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Course notes

Mike Sands, a science teacher at Longcroft schjool, Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, went arty

Course Creative Science Weekend.

Provider Learning and Teaching Support Network (ltsn.ac.uk).

Venue The Earth Centre, Doncaster,October 17-19, 2003.

Cost Free, sponsored by LTSN and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta).

How did you find out about it?

Through LTSN - I'd worked for them the previous summer.

Why go?

I'm a new teacher and I wanted to try something different in my lessons.

What did it promise?

Creative ways of approaching science in the classroom.

Did it deliver?

It used everything from poetry to music and dance to find different ways of exploring different principles.

Highs and lows

Everyone had a chance to make an input, which built confidence and enthusiasm. It taught us not to be afraid to have a go. But the facilitator had fixed ideas about whathe wanted; he could have been more flexible in responding to the group.

Message, motto or mantra

Once you've taken the first step, it's easy to break out of the same old teaching methods.

Best advice

We were divided into groups. Some looked at art or drama; my group devised a card game explaining the properties of elements, such as melting points and boiling points. Teachers from all levels of education could use the same game, but in different ways. We saw how simple ideas can be used to explain difficult concepts.

Has it made a difference?

I'm not artistic at all, but it made me think about new methods. I've used nursery rhymes with my Year 7 and 8 pupils to explain chemical and physical changes. It helped pupils to understand - and show they had understood.

Coming your way?

LTSN provides training and events in all disciplines through 24 subject centres. See the website for details.

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