Science in the News-letter #10

Click the link below to download this week’s newsletter to use as a display or homework task.  Your students can extend their knowledge by exploring stories that link to the GCSE core science curriculum. Items included focus on air pollution, genetics, plant hormones, plate tectonics and energy efficiency.

 

 

Science in the News-letter #9

After an Easter break Science in the News-letter returns with five stories from the past two weeks for your students to explore.

These include looking at the possibility that we could be visited by alien intelligent dinosaurs and how computer models are being used to count penguins from space* More

April Junior Newsletter

Following the popularity of the Science in the News-letters for KS4/5, I have decided to write a junior version. This will be a monthly event and include three news-stories with the normal links and questions, but designed for younger students (aged 8-12).

The stories and questions are linked to the KS2/3 curriculum content and the newsletter is supplied with a teacher guide which includes links to news stories for background information and model answers to the questions differentiated by key stage. More

Why did the Titanic sink?

The story

Unless you have been hiding under an iceberg for the past few weeks, you will have noticed an increase in the amount of media attention on the Titanic. This is because the 100 year anniversary of its sinking takes place on Sunday.

Teaching ideas

A lesson on the sinking of the Titanic would be a great way to test KS3 students’ understanding about forces and give them valuable practice at how to write a good scientific explanation.

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Science in the news-letter #8

Understanding the science behind the news allows us to balance the pros and cons and make a balanced decision.

Two stories in this week’s newsletter ask students to do this: The collapse of footballer Fabrice Muamba during a match last Saturday has sparked a debate about whether athletes should be screened for heart abnormalities. Also: should an area of natural beauty in South Africa undergo the controversial drilling practice for natural gas known as fracking?

 

 

How to see around corners

image: CILAS @ wikimedia

A simple starter I often used when introducing the topic of light with year 8 was to give them a problem to solve: More

Science in the news-letter #7

Stories in this week’s newsletter include two very different uses of genetic engineering and the reason why many scientists are upset at the sight of party balloons.

To find out why, you’ve got to read the linked news article!

Space vacation

The story

Getting into space the traditional way, in a space shuttle, is an expensive process but at least we know it works. Is travelling up in an elevator attached to a 36 000 km cable any more cost effective or realistic? More

Science in the news-letter #6

This week’s newsletter features stories about the recent solar flares, a famous movie director’s quest to reach Earth’s lowest point, a car that may help us slow climate change down and the possible consequences if we don’t.

As these newsletters are only really suitable for KS4 and KS5 students, I have been considering publishing a monthly science in the news-letter for younger students (ages 8-13). If you think this is something you would be interested in, please let me know (as I will only do this if there is demand). More

Plant plastics

The story

A team of scientists from a Dutch university has discovered a way of turning biogas made from plant matter into the building blocks of common plastics.
They used a new kind of iron catalyst made from nanoparticles to make ethene and propene. This new method means that plastics with the same chemical structure, and therefore properties as traditional petroplastics, can be produced using biomass, a renewable resource. More

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