Wray of inspiration

1st February 2008 at 00:00
Could King Kong really have existed? That's the sort of question that can fire the imagination of gifted pupils. They would have to consider the bone structure needed to support an animal that size, how its metabolism might have functioned, and whether or not it could have got enough food. The course was full of ideas like this, designed to challenge pupils and get them thinking.

Gifted and talented pupils often find working from a textbook frustrating. They prefer to do independent research and then show what they've learnt. We allow them to give PowerPoint presentations, make interactive posters, models or even short films.

It's also important to show pupils how science is linked to the real world. One of the projects on this course studied the "dunkability" of biscuits.

We looked at how varying the fat or sugar content can make a biscuit more or less likely to collapse. It sounds a bit silly but it's the sort of problem that is seriously researched by biscuit companies. It helps talented pupils to realise that science isn't just about a good grade - it's also a possible career

Maria Dent is an Advanced Skills Teacher at Da Vinci Community College in Derby. She was talking to Steven Hastings.

The details

Science For All: Gifted and Talented Pupils is run by the National Science Learning Centre in York.

The five-day course is split into two parts. The next one begins on February 25.

Cost pound;718 plus VAT.

The first 25 places are eligible for a bursary covering fees, accommodation, travel and supply cover.

Visit www.sciencelearningcentres.org.ukWebPortal.aspx?page=2 for more information.

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