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Helping lower secondary students develop conceptual understanding of electrostatic forces

Issue: December 2016 363

Author: Richard Moynihan, Paul van Kampen, Odilla Finlayson and Eilish McLoughlin

Extract: This article describes the development of a lesson sequence that supports secondary- level students to construct an explanatory model for electrostatic attraction using a guided enquiry method. The students examine electrostatic interactions at a macro level and explain the phenomena at the atomic level. Pre-tests, post-tests, homework assignments and classroom observations were used to develop lessons and investigate how students’ understanding of charged–neutral body interactions developed. We found that students initially over-rely on the rule ‘opposites attract and similar charges repel’ in situations unfamiliar to them, and generally struggle with the concept of induced charge on a neutral body.

Subject knowledge enhancement courses for creating new chemistry and physics teachers: the students’ perceptions

Issue: December 2016 363

Author: Richard Tynan, Robert Bryn Jones, Andrea Mallaburn and Ken Clays

Extract: Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses are one option open in England to graduates with a science background whose first degree content is judged to be insufficient to train to become chemistry or physics teachers. Previous articles in School Science Review have discussed the structure of one type of extended SKE course offered at Liverpool John Moores University, and its impact on outcomes for students. This article focuses on the qualitative responses collected from the anonymous exit questionnaire surveys returned by chemistry and physics SKE students about to continue on to their science Postgraduate Certificate in Education course. The main positive course characteristic cited was student support. The main positive outcomes perceived were improved subject knowledge and skills and increased confidence.

Optimal learning in schools – theoretical evidence: Part 1 Piaget’s theoretical background

Issue: December 2016 363

Author: John Crossland

Extract: The research questions a teacher would ask of neuroscience require answers researched within a typical classroom context. Unfortunately this research has rarely been available. The Education Endowment Foundation recently set up six projects applying evidence from neuroscience and educational studies to the classroom context. Most of the evaluation reports will be available in 2017. In the meantime, this four-part series of articles about recent research from neuroscience linked to concepts and models from cognitive psychology will provide evidence-based guidance towards more optimal learning strategies in the classroom.

It’s time to stop believing scientists about evolution

Issue: December 2016 363

Author: James Williams

Extract: Evolution is not, contrary to what many creationists will tell you, a belief system. Neither is it a matter of faith. We should stop asking if people ‘believe’ in evolution and talk about acceptance instead.

Reviews

Issue: December 2016 363

Extract: 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. Publications: - Badger GCSE Science, Working Scientifically: Biology by Andrew Chandler-Grevatt and Deborah Shah-Smith - Badger GCSE Science, Working Scientifically: Chemistry by Andrew Chandler-Grevatt and Deborah Shah-Smith - The Big Bang and Beyond by Michael Bright - If . . . A Mind-Bending Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers by David J. Smith - Visual Explorers: Space by Toby Reynolds and Paul Calver - No Need for Geniuses: Revolutionary Science in the Age of the Guillotine by Steve Jones Science app review: - AQA Biology Year 1 and AS by Illuminate publishing - AQA Chemistry Year 1 and AS by Illuminate publishing

Science Websearch

Issue: December 2016 363

Extract: Please send details of any websites you have found or produced to the Science websearch editor, Sarah Sephton: sarahsephton7@gmail.com. We would also be interested in hearing about how you have used websites that have appeared in Science websearch in your educational setting. TES: Socrative Science GCSE Quizzes www.tes.com/articles/socrative-sciencegcse-quizzes Fiendishlyclever fiendishlyclever.com University of Birmingham Biosciences Teaching Resources www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/biosciences/outreach O2 Learn www.o2learn.co.uk/o2_video-channel.php The Medic Portal www.themedicportal.com Codeacadmy www.codecademy.com Spacescoop www.spacescoop.org/en BioEthics Education Project www.beep.ac.uk Real World Physics Problems www.real-world-physics-problems.com/physics-questions.html Royal Society of Chemistry: Advanced Starters for 10 www.rsc.org/learn-chemistry/resource/res00001358/advanced-starters-for-ten Science Learning Hub sciencelearn.org.nz STEM Learning: Scientific Writing www.stem.org.uk/elibrary/collection/3713 Geology Career Pathways www.geolsoc.org.uk/Geology-Career-Pathways Royal Geographical Society with IBG 21stcenturychallenges.org IET Faraday faraday.theiet.org

Special Issues and Index

Issue: December 2016 363

Contents and Editorial

Issue: September 2016 362

Author: Editor: Geoff Auty

Extract: Moving to the next level takes place at age 11 in England and Wales and involves many changes for young people: a larger establishment, a longer journey each day, different teachers for each subject, being the youngest cohort in school instead of the oldest, and more. It seems that most children look forward to the opportunity to learn science in a laboratory in their new school, but are often disappointed by the lack of practical activity. In this edition, our special theme considers problems associated with the transition from primary to secondary school and welcome Sue Collins and Michael Reiss as guest editors.

Science note: The windowpane oyster, Placuna placenta, as a source of capiz shell

Issue: September 2016 362

Extract: Allan Mills describes the use of capiz shells for making lampshades, including the process that makes them translucent and the controls on harvesting them to maintain a stable population.

Science note: Making ink for Magna Carta

Issue: September 2016 362

Extract: Peter Borrows discusses how ink was manufactured centuries ago and challenges us to reproduce the method in modern times.

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