It is important that young people think science is for them, even if they do not want to follow a “science” career.
The study of science is not just for the gifted and more able students who want a scientific career, but it is relevant to everyone for their future decision making and information processing. This short animation is a tool teachers can use to help demonstrate this to students. The video highlights that science allows students to gain a broad range of transferable skills useful in many careers. Science is a way of thinking, a way of analysing facts and acting upon this analysis; science isn’t about knowing the answers, it’s about knowing what questions to ask.
The animation is designed to be used by those teaching students aged 11 – 16.
This animation was produced following research, commissioned by the Royal Society, into parental views on a broader and more balanced curriculum. The research showed that there are some misconceptions among parents about the relevance of science to the curriculum. By creating this animation, the Society hopes that students, and therefore as a consequence their parents, will be better informed about the relevance of their science lessons and ultimately a greater number will opt to study science post-16.
Image for classroom display
To download a full graphic of this animation for a classroom display, please find the files below:
Feedback from teachers
A small group of primary and secondary teachers were shown this animation and asked to provide some feedback. Their comments are shown below and may help other teachers to plan how this resource can be used in their lessons:
- Parents and students are familiar with why English and maths are core subjects but sometimes struggle to understand why science is a core subject in some areas of the UK. This animation helps to address this query.
- The animation really enables pupils to see how science is relevant to everyday life.
- Even though younger students are not the target audience they can access this. They may need some support with the language in places.
- The animation could be used as a provocation for discussion – is this what you thought science was? Which other careers use science and how?
- This could be used in computing lessons to demonstrate animation techniques and the concept of drawing boards, so as a teaching tool itself regardless of the content.
- Teachers felt that this would be useful in this COVID-19 environment to make sure that every learner understands that science has been central to solving the issues around the pandemic.
- This could be a very useful tool to launch British Science Week.
- Science isn’t core in Scotland so this could be useful to promote the uptake of science.
- The focus on the wider problem-solving process, rather than just the intrinsic science will be very useful.
- I like the idea of entering into debate with students who might wonder why they are having to do science. But where would you use it? When would you have time to use it? This could hit curriculum time.
- There is a challenge in that GCSE and A-level curricula do not always stress problem solving over learning and calculating.
- This could be used as a starter activity in form time. It doesn’t just have to be science related.
- In Scotland we use the animation as a promotion for Science. It could be shown to younger secondary students and to those who have already selected options.
- I especially like the breakdown of 'critical thinking’, ’observing', etc developing another thought process for students.
- This might be more appropriate in other places not science lessons. Maybe more helpful to year 9 head of year for subject guidance when making choices.
- This could be used on loop in some school receptions where they have a TV screen up - or canteen - then parents could see it etc.
- There is a genuine concern that some students will see this and find an anomaly with their own classroom experience which is a valid point.
- Problem solving across all subjects would help students to become more flexible and resilient.
Tell us what you think
We would love to hear your feedback about this resource: have your students enjoyed it? How have you used it in your lessons? etc. Please either leave comments on YouTube or email your comments to the Schools Engagement team.
We are currently working on another animation, in the same theme, aimed at those students who love science but who are not sure about whether a career in science is for them. The animation will demonstrate the types of careers, the interconnectivity between science subjects and the multiple benefits of working in science. This animation will be released in December 2020 and if you would like to be notified of the release please email the Schools Engagement team.