This new approach makes it easier and more enjoyable for both students and teachers to engage with chemistry. The video could be paused, giving the teachers time to explain and for the pupils to undertake the experiments and discuss what they saw. The Chemsplorers package also provided equipment and material to carry out the experiments.
The project also introduced schools and teachers to the RSC Steps into Science (edu.rsc.org/primary-science), which provides resources and ideas for teaching primary school science across a wide range of topics.
The Chemsplorers package was distributed to 20 schools in Northern Ireland and reflected the diverse nature of schooling in the country, from state-run controlled schools, through the Irish medium and integrated sector, to Catholic Maintained schools.
A follow-up survey produced many positive comments, with one of the main conclusions being that the WAU Teachers wanted more of this type of learning.
Here are a few of the comments from participating schools:
“Live format is great! Good for the children to have a different face at the front of the room.”
“The format of lessons was very effective. In particular, the group of children I was working with enjoyed the prompts and sounds to signal when a volunteer was needed. This was something they looked forward to each week.”
“We have used the kit with our P6 children as a way of re-introducing science, after the disruption to school, in a fun and engaging way.”