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School Science Review number 342

Number 342 - September 2011

Contents Article
1 Contents
9 You must be a member to download this article Science Notes

Christopher Talbot, Saendgao Philavane Keith Roass, Ian MacInnes, Stuart Smith, Geoff Auty and John C E Potter

-9 The lock and key model versus the induced fit model of enzyme action - Christopher Talbot
-10 Teaching action potentials - Christopher Talbot and Saengdao Philavane
-13 Do footballs get heavier when you pump them up hard? Implications for climate change- Keith Ross
-16 A problem on toppling - Iain MacInnes, Stuart Smith and Geoff Auty
-21 Parallelogram law demonstration - J. C. E. Potter
-26 Helpdesk
-31 The Clubbers’ Guide: New academic year, new science/STEM club? - Linda Scott and Sue Howarth

26 You must be a member to download this article Science Notes - Helpdesk
31 You must be a member to download this article Science Notes - The Clubbers' Guide New academic year, new science/STEM club?

Sue Howarth and Linda Scott

Welcome to a new school year! Is this the year that you will get involved in running a science, or even a STEM, club? Maybe you made a commitment at interview for your new job, or promised yourself that 2011–12 is the year to get more involved in a regular programme of science enrichment activities.

37 You must be a member to download this article Getting Practical- the evaluation

Ian Abrahams, Michael J Reiss and Rachael Sharpe

The findings from the Improving Practical Work in Science (IPWiS) evaluation suggest that the project can, and did, bring about noticeable improvements in the effectiveness of practical work in school science. However, the extent of these improvements varied widely and appeared to be dependent on the departmental seniority of the person undertaking the training, their commitment to the project and the extent of support from the school’s senior management team. It was also found that the IPWiS project had a much less noticeable effect on the way primary teachers taught science, as much of what IPWiS set out to achieve was already taking place in primary science lessons.

45 Pagan biology at the Halloween Hop

Roger Lock

Send your pupils into the autumn term half-term holiday with a task that requires them to explore more about the biology associated with Halloween. This article offers a fun approach, with a pub quiz format based on bats, skeletons, pumpkins and witches, that is suitable for lessons following the end-of-topic test, for STEM clubs or for PTA events, with an autumnal and biological flavour

53 You must be a member to download this article Birds do it, bees do it: evolution and the comparative psychology of mate choice

Lynda G Boothroyd and Edward McLaughlin

The primary theoretical framework for the study of human physical attraction is currently Darwinian sexual selection. Not only has this perspective enabled the discovery of what appear to be strong universals in human mate choice but it has also facilitated our understanding of systematic variation in preferences both between and within individuals. Here we briefly summarise the background to the area and then discuss two key examples of where an evolutionary and comparative approach to understanding our behaviour has been particularly useful. Classroom activity suggestions and links to key stage 4 (age 14–16 years) teaching requirements are also explored.

61 You must be a member to download this article Do predators always win? Starfish versus limpets: a hands-on activity examining predator-prey interactions

Claudia Faria, Diana Boaventura, Cecilia Galvao and Isabel Chagas

In this article we propose a hands-on experimental activity about predator–prey interactions that can be performed both in a research laboratory and in the classroom. The activity, which engages students in a real scientific experiment, can be explored not only to improve students’ understanding about the diversity of anti-predator behaviours but also to promote their understanding about the various stages of experimental scientific procedures, such as the definition of a research problem, the statement of testable hypotheses, designing the experiments and drawing conclusions based on the evidence

69 You must be a member to download this article Microscale chemistry - a different way for students to do practical work

Mike Wooster

This article outlines the reasons why practical work is declining in schools. Microscale chemistry is put forward as a sustainable way of remedying this. The advantages of its use are outlined, including a description of some practical techniques that can be used to illustrate these advantages. There is also a description of how you can make the transition from the conventional scale of working to microscale. Its validity (in terms of its accuracy) is also described as well as how it can be used across a range of abilities and ages

77 You must be a member to download this article Chemistry - the big picture

Anne Cassell

Chemistry produces materials and releases energy by ionic or electronic rearrangements. Three structure types affect the ease with which a reaction occurs. In the Earth’s crust, solid crystals change chemically only with extreme heat and pressure, unless their fixed ions touch moving fluids. On the other hand, in living things, liquid crystals are changed (and reactions are therefore controllable) with small alterations in temperature, pH or oxygen levels. In the atmosphere, the gaseous fluids move easily but, being so ‘dilute’, they, like solids, need extreme energy such as ultraviolet radiation or electrical storms if they are to make new materials.

