If you are a teacher, you know that loads of your students enjoy playing computer games… Do you ever use them as a starter for a discussion?
Games are great because as well as being an engaging and fun hook for a topic, they can supply enough information for your students to form an opinion on the issue (which as well as empowering them to express their thoughts, helps when you are selecting supporting material for the discussion).
Here you will find a set of games around nanotech and solar fuel cells, developed by the Royal Society.
And while you’re at it, this week is the Royal Society’s Summer Exhibition! Entry is free and you will find amazing exhibits developed by scientists, get the chance to meet and speak to them about their work, and be inspired by thought-provoking and face-to-face fabulous science. Bookings for schools are now closed but you can contact them if you would like to bring a non-school group of up to 12.
Summer is a great time for science
Students Talk Science @ The Science Museum
Last Friday over 40 KS3 and 4 students took part in our ever popular News+Views Activity. Scientist Mark Hammond from Reading University joined us along with Gordon the Rat-brained robot. Gordon is a very special robot. Controlled by a dish full of rats’ brain cells, he’s helping scientists to understand how our brains work.
Gordon's brain and body
Working as science journalists, students created news displays based on the Museum’s own Antenna gallery. They got to grill Mark about his research and asked probing questions ranging from ‘will we be able to download ourselves into robots?’ to ‘is it ethical to use rat brain cells to control a robot?’
Students then wrote text, chose images and presented their opinions on the topic to the rest of the group. You can find out more about Gordon and what scientists are hoping to learn form this research here.
Students presenting their stories
Like the sound of the event? We have more planned next year as part of an exciting new Exploring the Universe themed day at the Museum on 17 May 2010. To keep up to date with the latest goings on from the Science Museum Learning team subscribe to the educators e-newsletter.
Get your students to be science journalists for a day! The Talk Science team is running sessions of our News + Views activity as part of the Creative Quarter events on the 13 November.
It’s an activity that will get them talking with experts, writing bite-sized text, backing up opinions with evidence and creating their own science news display. It was created with the Science Museum’s Antenna team, our in house science journalists who create exhibitions about cutting edge science news.
At last year’s event we were joined by roboticist Matt Denton and his latest creation the i.c.hexapod, a sociable robot with face-tracking software. The little guy is programmed to approach people, interact with them, and take pictures. It was created as an art project that raises issues about the possibility of human robot relationships but the technology obviously has other, more sinister implications.
Student interacting with the robot
The kids really got into it, asking probing questions about the potential for similar robots to be used for spying or in a the military. It provoked discussion about our surveillance state, where we are caught up to 300 times a day on CCTV. The students were also interested in the possibility of using robots as care-givers, and whether that would be a good or a bad thing.
Presenting the poster
It was an opportunity for the kids to meet a real scientist working in an extremely exciting field. We’re not ready to reveal who will be coming in for the event in November, but we’ll keep you posted…
The programme is part of the Creative Quarter project for 13 -19 year olds. Places are limited and it’s sure to be a sell out so click here for booking details.