The Blue Marble : a model for primary school STEM outreach

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Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

As part of 'The Blue Marble' project, the Universities of Leicester and Nottingham, UK, have developed day-long, interdisciplinary, hands-on workshops for primary schools to introduce space technology and the role of the research scientist. The workshop activities introduce 5–11 year olds to the role of the UK space industry, show the importance of satellite technology for observing and monitoring the Earth and highlight a range of environmental issues. There are links to 'how science works', environmental and geoscience topics, as well as a range of science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects. These interactive workshops provide an opportunity for learners to meet 'real' scientists—one of the take-home messages from the day is that anyone can become involved in science, whatever their ability or subject of interest. The methodology introduces the role of the scientist using space technology themes, but could easily be adapted for use with any inspirational topic. The workshops—attended by 349 learners aged 6–11—were fully and independently evaluated, with very positive changes to learners' views of science and scientists. This paper provides an overview of the activities, the methodology, the evaluation process and results, noting the potential for adaptation to Key Stage 3.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number176
JournalPhysics Education
Volume48
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013