Peter.D.Riley

International bestselling award-winning author Facebook Twitter

Taking science education across the world

Our future depends on exploring all the frontiers of science, on innovative technologies based on these explorations and on the development of scientific literacy in all peoples through science education.

Mini beasts – a beautiful science activity?

In recent blogs I have been considering the science people remember from their school days and also suggesting that science does not need to be perceived as hard but can be beautiful. In the blog on beauty I used a simple description of beauty as something which can generate pleasure and satisfaction.
I saw this in action when I visited my local primary school to help with their study of mini beasts.

The lesson began by looking at the film What animal is it? which is free to view at http://www.peterdriley.com/books/ways-into-science-series/

This sets mini beasts in context in the animal kingdom.

The children then explored the school grounds to make a mini beast survey. In the survey the mini beasts were identified and counted.

Identifying and counting the minibeasts

After twenty minutes the children returned to the classroom and discussed the data they had collected.
I pointed out that they had made their survey during the day and asked them how they could find out about the mini beasts that might be active at night?

Followers of Spring Watch suggested setting up cameras but others suggested a much cheaper alternative of setting up traps and I showed them how to make a pit fall trap.

The pit fall trap

These were set up all over the school grounds.

Creating pitfall traps

The following morning the traps were emptied and the mini beasts were identified and counted and added to the data collected the previous day.

The children then wrote up their investigation using the free downloadable Experiment Report sheets from my website at http://www.peterdriley.com/downloads-and-resources/ (scroll down to The Experiment Report sheet and receive it in a zip file).

An experiment report sheet

An experiment report sheet

They completed their mini beast study by using https://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/graphing/classic/ to make bar graphs and pie charts.

Mini beast bar chart

Mini beast bar chart

You can see by their reports and graphs that the children had found the science activity pleasant and it gave them satisfaction to spend time writing it up and making the graphs and charts. Perhaps science is beautiful after all.

The school has agreed for their work to be displayed in the Science Exhibition Gallery at
http://www.peterdriley.com/category/science-exhibition-gallery/

If you and your children have done a science activity that is an example of the beauty of science like this one please send it in to peter@peterdriley.com for display in the Science Exhibition Gallery for every one to see.



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