CONFERENCES AND EVENTS
* The Schools Physics Group's annual meeting and exhibition will be held on June 4 at Rugby School, Warwickshire. Topics include: the physics of toys, plastic semiconductors and why do A-level anyway? Fee: pound;15 at the door. Bookings: Leila Solomon, Institute of Physics, 76 Portland Place, London W1N 3DH, tel: 0171 470 4800; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: www.iop.org * "Chaotic control for weather prediction", "Ice: hot, cold and confused", and "Dust, bubbles and meteorites" will be among 20 exhibits demonstrating recent advances in scientific research at the Royal Society's New Frontiers in Science Exhibition, June 17-18. Details: The Royal Society, 6 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG, tel: 0171 451 2576.
* Professor Tim Brighouse, vice-chairman of the Government Standards Taskforce, is the key speaker at the Association for Science Education's Inset Services annual conference for secondary and post-16 teachers. Standards in Science Education will be held on June 22 at Burlington Hotel, Birmingham. Fee: pound;100 plus VAT. The association is also running secondary workshops in the Midlands, London, Leeds and Sheffield at pound;115, pound;100 members (plus VAT) and phase 1 and 2 residential courses on Developing people and departments for heads of science on June 27 and 28, again at the Burlington. Fee: pound;235 plus VAT. Details: 01203 690053.
* The Institute of Physics is holding an Environmental Physics Summer School on July 11-12 at Exeter University. Presentations and demonstrations include: the biosphere; physics of environmental health; remote sensing; atmosphere, climate and climate change; renewable energy; environmental change in Antarctica; the environmental applications of laser optics and robotics and geophysical aspects of the mapping of the moon. A visit will be paid to The Earth Resources Centre, Exeter University. Fee: pound;75 residential, pound;55 non-residential. Details: Peter Hughes, Kingsway College, Sidmouth Street, London WC1H 8JB, tel: 0171 306 5700, fax: 0171 306 5800.
* Light and colour in our lives, soap bubbles and soap films, the science of toys and the magic of magnetism are among subjects to be covered in The Royal Institution of Great Britain's primary schools lecture programme this summer. Lectures for secondary students include: why Eskimoes don't build skyscrapers, introducing genes, chemistry is elementary, measuring air pollution and lasers. Tickets start at pound;1. For secondary teachers there are workshops on plant DNA technology, fee: pound;15. Details: Andy Piggott, RIGB, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1X 4BS, tel: 0171 409 2992.
* The annual meeting and science festival of the British Association for the Advancement of Science takes place, September 6-11, at the University of Wales, Cardiff. Preliminary programme available from: BAAS, 23 Savile Row, London W1X 2NB, tel: 0171 973 3076.
FREE FOR ALL
* A simple computer program can take away the hard slog of calculating best GCSE science coursework scores from a range of pupil marks, while sticking to the new, complicated Government criteria. It does not store marks, but calculates the best combination on screen and generates a print-out. Data input time per pupil is less than one minute. Completely free to use, copy or distribute, the program can be downloaded from Web site: ourworld.compuserve.comhomepagesRayLecsc1.htm * Future Life: Engineering Solutions for the Next Generation, an Institution of Chemical Engineers' report, shows how science can help solve everyday problems such as water supply. Findings include: push button machines in supermarkets will be used to make meals to order; electric or hydrogen powered cars will help reduce pollution; and sensors implanted in the body will help detect disease and treat illnesses early on. Available to schools from: Pragna Mistry, IChemE, David Building, 165-189 Railway Terrace, Rugby CV21 3HQ.
* Two resource guides, Astronomy and space in UK schools and colleges, and Particle physics in UK schools and colleges have been updated by the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council. They list resources, portable planetariums, equipment suppliers, Web sites and experts willing to help schools. Available from: The Public Understanding of Science Team, PPARC. Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon SN2 1SZ; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org INFORMATION
Some 200 primary schools are working on a weather forecasting project run by PowerGen and supported by local Education Business Partnerships and Business in the Community. Teachers were presented with practical weather measuring equipment and an information pack on how to use it in class at introductory workshops held at PowerGen's 11 UK sites. At the end of the academic year, the school judged to have used the equipment most effectively will be awarded a pound;5,000 Meteosat system for receiving weather information from satellites. The project will be repeated in the 199899 academic year. Details: Mike Pollak, PowerGen, tel: 01203 424292.
* First it was poetry, now it's Science on the Underground. Sets of posters will appear in carriages over the next two years to get London's Tube travellers curious about scientific principles in daily life. Current posers include: Will a snowman melt more quickly or slowly if you put a coat on him?; Do bigger seeds grow more quickly than smaller seeds? Related primary school materials include a book and set of posters, and the London Transport Museum is developing a resource pack, to be launched in September, and portable hands-on science exhibits to use in its galleries. Details from Science Line (0345 600444); Internet site: www.mmu.ac.uk or the Manchester Metropolitan University project office, tel: 0161 247 5279.