College link helps primary pupils into science

SERC Partnership inspires pupils

College link helps primary pupils into science

A link between Forth Valley College and South Eastern Regional College (SERC) in Northern Ireland is helping to introduce simple science into primary schools.

Groups of students from both colleges have been working together to come up with fun and interesting experiments with basic chemicals that could be found in a kitchen.

The ‘Lab in an Envelope’ project has seen first year Access to Science students at FVC’s Falkirk Campus link up through Skype with 16 students from SERC to come up with four simple experiments. These have now been filmed as a resource for primary schools to use.

The experiments are: an Eco System in a Bottle; Environmentally Friendly Plastic; How to Make a Rainbow (using vinegar and baking soda); and Making a DNA Helix (with sweeties and cocktail sticks).

Science lecturer, Sandra Bacon, said: “The students have been researching on the internet and have designed a series of experiments to ignite an interest in science among primary school pupils. We want to encourage schools to replicate these experiments with materials that can be found in a regular kitchen and we are sure the pupils will have fun learning about science.”

Fiona Jackson, Curriculum Manager in FVC’s Department of Engineering and Science, said: These projects are such a great way of increasing learner confidence through the sharing of ideas with their classmates and the Irish learners, as well as giving them something completely different to put on their CV or personal statement. It is so good to see how they embrace the challenge with such enthusiasm. Not to mention developing new skills such as using skype technology to hone their communication skills, teamworking, problem solving and independent research, and putting together a video of the project.”

May Blackwell (19) from Stirling, said: “I started this course because I had a passion for science I was happy to get involved in this project to help inspire primary school pupils in science subjects.”

Shawn Flynn (19) from Grangemouth, said: “I have really enjoyed this so far. It has been great researching the different simple and fun experiments that primary pupils can easily get involved with at school.”

Jedd Hoggan (20) from Alloa, added: “It has been a great experience working in our groups on this as we don’t often get a chance to do that on the course. Personally I think that science should be taught in schools at a younger age than it is now and these experiments can help to do that.”

Ecosystem
Sweetie DNA

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