Bringing science to life is something every teacher at Gateway strives to do. Doing it remotely is not as easy, but over the past ten months we have adapted to this challenge. Throughout school the children have had opportunities during live science lessons to really engage deeply with what science actually is and how we find things out. The Year 6 children enthusiastically explained the components of blood after a science experiment where they made blood using water, cheerios -red blood cells and mini marshmallows - white blood cells. Through this live lesson the children practically gained both knowledge and understanding. This experiment led to many cross curricular links including maths where the children have been working with data based on their scientific findings.
In Year 4, to tie in with the topic of natural disasters the children are currently investigating rocks and soils . They will be finding out what they can learn from fossils in rocks, using some virtual exhibits from The Natural History museum, since they can't visit in person. They also collected stones from around their house and garden, before bringing them back to the Google Classroom Meet where they shared and discussed their properties. They identified stones such as flint, chalk, slate and granite (from their kitchen work surfaces).
In Year 1 we are currently investigating materials. Having named, sorted and described different materials the progression was to experiment with them. The children were introduced to the word ‘absorbent’ and now needed time to understand this concept. Together we created an experiment to find out which materials are absorbent. This keen group of five and six year olds armed with different materials, a cup of water and a computer were ready to become scientists - what could go wrong? Well I am pleased to say it was a really good lesson. The children made predictions and explained their ideas. More importantly their learning behaviour was incredible. Patiently we tested each material at the same time and discussed our findings. I was so very proud of them.
Scientific thinking is an amazing skill as it requires logic, reasoning and the ability to be creative and see possibilities based on prior understanding and predictions. It also requires us to take risks and prepares us for when things go wrong!
Stephen Hawkings is one of the most influential scientists of our generation. He has many thought provoking quotations, but I felt this one was particularly relevant for children and one to possibly share and discuss over Sunday lunch.
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”
Through remote science lessons the children have certainly entered into the spirit of this advice by searching for answers, finding facts and asking questions that lead to further investigation. At Gateway School we understand Science is an important subject due to its relevance to students’ lives and the universally applicable problem-solving and critical thinking skills it uses and develops.
The Science Museum has many exciting projects and experiments for children to carry out at home. They have collaborated with other organisations to create a list of ‘7 questions to ask before you leave Primary school’. The questions include ‘Do you see what I see?’ and ‘Where does the sun go at night?’. It also includes short videos and activities to support answering them.