83 You must be a member to download this article Peak into the past: an archaeo-astronomy summer school

Daniel Brown, Natasha Neale and Robert Francis

Our landscape has been shaped by humans over millennia. It still contains many clues to how it was used in the past, giving us insights into ancient cultures and their everyday life. Our summer school uses archaeology and astronomy as a focus for effective out-of-classroom learning experiences. It demonstrates how a field trip can be used to its full potential by utilising ancient monuments as outdoor classrooms. This article shows how such a summer school can be embedded into the secondary curriculum. We provide advice, example activities and locations to visit, and outline the impact this work has had.

93 You must be a member to download this article The secret of the winning streak

Thomas E Woolley and Marcus P F Du Sautoy

We present a number of games that can be demonstrated easily in the classroom environment. Each game illustrates a different principle and allows students to engage with mathematics through experimentation and formulation of strategies.

101 Assessing ethics in secondary science

Michael J Reiss

This article highlights the conclusions of a seminar on the assessment of ethics in science that was organised by the Nuffield Foundation Curriculum Programme and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. It includes the eight recommendations of the resulting report. These relate to the differences between ethics and science, the demands placed on science teachers, the importance of student progression, the design of examination questions, the design of mark schemes, and teacher development.

113 You must be a member to download this article Developing communities of enquiry: dealing with social and ethical issues in science at key stage 3

Lynda Dunlop, Gill Humes, Linda Clarke and Valerie McKelvey Martin

Reproductive technologies, drug discovery and exploration of the universe are areas of contemporary research that raise issues for individuals and society. Forward Thinking, Northern Ireland uses the development of communities of enquiry to promote discussion of these and other social and ethical issues in science with students aged 11–14 years. This article reports on the evaluation of this approach in 11 post-primary schools in Northern Ireland. Students report that this approach is interesting, enjoyable and useful to help them learn science.

121 What makes an exemplary teacher of science? The pupils' perspective

Helen Wilson and Jenny Mant

Questionnaires were completed by 5044 12-year-old pupils in Oxfordshire state schools and initially used to identify classes where the pupils were more positive and enthusiastic about their science lessons than the majority. The teachers of these classes were identified and the views of their pupils as to what happens in their science lessons obtained from the questionnaires. The factors that emerged as key components of good practice in science lessons were: teachers being good explainers; pupils engaged in practical work; the encouragement of thinking and discussion; and contextualisation of the science.

127 You must be a member to download this article Long-term memory and learning

John Crossland

The English National Curriculum Programmes of Study emphasise the importance of knowledge, understanding and skills, and teachers are well versed in structuring learning in those terms. Research outcomes into how long-term memory is stored and retrieved provide support for structuring learning in this way. Four further messages are added to the original set of 15 and the conclusions reached here complement and extend the conclusions in the two previous articles in this series.

133 You must be a member to download this article Book and DVD Reviews

Reviews published in School Science Review are the opinions of individual reviewers and are not an official Association for Science Education (ASE) view or endorsement of the resource.

-133 How Science Works: Teaching and Learning in the Science Classroom, James D. Williams
-133 Science Education and the Christian Teacher, Paul Black, Michael Poole and Gerald Grace
-134 Ice: Life in the Freezing Cold, R. Wade
-135 The Last Great Plant Hunt: The Story of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, Carolyn Fry, Sue Seddon and Gail Vines
-135 Learning Outdoors – Everyone’s Included! Ed. Clare Shorter and Chas Matthews
-136 Star: from Birth to Black Hole, Alan Dyer
-136 Science Newswise 2, Ruth Jarman and Billy McClune
-137 Farmer Buckley’s Exploding Trousers & Other Odd Events on the Way to Scientific Discovery, Ed. Stephanie Pain
-137 PACE Virtual Explorer for Science KS 3 and 4 (DVD), PACE UK
-137 Catastrophe (DVD), Rocket Rights
-138 Reviewers

140 You must be a member to download this article Science websearch

Contributors: Silvia Newton and Ann Simpson

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144 You must be a member to download this article SSR special issues and Advertisers index