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#ASEchat 107 Science in Museums

Last night’s #asechat topic was ‘learning science in museums’. Was lovely to be a part of the conversation - it’s clear there are a lot of great teachers out there in the twittersphere, who are interested in visiting museums and making the most of their resources. But learning science in museums isn’t just for kids – so we mentioned Lates and the possibility of ‘adult science night’ – sleepovers for grown ups! I’m looking into that and will get back to you as soon as I find out.

Top Tweets

@90_maz - @SM_Learn @hrogerson check on it for all of us please? what a cool #asechat tweet up that would be!

Visiting a museum is demanding on teachers’ time and energy, and it sometimes means preparing a new set of resources or techniques- fortunately there’s a lot of belief in learning in museums out there, with teachers feeling the experience is genuinely worthwhile, no matter how logistically complex or tiring it can be.

@90_maz - @SM_Learn VERY SEN pupils, so 4 adults as well #asechat. We will look at planes and talk about how they fly, building on prior learning

A lot of the conversations touched on the need to help students focus in the museum space – ideas included teachers visiting the museum beforehand to help plan their itinerary, or to pick up resources such as maps, but also doing pre-and-post visit work in the classroom to help the students integrate their learning. We love activities in the museum that allow for creative input such as this object hunt. Delighted to hear nice things being said about it.

@CBSCScience - @Bio_Joe #asechat we tried exploring the museum with flip camps last week and made our own video! Media and science can go hand in hand!

I asked about teachers using objects in their teaching, for example topic-linked mystery objects, to ease students into discussing a topic, or to hone observation skills. Some folks would like to use objects more – and it’s important to remember we don’t mean hard-to-obtain museum objects, but everyday things that can help introduce a topic, focus a discussion, or stimulate questions. Or how about taking a different approach to the museum visit and exploring the collections as a way of charting the development of ideas (I like to say, human ingenuity & blood sweat and tears). Finally, what about sharing object collections across departments? Chemistry-Geography shared rock collections perhaps?

@hrogerson - I know @rgoucher has used his goretex jacket in his lessons this year. #asechat

@MissRHiggs - @SM_Learn @Bio_Joe great for AS with new and unusual pieces of equipment #asechat

@theASE - RT @SM_Learn @hrogerson museum visit op for different route to science learning? - through stories of objects, history of ideas #asechat

@tesScience - @SM_Learn rocks are a great set of objects to tell stories with. Visit your Geography department for some :-) #asechat

I think its interesting (and true) how often teachers report difficulties in getting their students to engage in different ways, ie encouraging them to break away from always feeling they must get to the (same) right answer. The open-endedness of learning in museums can be daunting for students who are used to the rhythms and demands of the classroom and standardised exams.

@Bio_Joe - @CBSCScience @SM_Learn unfortunately I am fighting against 11years of science educating. Attitudes are hard to change this late #ASEChat

This is where having techniques and tasks up your sleeves can help – asking powerful questions that link science to the things students are interested in. In a different space, looking and feeling so different to a classroom, it can be a tiny bit easier to encourage students to think differently.

@CBSCScience - @Mallrat_uk @Bio_Joe @hrogerson @SM_Learn it's all about how you go about it and set it up. Small steps #asechat

And as a nod to teachers as parents in museums:

@Bio_Joe - How to tell if a parent is a teacher in a museum: Kid - Mum/Dad? What’s this for? Parent - What do you think?

Thanks for participating and looking forward to more #asechats

Many thanks to Monday 1st July #asechat host Micol @SM_Learn.


Micol Molinari
Learning Resources

Project coordinator, Enterprising Science

Science Museum
Exhibition Road


we tweet: @SM_Learn