Science Clips

2nd July 2004 at 01:00
SCIENCE CLIPS. Primary science website

Science Clips is aimed at 5 to 11-year-olds and their teachers. The topic titles relate to the schemes of work with cross-references to the programmes of study for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the guidelines for Scotland.

The website has 36 interactive experiments in four age categories. Every experiment has a series of buttons, levers or dials which look tactile, invite play and encourage children to ask questions and learn by doing rather than watching or reading.

Each experiment comes with a graded series of tasks that motivates children to use the interactivity thoughtfully as they complete each task. A quiz for each experiment provides a sense of accomplishment and offers opportunities for consolidation. Resources include 36 printable worksheets and more than 70 lesson plans written by teachers.

But seeing something happen before your eyes is more convincing than seeing it on a computer screen. Crucially, pre-programmed investigations don't provide opportunities for getting it wrong and learning from mistakes.

Similarly the results don't surprise you - they are the same every time! For some children this site will provide reinforcement and motivation. As such it has a useful place in the science classroom, provided we remember that when it comes to investigation, there's no substitute for the real thing.

Peter Kelly lectures in the faculty of education, University of Plymouth

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