Exeter Science Centre Community Interest Company
 
Schools Newsletter: November 2020
 
Welcome to our first Exeter Science Centre Schools Newsletter! We’re delighted to share our progress with you and very grateful for your support. This newsletter will provide termly updates for teachers about our progress, upcoming events and resources from us and our partners. Please do forward this to your contacts, who can sign up via the link at the bottom of the newsletter.
 
What have we been doing so far?
 
Exeter Science Centre is a Community Interest Company, soon to be a charity, with the ambition to build a STEAMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Medicine) Discovery Centre in Exeter, serving the whole of the South West through outreach and public engagement. We want to connect people directly with the STEAMM practitioners working to solve some of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced and we want to empower individuals to make a difference.
 
We have been applying for a large number of grants to support our public and schools engagement programmes and are rapidly building up our network of partners and supporters in the region.
 
We were part of the virtual Global Science Show in October, check out our contribution!
 
To see our vision for the science centre please visit our webpage where you’ll find lots of information, our preliminary business plan, our Knowledge Nibbles (which condense various complicated STEMM topics into nice 2-3 minute reads), our Science as Art gallery and new Art of Science gallery (which is now open for entries).
 
We want to co-create this centre with schools, organisations and the public so that it serves people of all ages and backgrounds. We would really appreciate any comments you have about how a science centre could work for you and your school, not only the building itself but our outreach programmes, which will be a fundamental part of our operations both before and after we have a physical building. You can email us or fill in our survey to contribute your views, and soon we hope to create steering groups for various sectors of the community, so watch this space!
 
Meet the Team
 
Let us introduce you to our amazing team of advisors - we're absolutely thrilled to have such experienced and inspiring people on board.
 
Meet the Team
Schools Outreach
 
We would love to start doing physical visits into schools but understand that COVID-19 has made this very difficult and uncertain. If visits are still possible (outside of any lockdowns), we would really like to hear from you.
 
We are working with a number of researchers to develop some engaging curriculum linked resources, which we want to share with you and will work hard to meet your safety requirements. All outreach activities are provided for free, and you can register your interest for specific workshops or events below:
 
Using light to detect cancer
 

In this 1-lesson, hands-on workshop, we explain how physicists at the University of Exeter are detecting oesophageal cancer, in their research funded by Cancer Research UK.

We explore travelling waves, standing waves, sound waves in solids, and electromagnetism. Suitable for GCSE / A-level students.
 
Register your interest
Astrophysics: The Great Conjunction
 

On 21st December Jupiter and Saturn will appear to be closer in the sky than they have been for 400 years in an event called the Great Conjunction. We’re working with the University of Exeter to prepare some resources for you to explain what it’s all about and how to observe it, so keep an eye on their webpage!

We would really like to hear if your students have any particular questions about this astronomical event that we could help to answer - please do get in touch!
 
The Great Conjunction
COVID-19 Events
 
We are working on a number of events and resources linked to COVID-19, in particular, the virus itself, the testing and importantly, the vaccine. We would like to know if you or your pupils have any questions that you would like to be answered by a COVID expert - the best questions will feature in our YouTube interviews with COVID experts. Send us your questions and keep an eye on our Events page for further information!
 
COVID-19 Events and Resources
 
 
Art of Science Gallery
 
We loved seeing the public and research contributions to our Science as Art Gallery in the summer "Lockdown". We are now delighted to launch the Art of Science gallery, for professional and amateur artists alike, of all ages, to create art in any medium that has been inspired by Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics or Medicine and we will share it in our free online gallery. We would love schools to get involved with this!
 
Art of Science Gallery
 
Teacher Feature
 
This term's Teacher Feature is from Michael Kimber, Devon’s Science Learning Partnership Lead (STEM Learning UK):
 
"Recent months have brought challenges to all of us – teachers, students and families alike. Entering the first lockdown, I felt there were two key priorities I had for my students. One was to maintain the best quality of education I could for my learners despite not being with them. The other, to do my best to support the wellbeing of my students. Though we are in a different situation now, I still focus on these two elements – never sure who will be able to attend lessons in person or what they may be going through at home.

Distanced learning comes with many problems, but also brings the opportunity to innovate and try new things. While our teachers would be delivering lessons online across the curriculum, I decided to utilise the ‘Flipgrid’ platform to not only enhance our Science and STEM provision, but also to maintain and strengthen our school and trust-wide community.

Flipgrid enables a teacher to post a stimulus – a question, a video or other materials – which the students can view online. After they watch, they can respond – typically recording their own video. I set up a Science Flipgrid group which every student from across our trust (~1000 children) could access whether at school or at home. Each week I would record a short experiment with some questions for each Key stage in the school. The children could do these simple ‘kitchen sink’ experiments in their own time and send in their attempts – from balloon rockets to using static electricity to create ghosts.

Maintaining opportunities to learn, alongside the ability to stay in touch and see one another’s experiments meant the children still felt like they were part of the school community despite being apart. Flipgrid has transformed my practice as a teacher and I would encourage you to join me in using this amazing free tool which I’m still using each day to empower children and give everyone a voice – even those who may typically be anxious about taking part in class discussions."
 
Michael Kimber, Teacher and Science Leader at Broadclyst Primary School – Twitter: @cornerstone_mk
 
 
Help us to help you
 
  • Let us know if you have availability next term for us to visit the school (in person or remotely) to run STEMM workshops with your students.
 
  • Please share our webpage and newsletter amongst your teacher contacts!
 
  • We would love to have your views. Please do consider filling in our survey.
 
  • Please do pledge your support if you haven’t already, we’ll soon list our supporting schools on our website.
 
 
  • Let us know what you would like to see in a science centre and how we can make our outreach, the building and school trips work for you. All these ideas will help mould our vision and our business plan.
 
  • If you really love what we’re doing and would like to become part of an advisory panel, playing an active role in the development of the centre, then please let us know.
 
Useful Resources
 
 
 
 
 
Interested in setting up a STEM club during the pandemic? Here’s a useful webinar from STEM Learning:
 
Free Webinar
 
Twinkl has released some great free KS2 resources that can get your students to think about how we can help our planet.
 
Twinkl Resources
 
 
 
The Royal Society have a range of high quality educational videos, resources and activities for schools:
 
Royal Society Resources
 
The University of Exeter teachers pages provide lots of information on opportunities for teachers and students.
In particular there is a virtual Christmas Science Lecture Series available (suitable for Year 10 and above). Just email for details.
 
Teachers Page
 
 
 
 
 
The Met Office have produced some excellent virtual learning resources for schools.
 
Met Office Resources
 
Thanks for reading! We'll typically send no more than 4 updates a year, so keep an eye out for the next one, and follow us on social media in the meantime.
 
 
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© 2020 Exeter Science Centre Community Interest Company