One of the great things about using ICT in science is the ability to visit places and do things which are just not possible in the real world. Distant planets, atomic structure and living systems can all be explored from the comfort of a PC screen, and computers allow pupils to conduct dangerous experiments or carry out tests that would normally take months or years.
Anglia Multimedia's Forces in Motion and Forces and materials CD-Roms for Key Stages 3 and 4 (pound;55 each) include 3D models of experiments that allow students to conduct a series of highly interactive activities. Channel 4's education arm, 4Learning, is promoting the TV-Rom, a cross between a TV programme and an interactive CD-Rom. TV-Roms contain a complete TV programme in the form of mpeg-1 video, which is equivalent to VHS-quality.
There was a time when playing video on a PC meant using expensive add-on mpeg video cards, but many of today's computers are powerful enough to run TV-Roms without any additional hardware. The Science of Materials TV-Rom (pound;49.99, Apple and PC) is based on the Channel 4 series Science in Forces: material 2 and includes a 40-minute video programme, background information, activities and Internet links.
RM says more than 80,000 copies of its RM Workbox software has been shipped to teachers and the program offers a direct link to RM's Window Box Online. The latter offers downloadable activities and lesson plans covering primary science topics such as circuits, living things and the water cycle. Matrix Multimedia offers Electronic Projects version 1.0, (PC CD-Rom, pound;99 single copy, pound;39 studenthome copy) written by electronics teacher Max Horsey, it comprises two parts: a background section covering the components, tools and techniques needed to develop projects, and a second part which offers 10 projects for students to build, from sensor circuits to power amps.
Fable Multimedia's Force and Motion CD-Rom has been nominated in the BETT secondary software awards. The title offers various interactive models and is available in two versions, one for GCSE students (pound;59.95) has seven interactive models, while another version for A-level and GCSE students (pound;79.95) has 11 interactive models. Tag Learning will be showing the IntelPlay QX3 computer microscope (pound;89.95), which connects to a computer for displaying specimens. It is also possible to make real-time and time-lapse recordings with the digital microscope.
New Media Press will be showing a number of CD-Rom titles including Inheritance and Hydrocarbon titles (around pound;50 each), both of which include interactive animations. REM's stand has lots of CD-Rom titles including Cyber Ed Science titles for Apple and PC CD-Rom drives. Three titles cover atomic structure, equations and formulae, and acids, bses and salts. REM will also be showing Educationcity.net from Cybermind, which offers internet-based educational games, including some covering science topics.
Granada Learning's Science Explorer titles (pound;49 each) bring the subject alive with graphics, animation and virtual laboratories. Both titles are also linked to the company's Letts revision publications. Granada Learning's All About Materials (pound;49) for Key Stage 1 is designed to support work on Materials in the Science National Curriculum and includes video clips of heating and cooling experiments and a notepad facility with related talking word banks.
Writer and trainer Roger Frost will once again have a stand at BETT (IT in Science amp; Roger Frost), where he will be promoting his widely acclaimed publications including, Data-logging and practice. Frost is also part of the Science Consortium training programme which also includes the Association for Science Education (ASE), New Media Press and Sheffield Hallam University. He also offers his own training courses: "I see my job as helping teachers filter the good from the ordinary," says Frost.
Ed on the Web offers internet-based courses for 7-11 year old students covering the core subject areas, including science. Topics covered include living things, materials and physical science.
You won't find Potts Beck Productions at this year's BETT show, but if you are a science teacher, its new title, GCSE Physics Video Revision Notes (pound;14 individual copy, pound;10 per disc and a free site licence for school orders of 25 copies or more), is well worth checking out. Developed by Alex Redhead, head of science at The Lakes School Windermere, it covers 29 topics and has 51 video clips. The disc runs under web browser software as a "virtual website" and offers a novel approach to the presentation of revision work.
4Learning: Stand D140
Tel: 019264 36444
Anglia Multimedia: Stand F44
Tel: 01268 755811
Ed on the Web: Stand SW105
Tel: 01753 730019
Fable Multimedia: Stand M26
Tel: 0208 374 9008
Granada Learning: Stand F40
Tel: 0161 827 2927
IT in Science amp; Roger Frost: Stand SW71
Tel: 0208 986 3526
Matrix Multimedia: Stand SW21
Tel: 01275 730808
New Media Press: Stand L2
Tel: 01491 579824
Potts Beck Productions
Tel: 01539 725818
REM: Stand B40
Tel: 01458 254700
RM: Stand E50
Tel: 01235 856083
Tag Learning: Stand F50 and G10
Tel: 01474 537886