Fancy building a working model of DNA out of old bottles and cans? Or hunting for asteroids from the safety of your classroom? Looking for a game to explain microarrays? Or an experiment to measure citric acid levels in chewing gum?
These and many other exciting teaching activities are published in Science in School
, the European journal for science teachers. True to its motto of ‘highlighting the best in science teaching and research’, Science in School
offers articles written for teachers by the experts: science teachers and scientists.
The contents include not only teaching materials and projects, but also the latest scientific discoveries, current science topics, interviews with inspiring teachers and scientists, European events for teachers and schools, and many other useful resources for science teachers. Most of the articles are aimed at secondary-school science teachers, but activities and projects for primary schools are also published regularly.
Interpreting ‘science’ broadly, Science in School
covers biology, physics and chemistry, as well as earth sciences, engineering and medicine. The most recent issue, for example, addresses antifreeze in Arctic fish, the electromagnetic spectrum in space, the battle against pseudoscience, and how to save the world from climate change.
And best of all: it’s free. The full archive of articles is online (www.scienceinschool.org
) and print subscriptions are available in Europe.
Launched in 2006, Science in School
is published and funded by EIROforum (www.eiroforum.org
), a collaboration of eight European inter-governmental research organisations – including CERN and the European Space Agency. Given the provenance of the journal, it is no surprise that the international flavour is very evident. In any one issue, articles may be sourced from 10 or more countries, offering an insight into the differences – but also the similarities – between different European curricula and teaching conditions.And of course, the journal itself is available in many languages. The print version is in English only, but the multilingual website currently offers articles in 28 European languages. This is made possible by several hundred volunteer translators – teachers and scientists from across Europe, who are keen to share the journal with colleagues whose English is not as good as theirs.
Clearly, the English language can also be a hindrance for many of the contributors, but the editors are always happy to help. If the idea for the article is good, they will work with the author to produce a simply written yet scientifically accurate article. No small task in some cases!
Getting the level right can also pose a challenge – especially for research scientists more used to writing for their peers. Again, the editors are happy to help – with the support of a team of referees. ‘Could you use this topic in lessons?’ ‘How and with what age group?’ These are just some of the questions that experienced science teachers answer, helping to guide the development (or not) of submitted articles.
If that all sounds enticing, why not browse the website, register for the email alert or subscribe to the print journal? You might even like to get involved – by submitting your own article, joining the referee panel, or translating articles into your native (European) language. The editors are always happy to have help from enthusiastic teachers.
To subscribe, get involved or just browse the articles, see: www.scienceinschool.orgDr Eleanor Hayes
Editor-in-Chief of Science in School
Office of Information and Public AffairsEuropean Molecular Biology Laboratory