Celebrating science

14th May 2004 at 01:00
Wouldn't it be sad if, as an author, you wrote a short story and no one read it. Children feel the same about their Science 1 experiments and welcome the chance to present their findings to others. It also makes sound scientific sense. Scientists experiment when they need evidence to prove that something they believe (a hypothesis) is correct.

They present their work in a way that can be understood, and can be replicated or confirmed by others.

Children, as scientists, need to do the same and presentation should be an integral part of Science 1. It gives them a chance to order their thoughts, justify their ideas and share their work.

I have been using this approach in my Year 1 classroom for some time, with great success. The children know they are experimenting in order to present their findings - usually to the rest of the class and me - and that we may question them about their methods, the accuracy of their results or recording, the fairness of their testing or their predictions. They know they must be as clear as possible about what they did and why and how they did it. It adds purpose to their work.

Presentation can be on a larger scale, like the "Ex Event" we have just held in Bournemouth where KS12 children from different schools presented their Science 1 experiments to an audience of peers, teachers, headteachers, governors, parents and friends. It worked extremely well and the buzz we all got from hearing them express their beliefs, present their evidence and justify their methods was incredible. All the children involved came away feeling inspired and highly motivated. It's a fabulous way to celebrate their Science 1 work.

Caroline Palmer

Year 1 class teacher and primary science AST, St Clement's and St John's Infant School, Bournemouth

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