What are your favourite websites for teaching science?

Off the top of my head, here are my “go-to” sites categorised in what I hope is a helpful way. The “❤” means that I really love it and use it regularly. There will inevitably be some overlap, but the logical groupings in my head are:

1. Subject content knowledge (to help you develop your understanding of the science and key skills e.g. conservation of momentum or problem solving in physics — some also useful for sharing with pupils)

“I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.” — Richard Feynman

BBC bitesize is very popular — just be careful as it tends to be more of a review of key facts than thorough explanations http://www.bbc.co.uk/education

Hyperphysics: not the prettiest site, but if you want reliable and detailed physics explanations, it’s great! Basically like an online physics reference book http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hframe.html

MOOCS such as Coursera, where you can enrol for free onto courses developed by universities and institutions around the world, e.g. this introduction to Chemistry: https://www.coursera.org/course/chem991

Khan Academy — tutorial videos for developing your own and pupils’ knowledge and understanding

Physics for Future Presidents is a course that focuses on the key concepts rather than the maths: http://freevideolectures.com/Course/2960/Physics-for-Future-Presidents-Fall-2011

Physics for the 21st Century: if you want to challenge yourself! https://www.learner.org/courses/physics/

2. Science pedagogy and lesson planning (approaches to teaching particular topics and ideas / resources for specific lessons)

“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka” but “That’s funny…” — Isaac Asimov

❤ You need to know what’s on the curriculum (but don’t be afraid to go beyond it, and personalise it!). Note: the new KS4 is still only a draft version, so here is the KS3 one https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/335174/SECONDARY_national_curriculum_-_Science_220714.pdf and KS4L

The KS1&2 curricula: important to refer to these so you can build on your pupils’ prior knowledge, understanding and skills https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/425618/PRIMARY_national_curriculum_-_Science.pdf

❤ Practical Physics: guidance for practical work, along with discussions of the key ideas and challenges

Practical biology

Practical chemistry

❤ CLEAPSS is a life-saver for any queries about health and safety, risk assessments, etc. Their newsletters are hilarious, their guidnace sheets incredibly useful and whenever I’ve called them they’ve just been absolutely lovely! http://www.cleapss.org.uk

National Stem Learning Network e-library, a bit like TES but for STEM

Supporting Physics Teaching from the IoP (Institute of Physics) http://www.iop.org/education/teacher/support/spt/page_41531.html

❤ I use these mystery tubes as a model of how science works:

❤ Human evolution

Wellcome trust resources — more medical science / biology oriented

Interactive periodic table

– which is one of the RSC’s chemistry resources

Talk Physics: a forum where you can ask questions and get help from other Physics teachers

A level physics resources — may also be useful for preparing for teaching 2016 GCSE Physics

There are also MOOCS aimed at educators, e.g. this one on teaching evolution https://www.coursera.org/learn/teaching-evolution

3. Resources I use in lessons to develop pupils’ understanding and passion for science (mainly videos, animations and simulations)

“I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” — Albert Einstein

❤ Scale 2: I use this whenever we are learning about things that are very big or very small, across the sciences

❤ Phet Colorado simulations

❤ Richard Feynman videos: explaining physics & aspects of philosophy

❤ Minute physics: short, snappy, thought-provoking physics videos

❤ Veritasium: longer videos, generally good sense of humour

❤ If the Moon were only 1 pixel: The Solar System to scale. Wow. Just wow.

❤ Tree of life with David Attenborough

Problem solving for top set / triple / A level physics

❤ Astronomy Picture of the Day http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/archivepix.html

❤ National geographic for earth / environmental science / zoology etc

❤ TED ed — animations / filmed short lectures with quizzes and lesson plans

Interactive exploration of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity http://newt.phys.unsw.edu.au/einsteinlight/

Embedded models of careers education (in which curriculum learning is systematically linked to a wide range of real life careers and applications) have been found to be effective in raising student engagement and attainment.” — Aspires, King’s College London, 2013

Whenever possible I include examples of careers in STEM and non-stereotypical role models, as evidence suggests this can help encourage pupils to pursue a career in STEM (see Aspires report, quote above links to this). The National Careers Service has a helpful database of job profiles: ❤ https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/advice/Pages/default.aspx

4. Other

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician: he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale.” — Marie Curie

Art of Science competition http://artofsci.princeton.edu/2014-gallery/

physics.org has a useful database of physics websites http://www.physics.org/explore.asp

Institute of Physics resources — email them to ask for reward postcards with physics experiments on them, stickers, etc

Free posters & career packs from the Institute of Engineering & Technology (IET)

STEM club resource list http://www.stemclubs.net/activity-categories/ — from this I’ve used lots from http://www.iop.org/education/teacher/extra_resources/stem/page_41714.html

Science busking resource pack from the BSA http://www.worc.ac.uk/documents/CampusScience.pdf

Further reading

Pedagogical Content Knowledge: https://www.narst.org/publications/research/pck.cfm

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