25th February 2000 at 00:00
IT ACTIVITIES FOR SCIENCE 14-16. Teacher's pack and CD-Rom. By Carol Chapman, John Lewis, Rob Musker and Daniel Nicholson. Heinemann pound;69.95.

This collection of ICT activities will be warmly welcomed by science teachers, especially those who have been using its predecessor for the 11-14 age group. It is directed towards work at GCSE level and aimed at the key topics at key stage 4, including the skills and procedures for experimental and investigative science.

The 18 data-logging activities have a bias towards physics (10 sheets) but some useful coverage of biology (five activities) including some that teachers may not have seen before. Others are fairly standard and unoriginal, but are helpfully presented.

The data-logging work also involves a good range of sensors, not just the usual probes of temperature and light. The package has two database activities, one inevitably involving the planets, and five activities for spreadsheets. The printed materials ome with a CD-Rom to support activities on spreadsheets, databases, presentation and Intranet use.

One welcome innovation is structured work involving the Internet. Many teachers are rightly wary about the quality of what is "freely available" and inexperienced at building its use into the demanding environment of the classroom. The activities in this package (albeit few) may help teachers break the ice on Internet use.

One of the good points of this resource and its key stage 3 predecessor is that technical details are explained with a range of manufacturers in mind. Another major advantage is the detailed notes for technicians relating to each of the activities.

ICT work in science is too often seen as something for the enthusiastic, IT-literate teacher rather than an integral part of lessons and schemes. This package will help to change that view.

Jerry Wellington Jerry Wellington is a reader in education at the University of Sheffield

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