Pupils absorb scientific knowledge best during practical exercises. Doing, rather than copying from textbooks, helps bring the subject to life, creating a more lasting impression. Incorporating ICT into science teaching can help achieve this, making learning more active.
Here is a guide to the best online resources to help create fun, memorable and interactive science lessons.
Games are a great way to engage with pupils. Games based learning will play an increasingly important role in teaching, as students relate to the games format instantly, and are more likely to engage with a subject when it is presented in game form.
There are plenty of great science games on the web, here is a selection:
The Science Museum provide a fantastic range of science themed games suitable for secondary school aged pupils. If you use a VLE such as Moodle you could easily upload a selection of activities relating to your class’ chosen science topic, allowing learners to explore resources and expand their knowledge with only minimal guidance from the teacher.
The Adventures of Captain Chemo is an interactive comic strip game and quiz designed to teach children the facts about cancer. It can help to tackle the difficult issues surrounding cancer in a different way, acting as a starting point for classroom discussion.
Creative Chemistry provides a wide range of free worksheets, quizzes and puzzles to help enhance Chemistry lessons
Data Logging can be viewed as a boring task in science. ICT can help bring the process to life by visualising the data, making trends easy to identify and report.
Google Apps for Education provide a free, easy to use software suite that can be integrated into the Moodle VLE allowing the easy creation of graphs and charts with which to interpret data. Data visualisation is only one of a wide range of uses for Google Apps for Education (watch our video for more information).
Another free online resource is the NCEE Kids’ Zone graph creator..
Video is a powerful tool for communication and collaboration online. Science lessons be uploaded to VLEs for students to digest in their own time, or videos from external sources can be embedded or linked to.
Some of the best science focused YouTube channels include The Periodic Table of Videos from The University of Nottingham, the ScienceBob and Sick Science! channels showing experiments in action, and Nasa’s range of educational playlists designed for pupils of all ages. Elsewhere, TeacherTube provides a large repository of useful video material.
Videos can also be created as a class project, a fun activity that not only improves ICT skills but also helps students organise thoughts and editorialise on a subject. Experiments can be filmed, narrated and edited in class, or images can be converted to stop motion videos using tools such as JellyCam. The resulting videos can be uploaded either to video sites or the school VLE providing a record of activity and achievement to share with parents or peers.
If you have a favourite Science resource online that we have not mentioned, please tell us about it!