January’s book competition

The DNA Detectives: Catch a Thief

 

This month we have a slightly different book competition for kids to enter, to help launch a brand new storybook ‘The DNA Detectives: To Catch a Thief’ written by Dr Mandy Hartley. Whilst there are lots of excellent reviews for this book, they are written by parents and Mandy would love to hear what children think too. If your child loves reading and would like to be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of The DNA Detectives: To Catch a Thief enter this competition by simply writing the words “me please” in the comment box below.

Dr Hartley is a new author and is looking for children to review her fun story all about a pet thief and the kids who try to find out who has stolen the missing dogs…

When Annabelle and Harry’s beloved pet dog Milly goes missing they believe the local pet thief has struck again. They have a list of suspects and plenty of evidence but how can they prove who the thief is? Their mum works as a DNA scientist and has a laboratory in the garden. The children realise they can become “DNA Detectives” and secretly use the laboratory to analyse the evidence just like real life forensic scientists. Join them on their thrilling journey where they collect clues, analyse evidence and learn about DNA to solve this case and bring Milly home safely.

“I create stories and communicate them to children in a multi-sensory way including elements to stimulate listening, smell, taste, sight and sounds as well as their as their imagination! Where possible I include scientific experiments in my stories finding entertaining ways to explain difficult scientific concepts such as natural selection, inheritance and evolution to children.”

Dr Mandy Hartley

https://www.thelittlestorytellingcompany.co.uk/the-dna-detectives-to-catch-a-thief 

DNA Detectives book reviews

Dr Mandy Hartley and two of the reviews written by parents on Amazon

This competition to win a signed copy of The DNA Detectives to review is open until midnight on 1st February. Only open to UK residents.

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Whizz Pop Bang logo round

Introducing Mr and Mrs Marie Kiwi!

 

Whizz Pop Bang mini scientist Camille

How adorable is this little scientist with her super cute Mr and Mrs Marie Kiwi, complete with phosphorescent test tube! 😁

“Hello, your piece on Marie Curie in Issue 27 inspired our daughter Camille, 7, to create an edible homage for a school assignment to dress up fruit and vegetables. The test tube is made from phosphorescent silicone putty.
Thanks for a fantastic magazine, and keep up the good work.”
Alan Irving

Sensational scientist Marie Curie was featured in SKELETONS (issue 27) of Whizz Pop Bang, click here to buy this magazine from our online shop for just £3.75 inc. postage.

Issue 27 Marie Curie spread

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Royal Institution logo

Royal Institution Christmas lectures 2017

CHRISTMAS LECTURES 2017: The language of life

Later this month the amazing Professor Sophie Scott will deliver the 2017 CHRISTMAS LECTURES from the Royal Institution. Sophie’s a neuroscientist, stand-up comedian and an expert in laughter!  She’ll be unpacking all the amazing ways in which humans and animals communicate, and to celebrate we’re taking a peek at the most famous talking animals…

You can watch The Royal Institution Christmas lectures on BBC Four at 8.00pm on 26th, 27th and 28th December.

Royal Institute Christmas lectures Animal communicators

Royal Institute Christmas lectures famous animal communicators

 

Watch The Royal Institution Christmas lectures on BBC Four at 8.00pm on 26th, 27th and 28th December – let us know what you learnt from Sophie!

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School Gate SET: Giving scientists and engineers the opportunity to get back to work after a career break

Introducing the School Gate SET

For parents with a background in Science & Technology, talking to our children about how the world works; taking them to science museums; even doing a few backyard & kitchen experiments, all comes very naturally. Many primary school children, though, don’t get these experiences. Primary school teachers need to have a broad knowledge base, but often don’t have a STEM background and can find these subjects more challenging to teach. Even teachers with an interest in and enthusiasm for science and technology, find that the demands of the curriculum, with its focus on literacy and numeracy, leave little time for other subjects.

This is an area where schools can really benefit from parental expertise. We know of instances where parent governors have been given a responsibility for improving science provision across the school or are running after-school STEM/code clubs. We would like it to be much more common for parents with a STEM background to get involved in even more hands-on ways. To this end, we have founded the School Gate SET, an online community for parents who want to help with STEM in their children’s schools: sharing ideas and inspiring other to get involved.

The project is the brainchild of Kate Bellingham, STEM ambassador, former Tomorrow’s World presenter, and long-time champion for women’s opportunities in engineering. When her children were young and she was working part-time, she began to help out at their school in the usual ways: listening to readers and chaperoning school trips. Soon, though, she began to wonder if her skills could be put to better use. She began helping in maths lessons and, eventually, running an after-school STEM club. She really enjoyed seeing how excited and inspired the children were and, upon hearing one of the girls exclaim “That’s Emily’s Mum, she’s an Engineer!”, felt that she was also challenging some stereotypes along the way.

More recently, School Gate SET parents got involved with British Science Week: you can read about one of the activity days here. Our next “call to action” is for “Tomorrow’s Engineers Week” (November 2016) and we will be running some free training workshops for parent volunteers who would like to deliver a supporting activity. Please get in touch (or see here) for more information.

So, if you have a passion for STEM and would like to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, have a chat with the Headteacher or Science co-ordinator at your children’s school about how you could begin to contribute. For activity ideas, check out our blog and Facebook page. If you have questions about how to get started, tweet or e-mail us and we’ll be happy to share our experiences. If you are a teacher who would like to encourage parental involvement, get in touch and we can provide a flier to send out to parents.

We look forward to hearing from you!
Helen

email: schoolgateset@gmail.com

Twitter: @SchoolGateSET

website: https://schoolgateset.blogspot.co.uk/

Notes about the funding for School Gate SET initiative:
The funding is from the Royal Academy of Engineering’s “Ingenious” program which supports novel ways of getting engineers involved in outreach activities. We are looking for engineers who are on a career break after having children (so, mostly women) and are in danger of being lost from the profession altogether. The funding is to run workshops on how to deliver an engineering activity to school-children, to (re)build confidence and to help engineers think about what they want to do next in their careers. We hope that this will help with the STEM “pipeline problem”, both by showing primary school children some “non-stereotypical” scientists and engineers as well as showing women they can get back into a STEM career after a break.
Our over-arching goal for the School Gate SET is to get more parents and carers from all STEM backgrounds helping out in schools and contributing ideas, advice and support to our online network.
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Whizz Pop Bang is for inquisitive girls and boys

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine for kids_girl experimenting“I get very frustrated about the lack of women in science, having experienced sexism at university, such as comments about women being at the kitchen sink instead of in laboratories. I wanted to be part of the solution and try to change that attitude.”

Jenny Inglis

The team at Whizz Pop Bang have all experienced this attitude, which is why one of the key aims behind the magazine and the community we’re building is to grow confidence and provide role models for girls.

Whizz Pop Bang is a completely gender neutral children’s science magazine, because we strongly believe that science is for girls, just as much as it is for boys. This message needs to be communicated to not only to girls, but also to boys who need to see their female friends and peers as future scientists. We ensure every issue has strong female scientist role models, and content that appeals to all children.

The challenge is to reach out to families who don’t see science as part of their everyday lives. Our aim is to provide as many kids as possible with the opportunities to discover their natural curiosity and approach not just science, but all STEM subjects with an open mind. If we can help to achieve this at primary school, it will encourage more girls to see themselves as scientists of the future and continue their secondary education believing in themselves.

Read all about how Jenny started Whizz Pop Bang, and how she and the team have created a science magazine that inspires thousands of children to be curious:

https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2015/nov/20/science-magazine-founder-turns-her-kitchen-into-a-lab

 

 

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