One giant leap for science

3rd August 2001 at 01:00
If it's true that a butterfly fluttering its wings in the Brazilian jungle can result in a hurricane in the north Atlantic, will hundreds of thousands of children jumping at the same time in Britain cause an earthquake in China?

If such a catastrophe does result from the stunt to launch Science Year on September 7, Nigel Paine will be in big trouble. No insurance company has been prepared to provide cover for the Giant Jump, which aims to get a million young people to jump simultaneously.

The idea is not just to publicise Science Year, says Professor Paine, its director. Seismologists will measure the vibrations and students can use the data in experiments. The Science Year team is confident the jump will have an effect: earlier this year, the jumps of 250 Year 7 students at Plumstead Manor school in Greenwich, south London, registered on seismic equipment. The hope is that the jump will set a new world record.

The aim of the pound;20 million, year-long campaign is to change young people's attitude to science. "We want to achieve a permanent change in the uptake of science beyond the end of school," says Professor Paine.

But he believes that will not happen without better careers advice. "Children are not aware that a science or technology background opens up a new world to them." Eighty per cent give up on science at 14.

As part of the drive, the Department of Trade and Industry's science ambassadors programme will link science graduates and schools.

Resources and links to other relevant material will be added to the year's website at www.scienceyear.com where schools can also register for the Giant Jump

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now