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Science Clubs

Running a School Science Club   

Science clubs in schools take many different shapes and forms. This page aims to start you thinking about how your club will function and will hopefully start to answer any questions that you have.

 

Why do you want to run a club?

First determine your purpose, is the club aimed for SATS revision, do you want to stretch gifted and talented pupil, is it just for fun?

Who is it going to be for?

Are you aiming at a specific year group or key stage? Or do you specifically want to focus on a group, like gifted and talented. Or is it going to be open to anyone.

When and how often will it run?

What is practical for you and your children? Some clubs run weekly others monthly or fortnightly. Some run all year round, others just run for one term every year. Should your club run after-school or in a lunch-time? What is practical for your children?
 

Who is going to staff it?

Teachers, LSAs, school governors and parents have all been involved in running different clubs. Itís much easier with at least 2 helpers, so find some willing volunteers. If you are using parents or governors get them CRB checked by your LEA.

How many children?

Simple answer, however many you think you can cope with! Most clubs start with around 10 members. Remember itís much easier to start small and grow! If you find you have overwhelming interest try running with one group of children one week, then repeat the same activities with a different group the next week and run a rolling fortnightly programme.

What are we going to do?

First you need to decide if you are running a general science club or are you going to focus on a topic such as space/astronomy, the environment, robots or computing. There are many different things you can do in a club: 


Experiments and Activities:

http://www.planet-science.com/ has loads of experiments and ideas in the sci-teach section. 


Visits to Industry:

Arrange a trip to visit local industry, try water treatment plants, food producers, recycling plants etc. Open Industry may be able to help http://www.industrialtrust.org.uk/   


Talks from Scientists - SEAs:
Contact STEMNET http://www.stemnet.org.uk/ who have a list of local Science and Engineering Ambassadors (people from industry who have volunteered to share their experience and skills with others)


Debates:

Debate a science issue, try nuclear energy, healthy eating, stem cell research/cloning. Keep an eye out for current news topics that could make interesting debates.

Challenges or Competitions:
Set a challenge that can run over a number of weeks, provide resources and encourage research using the library and internet.

Award Schemes:

Try one of the award schemes by the British Science Association, like CREST Investigators - http://www.britishscienceassociation.org/web/ccaf/index.htm where you complete a series of investigations to gain awards.




 
Document icon Learning article provided by: Creative Minds | 

Comment on this page

  • Posted by Henry on 28/08/2009

    Myself and three other undergraduates spent a term running an after-school science club and thoroughly recommend it as a way to engage primary school students and propagate empiricism in a school setting, particularly for those who don't find the SATS Science syllabus particularly stimulating. I've written up my experiences here if it's of interest: http://tinyurl.com/kmmawy

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