in an appropriate way for the purpose, using suitable vocabulary for their audience.

Sharing their work with a wider audience

Following the Celebration Day, we will use the display created as an exhibit in the Prism of Dundee Science Centre, for families, visitors and other school groups to see. The children’s microbe sample images, along with samples from members of the public will also be included as part of the display. We hope this display will help others learn about Magnificent Microbes and be inspired to learn more!

What does participation involve?

 

4 February 2014 Project familiarisation: meet the team and find out more about the hands-on activities in the project
14 March 2014 Schools visit Dundee Science Centre
21 March 2014 Schools receive microbe handprints from University of Dundee
21- 25 April 2014 Researchers from University of Dundee visit schools (optional)
25 April 2014 Schools to return data presentations on microbe growth to University of Dundee
25 April 2014 Children to select who to represent their class at the Learning Celebration
6 May 2014 Learning Celebration at University of Dundee
9 May 2014 Deadline for return of teacher evaluations

How many children, classes and schools can be involved?

We have capacity to include 180 – 210 children in the project. The participation cost of the project per child is £50. Of this cost, the University of Dundee and Dundee Science Centre have sought funding to cover more than 90%. The participation cost is therefore £3.50 per child. For children attending schools in Dundee City Council, funding is available to support this participation cost.

Where Scottish Government funding is available to support travel, we will provide a travel subsidy to cover the full cost of transport. This is determined by criteria set by the Scottish Government.

Interested? Get in touch learning@dundeesciencecentre.org.uk

Report a Glow concern  Cookie policy  Privacy policy

Glow Blogs uses cookies to enhance your experience on our service. By using this service or closing this message you consent to our use of those cookies. Please read our Cookie Policy.

Close