Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


How the bicycle can help good science lessons


University of York finds ’real life’ is key to learning

Secondary schoolchildren are far more positive about science if they are taught how it relates to real life, University of York researchers have discovered. For example, if they are learning about forces and motion, they might begin by looking at what happens when they ride a bicycle. Films and news stories about cloning might help them to explore ideas about genes and heredity.

A study of research literature by the Science Review Group at York found that both girls and boys in classes where science was set in an everyday context were much more positive about the subject than their peers who were taught more traditionally. The study looked in particular at the impact on girls and lower-ability pupils, two groups traditionally alienated by conventional science teaching.

The ’real-life’ approach also narrowed the gap between boys’ and girls’ opinions of science. They could see a close link between science, technology and society; they understood science better; and girls became much more positive about a career in the subject.

Lower ability pupils developed a better regard for science than their high-ability peers who had been taught traditionally, had a better understanding of science than lower-ability peers taught traditionally; and showed greater improvement in their understanding than their more able peers.

Researcher Dr Judith Bennett said: "There is a great deal of concern at the moment about the low uptake of science studies and careers by girls, and under-achievement in the subject by boys. "Courses which use real-life examples and promote links between science, technology and society have attracted national and international attention as they have an important role in developing pupils’ scientific literacy and in motivating them."

The review also set out to examine the implications for teacher training courses, and the York research group at York suggests that more teachers should use everyday interests as starting points, and a variety of activities.

Dr Judith Bennett | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht Decision-making research in children: Rules of thumb are learned with time
19.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht Young people discover the "Learning Center"
20.09.2016 | Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Solid progress in carbon capture

27.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>