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We're already in the middle of Science Year, and National Science Week runs from March 8-17, so now is a good time to track down resources and events that will add a bit of sparkle to science lessons.

The British Association for the Advancement of Science has a free downloadable activities pack on its website. It features activities forchildren of all ages. All you have to do is register your school details to access the materials. The website also offers details of Science Week events in your area.

Downloadable resources are also available free via the Science Enhancement Programme, which promotes the subject in secondary schools. Resources are quite limited just now, but there are some verypromising forthcoming activities. It also sells reasonably priced resources for practical sessions.

Science Year has proved to be a boon for science teachers, with schools in England getting an Intel Play QX3 Computer Microscope and many receiving a whiteboard from the Science Year Kit Pot. The latest give-away, sponsored by the Royal Society, allows schools to choose a piece of science kit and a piece of Damp;T equipment from a list of options. There's pound;1 million worth of equipment on offer and details are being sent out to schools. They're not free, but the courses on gene technology offered by the Institute of Biology and the science resources company Bio-Rad won't break the bank. The sessions aimed at teachers of post-16 biological sciences incorporate a range of practical sessions with tips and strategies for teaching biotechnology and a session on ethics. Some sessions feature a scientist working in gene research.

Courses cost pound;55 and will be at Explore@Bristol (May 16-17), Sensation in Dundee (May 30), Glasgow Science Centre (June 13-14), Life Interactive World, Newcastle (July 1-3), Think Tank in Birmingham (July 4-5), the Science Museum, London (July 11-12), Techniquest in Cardiff (July 16-19) and Manchester Museum (July 18-19).

Contacts: British Association: 020 7973 3076; Gene technology courses: contact Georgina Day at the Institute of Biology: or Dominic Delaney at Bio-Rad:, stating your venue of choice and preferred date.

Science Year: Science Enhancement Programme: 020 7410 7124; Yolanda Brooks

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