Learning in the new NQs: numeracy in sciences

Education Scotland’s recently published advice and guidance includes exemplification of skills appropriate to National 4 and National 5. These have been exemplified in a biological context for National 4 Science, and in a physics context for National 5 Physics and can be used by practitioners to consider the level of challenge appropriate to N4 and N5 in terms of Building the Curriculum 4: Skills for Learning, Life and Work, the SQA’s Skills Framework, and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.

One area of numeracy you may be planning to explore with learners is the issue of causality and correlation. Can we use data to draw conclusions? Among the examples included in the advice and guidance for science is a consideration of whether or not there is a link between Type 2 diabetes and obesity. A starting point for discussion comes from the BBC’s Go Figure series in this article Watching out for Wimbledon-washing machine links. Does Wimbledon fortnight really affect demand for washing machine repairs?

STEM Central and a Focus on the Eye: Electronic Eye Implant Trials Prove Successful

Another UK first which you could link into learning around the STEM Central Bioengineering context. The Glasgow Herald, The Telegraph and the BBC have reported on this breakthrough, in which the 3mm x 3mm electronic implant fitting with over 1500 light sensitive pixels replaces the function of the rods and cones. In this short video ‘How pioneering eye implant helped my sight’, Robin Millar explains how the implant works for him.

This clinical trial ties in with the BBC’s Bionic Body series which provides information, videos and images which perfectly complement our most recent STEM Central Bioengineering context exploring how bionics can transform lives.

Perhaps the learning and teaching you are planning is focused on the eye? This could be an opportunity to compare and contrast advances in sight restoration by learning about the electronic implant approach, compared with the other recent advances, for example in stem cell therapies.

BBC News Scientists restore sight in blind mice

BBC News Acid attack modelKatie Piper gets sight back

BBC News Hope for eye treatment using STEM Cells

Who would benefit from each of the different approaches? Are the risks and benefits of the different approaches comparable in terms of development and for patient use?