Steel the show

11th March 2005 at 00:00
Tim Paling is a science teacher at Meden School Warsop, Nottinghamshire

We've had a basic introduction to forces in class, which is useful, but once they've been here and explored the ideas for themselves, they really remember it. Even though there's so much going on, it's the little things that make an impact: such as in the water pavilion where the mock toilet reminds you how much water is wasted by flushing. It's always the same, which can discourage you from coming back, but it's a particularly good visit for Years 7 and 8. The best thing is there isn't a lot of text, so it's not associated with being in the classroom. It's hands-on, it's about the children making mental connections and figuring things out for themselves. Even though they won't have fully understood everything they've seen, once we follow up in the classroom we can fill in the gaps. We can probe what they thought before and compare it with what they've found out today. It will go a long way towards sorting out some of the misunderstandings and misconceptions they have about science.

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