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BP introduces Science Explorers learning materials

The oil and gas company is set to boost support for primary science teaching

Posted by Rianna Newman | June 16, 2017 | Primary

BP is boosting support for science teaching in primary schools with the launch of Science Explorers- a brand new collection of free, curriculum-linked science learning materials, including an app for primary school pupils aged 5 to 11.

Science Explorers is specially designed for use by teachers who are not science specialists and takes a fun, interactive and whole-school approach. It has been developed in light of research showing demand among primary school teachers and pupils for additional science teaching support:

  • According to the CBI, one third (33%) of primary teachers lack confidence when teaching science and more than half (53%) feel science has become less of a priority in the last five years.
  • The CBI also reports that the majority of primary teachers (62%) want more professional development to build their confidence with science teaching, while more than a third (39%) called for a science subject specialist within their school.
  • Evidence from the ASPIRES project suggests that the majority of young people are interested in science but only 18% of boys and 12% of girls aspire to a career in science.
  • BP-backed research project Enterprising Science has shown that the development of a young person’s ‘science capital’ through personal and relatable science teaching is key to developing science career aspirations.

Science Explorers provides a clear and simple way to start engaging children in science from an early age. The resources are designed to give young people ownership of their own scientific investigations, showing science learning as a relevant, everyday experience.

Teachers are always looking for new ways to engage their students, so Science Explorers is a welcome new offering

Samantha Bulkeley, UK Schools Education Manager for BP, said: “The BP Educational Service is constantly responding to the changing needs of STEM educators in the UK. Given the evidence of a lack of confidence among primary school teachers when delivering science lessons, we wanted to create new resources that are equally appealing for both science specialists and non-specialists in science teaching. Science Explorers can further support schools in the important task of engaging and inspiring young pupil in science from as early an age as possible.”

Available to all UK teachers, Science Explorers will help teachers to run a Science Day or Week for their class or the whole school – whether teachers have a science background or not. Pupils will work together and explore their surroundings to answer the Big Question: “Why are living things the way they are?”

With the Science Explorers training app, plus engaging videos and classroom activities focused on the science of everyday environments, Science Explorers can support schools and teachers in encouraging engagement with science from an early age.

Teachers will follow three steps to help their pupils become Science Explorers:

  • Step 1: Become a Science Explorer – introduce pupils to the Big Question and have them complete fun Science Explorer training to unlock a Class Challenge.
  • Step 2: Start Exploring – use the curriculum-linked resources provided to explore the Class Challenge in as much depth as teachers choose.
  • Step 3: Report Back to Base – bring everyone back together, so that pupils can present their findings to their peers, and watch a congratulatory film.

Emma Coleman, Year 5 teacher at Coldfall Primary in Muswell Hill, London, said: “These resources are pitched correctly to engage pupils and promote curiosity with a rich bank of activities. By providing a hands-on experience we can develop pupils’ enquiry, teamwork and presentation skills, and in turn a love for scientific investigations. Teachers are always looking for new ways to engage their students, so Science Explorers is a welcome new offering.”

Find out more about Science Explorers: www.bp.com/bpes/scienceexplorers

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