Resources: Secondary Science

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Relevant resources


Acids Forensic Science Investigation
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A who-dunnit circus of activities
This lesson introduces inquiry(ta)-based learning through the topic of forensic science. It engages pupils in higher order(ta) reasoning(ta) solving a variety of forensic problems.
Astronomy It's full of stars
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Using a telescope and considering how those early astronomers may have worked
Astronomy(topic) has been practiced for centuries and doesn't require expensive equipment! This first session aims to train the whole class(ta) to use a telescope and, hopefully, to provide an opportunity to engage in some active learning(ta). The lesson includes some naked-eye observations and describes how modern technology helps scientists know where to look. You can explore the scientific method(ta) and language(ta) at this point, using targeted questioning(ta)/differentiation(ta). Students may be able to engage in an inquiry(ta)-based project around this work, perhaps for homework(ta).
Astronomy Astronomy Master Class
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An overview of of six astronomy-related lessons resources (SC019 to SC0024)
The Astronomy Master Class was developed to inspire the next generation of scientists and in particular physicists. Although this course of 6 lessons is framed mostly around the science of astronomy, it draws on many themes from physics and aims to show how they all can link together. Additionally, it is structured so that it deliberately does not cut across material in most standard GCSE science courses and does not aim to answer every question. A deliberate part of the design was to visit each topic area only briefly and leave students hungry for more.
Astronomy Alien Life
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Are we alone?
This last of six presentations to recruit students for A level physics, is more light-hearted and simpler than the two previous resources. It considers the arguments around whether or not humanity is alone and includes an initial look at the bizarre nature of many of the claims of alien encounters - including a fictional one for good measure - before moving onto the more serious side of alien hunting. It concludes with a probabilistic argument based on the Fermi paradox.
Astronomy Recreating the Big Bang
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An introduction to the creation of the Universe.
This presentation offers a tour of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and explains why it is worth spending money on one experiment. It then delves into particle physics, looking at sub-atomic particles to offer analogies for what these particles are. The session focuses on whole class(ta) dialogue(ta) and higher order(ta) thinking skills as well as exploring scientific language(ta). This 4th session and the 5th are together the most theoretically complex and they present challenges to young peoples world views. As such they are led as much by their questions(ta) as by the presentation.
Astronomy From Earth to Moon
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Why the efforts to get to the moon in the 1960's might make you understand why we've not returned since.
The race to the Moon was as much driven by politics as science, and this backdrop continues to influence space exploration and terrestrial research to this day. It was an amazing achievement to travel so far - guided by computers that were trivial set beside today's mobile phones. It is a story well worth telling to encourage engagement in science, scientific method(ta) as well as the understanding of the ethical(topic) context of this pursuit.
Astronomy Celestial Wanderers
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Why would we fly to another planet to study its rocks?
Drawing on a rich range of sources, this presentation allows the teacher to introduce planetary geology(topic), something not normally studied until degree level. It uses the narrative(ta) of the Voyager Probes journey to illustrate the vastness of the solar system(topic) and also the challenges of designing a spacecraft to travel that far. It ends with a discussion of the history(topic) of Mars, and how the differences between it and the Earth resulted in Mars loosing its water and atmosphere whereas we have kept ours.
Biodiversity Using Science to Support Biodiversity
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A virtual field trip to study biodiversity.
This is an investigation(ta) in a virtual field trip to Dartmoor National Park. It involves research, designing a scientific investigation and analysing the results.
Discussion Discussion in Science Teaching
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Equip yourself to run a discussion in class
This resource is aimed at developing student teachers’ skills in working with discussion(ta). It can be presented to them as a hand-out to accompany an activity or read as reference material. See it online at BEEP website. Although it uses a science context, the real focus of the resource is managing and organising discussion-based activities. It provides guidance on:
  • Starting and structuring a discussion
  • Organising group talk(ta)
  • Role Play/drama(ta)
  • Ground Rules for discussion and handling difficult discussions
Ethics Ethical issues in human reproduction
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Why does reproduction raises so many ethical issues? When does life begin?
This lesson outline stimulates A-level students to engage in discussion(ta), develop their reasoning(ta) skills and increase their awareness of the bioethical(topic) issues involved in human reproduction.

