Mind your maths

10th May 1996 at 01:00
NUFFIELD SCIENCE CALCULATIONS. By David Sang, Jean McLean and Terry Parkin. Longman Pounds 8.50.

This new book is based on the belief that pupils at key stage 4 need help with the mathematical techniques that are a part of their science studies. It is divided into physics (with 20 topics covering motion, machines, waves, electricity and matter), chemistry (with 16 topics covering symbols,matter, gas, volumes, electrolysis energy and reaction rate) and biology with seven topics. Thus the number of topics reflects the relative emphasis or requirements for mathematics in the difference disciplines.

Most topics start with a short section giving information (for example Topic 16, Energy Transfer, begins by relating energy transfer to temperature change, gives the formulae relating energy, specific heat capacity and temperature rise and then a table of specific heat capacities in some materials). A worked example follows and then a number of short problems. Answers are given at the back but no steps in the calculation are shown.

Even though the book is aimed at GCSE, some of the sections could be used to reinforce or introduce ideas in post-16 courses. One example being the Ch:-squared test in biology.

A class set of these books will be a useful, time-saving resource as the problems are clearly linked to specific teaching topics.

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