Schools television

12th March 1999 at 00:00
PICK OF THE WEEK

What would you give to be able to see into the future? At Tomorrow's World, they've been trying to refine the process for years. The results are never dull and often quite spectacular. As this is national science, engineering and technology week, the Tomorrow's World team will be trying to push back the boundaries of television yet again in Megalab 99, with what is described as the biggest mass-participation experiment in the world.

Viewers will be invited to join in various experiments which will be taking place live on air, to test things as diverse as memory and beauty, as well as how the mind itself works.

Another world first will be the recording of a single on the Internet. Pop stars from around the world will be chipping in a riff here and a chord there in a reworking of Bob Marley's "Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)". Proceeds to charity, of course.

Finally, there's a bizarre rescue plan for the lighthouse on Beachy Head - about to slide into the sea because of erosion - which will involve a 850-ton block of stone. Whatever next?

Megalab 99, BBC1, Wednesday, March 17, 7-8pm

SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT

Still sticking with science, there's a new batch of investigations underway in Science in Action from BBC Schools. In her steaming, burbling grotto, Stella the scientist has a new conundrum to solve each week. From the properties of heat - how does it work and how do we measure it? - to magnetism - why do some magnets love fridge doors but nothing else? - the investigations are sprightly and entertaining.

Stella has a team of intrepid reporters, one of whom has to shin up a climbing wall to test the heat-wicking properties of a new fleece, another has to abseil off a roof to test a magnet's stickability.

She speaks slowly and clearly, and complex principles suddenly seem to be absolutely clear.

Science in Action, BBC2 Wednesdays, 11.40-12 midday

BEST OF THE REST

William Wordsworth's poetry glorified a world in which he imagined a spark of divinity coursing through every leaf and flower, river and stream, as much as it did through man himself. The aboriginal peoples of Australia have a similar view, and believe that certain sacred places, such as Ayers Rock, are endowed with a divine essence.

This theory of animism, which Edward Tyler, a 19th-century anthropologist, described as the oldest form of religion is examined in a Worlds of Faith programme for Channel 4 Learning: "Living in the Dreamtime - animism". This programme should have plenty of cross curricular links beyond that of RE.

Worlds of Faith, Channel 4, Tuesday 10.45-11am

JANETTE WOLF

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