Background texts and open-ended questioning(ta) about human reproduction, contraception and IVF are provided as the stimulus. Small group discussion about these topics, writing on post-it notes, and reading case studies aim to get students reasoning(ta) to justify their opinions, and to compare and evaluate competing views. Finally, whole class(ta) discussion synthesises the emerging ideas and encourages students to consider changing their positions or adding additional issues to a recording table.

Ethics Cloning
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Cloning - Potential and Issues
The topic of the ethics(topic) of modern biology needs to draw on a wider range of sources than a printed book may provide. This resource uses a web tutorial interspersed with external links to news and comment. Rather than leave the students to explore too many interests, a worksheet with questions enables the teacher to focus the students on a subset of the material. You can adapt this to your particular need, for example, if you wanted students to have a discussion(ta)in small groups. You might also consider using a blog, chat room or other ICT tools to record the questioning(ta) and reasoning(ta) around this topic. The lesson-planning proforma (or draft lesson plan) includes a list of objectives that shows the scope of the material.
Ethics Designer Babies
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When does life actually begin?
By using an informative web tutorial, this resource aims to stimulate discussion(ta) on the ethics(topic) of modern biology. A worksheet asks students where they stand and reassures them that their response might be kept private. You might also consider using a blog, chat room or other ICT tool to record the questioning(ta) and reasoning(ta) around this topic. A teaching section offers guidance on 'teaching argument' using 'Toulmin’s model of argument' and 'The IDEAS project'.
Genetics Human Genome Project: from Sequencing to Sharing Genomic Information
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Discuss and share economic, political and ethical issues.
This resource provides guidance on how to use whole class(ta) discussion(ta) and/or small group work(ta) to engage students with the science and the economic, political, ethical(topic), legal and social issues of a scientific project such as the HGP. Its focus is on the scientific method(ta); language(ta) and the nature of scientific inquiry(ta).
Genetics How DNA is sequenced: the stages
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The complexity and scale of genome sequencing
Students match diagrams of the stages of DNA sequencing with a list of text descriptions of the process. The lesson can involve students discussing in pairs / group work(ta), followed by a teacher or student-led plenary. Students would share ideas, come to a consensus and check the ‘whole class(ta) response’ with their version. The teacher's questioning(ta) can focus on scientific method(ta) and use of scientific language(ta). The lesson idea provides opportunities for the effective use of assessment(ta).
ICT Data Logging and Control
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A compendium with numerous ideas for using sensors to teach science.
This book provides a set of resources and lesson ideas with ICT(i) as a key focus for use in inquiry(ta) based learning and the scientific method(ta). It offers opportunities for use of group work(ta) and collaboration(ta) as well as whole class(ta) questioning(ta).
ICT IT in Secondary Science
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A whole book of ideas for using generic ICT tools in science
This book provides resources and lesson ideas with ICT(i) as a key focus for use in inquiry(ta) based learning and the scientific method(ta). It offers opportunities for use of group work(ta) and collaboration(ta) as well as whole class(ta) questioning(ta).
ICT Data Logging inservice booklet
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A compendium of CPD and ITE activities on why we use sensors and the practicalities of implementing their use
Activities and advice for using ICT(i) for use in inquiry(i) based learning and the scientific method(i).
Investigation Scientific Definitions
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Prepare for ISA exams here...
Students are required to make use of a number scientific definitions as part of their Individual Skills Assessment (ISA) for GCSE. This resource uses the following activities in an attempt to liven up the teaching of these words:
  • anagram activity
  • card match activity
  • Taboo game
  • crossword
Investigation Hypothesis and Variables
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Prepare for ISA exams here...
Students are required to make hypotheses and draw graphs for continuous and categoric data as part of their Individual Skills Assessment (ISA) for GCSE. This resource presents a hypothesis as a 'best guess' or proposal, intended to explain facts or observations available, prior to doing an investigation. Students work collaboratively to plan the following investigations, coming up with hypotheses and considering the variables:
  • size of chickens and the eggs they lay
  • 100 meter running time and age of athlete
  • number of butterflies and car pollution
  • car manufacturer and car pollution
  • contraceptive pill efficiently

They then plot graphs of data from similar contexts to their planned investigations deciding if the graphs should be bar charts or scatter plots/line graphs depending on whether or not the variables are continuous or categoric.

