Poems with plastic

3rd January 1997 at 00:00
PENCILS, POEMS AND PRINCESSES By Joy Parvin Pounds 8.50

RECLAIM IT By Geoff Oliver and Joe Kellaway Pounds 6

CASE STUDIES IN PRODUCT DESIGN: PRODUCT DESIGN: POLYMERS IN SLEEPING BAGS By Judy Jones and Alan Stancliffe Pounds 6

PLYETHYLENE TERPHTHALATE IN PLASTIC POP BOTTLES Edited by Judy Jones and Alan Stancliffe Pounds 6

LET SLEEPING BAGS LIE Edited by Judy Jones Pounds 6 Chemical Industry Education Centre Heslington, York YO1 5DD 01904 4325233

What have Princess Smartypants and Grandfather's Pencil and the Room of Stories got in common? Primary teachers and parents of young children may recognise them as titles of popular story books - but what have they got to do with science? Pencils, Poems and Princesses shows how teachers can use stories as a means to teach scientific ideas to five to seven-year-olds. Princess Smartypants sets her suitors a string of problems, confident that they will be unable to solve them. How can you rescue someone from a tower with smooth slippery walls?

Treating this as an Sc1 investigation allows teachers to introduce children to the ideas of predictions, variables and reliability. This interesting and thoughtful book shows that science, like fairy stories, doesn't have to be Grimm.

Reclaim It is a collection of technology activities for key stage 2. The booklet contains ideas for models made from recycled plastic containers. If you are clueless about where to begin with primary technology - you could do worse than consult this book. There are clear instructions, diagrams and realistic safety advice.

Case Studies in Product Design is a series which design and technology teachers will find useful, concise and up-to-date. Polymers in Sleeping Bags, aimed at 14 to 16-year-olds, consists of background notes, activities and OHT originals. The activities focus on product specification, design and development.

Students work through exercises, analysing data and justifying their choices of materials. Polyethylene Terphthalate in Plastic Pop Bottles goes further and involves practical investigations as well as paper exercises.

Let Sleeping Bags Lie uses some of the same material as the Case Studies pack, but frames it in a context more suitable for use in science lessons, particularly as an Sc1 investigation. The pack could also be used as resource material for GNVQ Science and, like most of the Chemical Industry Education Centre material, is well worth the money.

Justin Dillon is a lecturer in science education, at King's College London

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