British Science Week 2022 – Heritage Science in schools

This year, British Science Week has developed activity packs on the theme of ‘Growth’. There are packs for primary schools, secondary schools and communities; all of which include engaging activities that explore all sorts of growth, including buildings, eco-friendly behaviours, animals and even how we can grow plants on Mars! You can access the 2022 resources here, as well as activity packs from previous British Science Weeks.  

Other organisations who have been inspired to create their own educational resources for British Science Week include:

BBC Teach Resources

They have created a web page that hosts their best science, technology, engineering and maths resources for primary and secondary schools all in one place.

STEM Learning

They have created additional resources to support the ‘Growth’ theme, including on plant growth, animal growth and population growth.

Twinkl

Twinkl create educational resources used by teachers, schools and educators across the world. This year, they have developed resources that support another theme of British Science Week 2022- smashing stereotypes! The KS1 and KS2 resources have been designed to help young learners think differently about what is means to be a scientist.  They have also embedded British Science Week learning into their new app which uses Augmented Reality (AR).

STEM at Derby

The University of Derby is hosting STEM subject workshops that will support the British Science Week theme of ‘growth’. They will give students the opportunity to explore facilities, take on STEM challenges and discover career pathways.

Science Discovery Day

University of St Andrews’ annual #ScienceDiscoveryDay will take place online on 19 March. Follow @StAndEngaged as they publish different fun and educational STEM related activities and videos every 15 minutes.

Heritage Science in schools

Our community working group has identified increasing engagement with heritage science at school age as a key outcome for a future skilled and diverse heritage science community. They have been collecting examples of how heritage science is being used in a range of programmes targeted at school-age children. You can read the examples here, some of which include:  

  • The use of 3-D digital documentation of the three Forth Bridges to create a series of teaching packs
  • An activity pack from The National Archives to showcase the heritage science and conservation research happening in their Collection Care department
  • Heritage Science resources created by University of Cambridge Museums to help students develop research skills during A-Levels

Do you know of any other examples? Please let us know at coordinator@heritagescienceforum.org.uk

In the future, we want to map existing resources to the national curriculum and work in partnership with others to fill gaps where heritage science can make a contribution to the curriculum. British Science Week 2022 provides a starting point for our members to help with this. Many schools have been calling for speakers to take part in their events during the week, with the hope of making pupils aware of the variety of careers available in science. 

We would encourage members to think about volunteering to speak at such events in the future. There are many schemes that facilitate collaborations between schools and scientists, including:

A good example of this programme in action can be seen in this lecture recorded in February: STEM lecture for schools – Climate change: putting the dead to work  Jess McCoy (STEM Ambassador and PhD candidate at Northumbria University) gave a talk that explored the link between Palynology and climate change. It was organised by Denbigh School in Milton Keynes.

This initiative is an online, student-led STEM enrichment activity. It connects school students with scientists through energetic real-time text-based chats.

Such schemes provide an excellent opportunity for heritage scientists to make school-age children aware of the role of heritage science in society and the variety of careers available within the sector. This would tie into our strategic objective of creating a future skilled and diverse heritage science community.

You can learn more about British Science Week 2022 here.