Inspiring our secondary school science students
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Inspiring our secondary school science students

17 March 2021 By Deborah Roberts - International education consultant, author and trainer

teenage girl in engineering class

We need to entertain, inspire and enthuse our future scientists. Our world wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t have modern medicine, technology and of course the latest mobile phone. But how do we engage all secondary school students in science?

By making it readily available in all kinds of different ways! We're aiming to turn the 'what is the point in this?' attitude into scientific enthusiasm across the whole of education.

To achieve this, it is important to understand the diversity involved in and around science. Ultimately helping inspire the future generations of Albert Einstein and Marie Curie.

Creating engaging science lessons

Running straight to the school funds to pay for a 'whizz-bang' science company to come into the school and entertain the students with all kinds of experiments isn't always effective. In fact, it's unlikely they will fully understand the science behind them.

It often becomes the case that those who are already engaged enjoy the demonstrations and those who aren't engaged remain only impressed with whichever cool experiment they saw.

Instead, it's far more effective to understand your students and use your knowledge as a scientist. Demonstrating your own activities ensures that everyone can be involved and work towards an objective.

There are plenty of free activities and workshops that you can organise yourself to create your own extravaganza. Not only are they specifically purposed for science, but they also focus on encouraging science in a number of different ways.

Celebrating the diversity of science

The diversity in and around science and education is phenomenal. If you ask a student what we mean by 'our diverse planet', the answers will no doubt amaze you. We need to encourage students to take a step back and appreciate the diversity we have on our planet. From biodiversity to cultural and societal diversity, diversity in knowledge to diversity in learning.

Beyond science lessons

Science isn't just the study of chemistry, biology or physics. Neither is it just a means of getting a good science GCSE. Becoming the person in the white coat and protective goggles is more than just learning the periodic table and chemical equations.

We want our students to understand that science is about not only science but how it co-exists with technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Understanding STEM subjects as a whole rather than as individual subjects widens students' knowledge and opportunities.

These subjects cross into other curricular areas too, and the realisation for students soon becomes that science is about life; their daily lives today and more excitingly those of the future.

The future of our science students

Recently it was published that 65% of children entering education will be involved in careers or jobs that we currently know nothing about. This makes it important to ensure our students have the skills as well as the knowledge that they will need beyond school.

Research shows that students who take part in extracurricular activities are more likely to engage with higher academic attainments and greater future earnings. And although sporting extracurricular activities are important, they're not the only option.

Incorporating science into other subjects, from art to engineering, history and mathematics, can develop the diversity of extracurricular activities that are available. The idea is that these will lead to future science clubs and regular science events that can engage a whole community.

We need to spread the love of science by domino effect! Here are some easy and inclusive secondary science activities to celebrate the diversity of our planet to get you started.

Categories: Education

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