Language Jargon - the language of science
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What colour is lime water? How the science language confuses
This resource was made for general public interest but may find use as a discussion starter in teacher education.
Populations Populations and ecosystems
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Rabbits and vegetation - a real population case study
Learning objectives are met using the following approaches:
  • brainstorm (whole class(ta))
  • looking at graphs (small group work(ta))
  • case study (whole class teaching and discussion(ta))
  • concept mapping (whole class activity)
Reading skills Reading and discussing popular science articles
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Read. Get the world's view and see how science works for real
The resource relates to the importance of:
  • Scientific literacy(topic).
  • Science citizenship(topic) - understanding science in its context.
  • Literacy - understanding the role of different media in dissemination.
  • Scientific understanding of particular concepts chosen.
  • scientific language(ta).
  • scientific method(ta).

It can be delivered through a combination of homework(ta) (perhaps to find an interesting article), group work(ta) to explore various articles (perhaps in a carousel), and/or use of ICT(i) including PowerPoint files to encourage students to present an area they are interested in.

Sampling Sampling techniques to assess population size
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This lesson offers students an opportunity to use their existing knowledge to analyse a ‘real scientific publication’ and its language(ta) and link this to scientific method(ta).
  • They use study skills(topic) to skim read, make sense of complex language, and use visualisation(ta) to select relevant information
  • They engage in collaborative(tool) group work(ta) using reasoning(ta) and skills in peer assessment(ta)
  • They engage in dialogue(ta) and questioning(ta) to explore ideas together
  • They also think about how to present information using ICT(i) tools)
Science Listening to scientists - an environmental scientist talks about heat loss from houses
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How does a house lose heat? What are the ways to stop this loss of heat?
This ten-minute recording was made for a local radio show with a strap line that 'science has a use after school'. Audio podcasts, of which this is one, replace easily-missed radio shows and keep us informed. Universities also create podcasts, and just some teachers do too, gaining the unusual advantage that a podcast easily gets into a student's music player.
Science Listening to scientists – a glaciologist measures climate change
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How chemical analysis reveals the changes in the earth’s atmosphere and climate over so many years.
This resource was made for general public interest but may find use as enrichment material for science, careers and geography.
Science Listening to scientists - Using sensors and data loggers for agriculture
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How do plant growers and scientists monitor the environment? What do they measure and why?
This resource was made for general public interest but may find use as enrichment material for science, technology and geography.
Science Listening to scientists - a plant scientist talks about water
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Why do plants need water? How do different plants cope with a drought?
This ten-minute recording entitled 'science has a use after school' was made for a local radio show. Audio podcasts(tool), of which this is one, replace easily-missed radio shows and keep us informed. Universities also create podcasts, and just some teachers do too, gaining the unusual advantage that a podcast easily gets into a student's music player. Students might also like to think about how they communicate(tool) and making their own podcast.
Science Listening to scientists – a physicist talks about the science tools that art galleries use
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How does science help artists to 'see' under the paint of a painting?
This ten-minute recording was made for a local radio show and is entitled 'science has a use after school'.
Science Listening - A chocolate maker describes how it’s done
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How is chocolate made? How does temperature affects crystallisation?
This resource was made for general public interest but may find use as enrichment material for science and chemistry.
Science Listening to scientists - a lifelong water expert talks about a city's water supply
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This resource was made for general public interest but may find use as enrichment material for science and geography.
Science Listening to scientists – choosing materials for industry
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How does industry choose which material to use?
This resource was made for general public interest but may find use as enrichment material for science; design and technology.
Using images Organising images for a narrative
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Write an essay without words
The lesson encourages students to think about how to portray their knowledge through narrative(ta) - which may engage some students who would usually be less interested. The lesson encourages students to think about how to capture valuable information and ensure that key elements are highlighted while not 'overloading' the viewer with data. The lesson can be tailored to any age group - for younger pupils the task could be to take before and after photos and label them. More advanced pupils might explore time-lapse photography. Pupils should be encouraged to think about how this relates to the scientific method(ta) The task is interactive and could be conducted as a group work(ta) activity or as an element of an inquiry-based learning project. It could also lend itself to whole class(ta) dialogue(ta) and the use of ICT(i) including 'clicker' response systems for assessment(ta) and questioning(ta).

Category:Science Category:Secondary