starters for science
A series of five-minute videos created to support teachers to get started with practical science enquiry.
Starters for Science is a series of five-minute videos created to support teachers to get started with practical science enquiry. They require minimal resources and can be used in school or at home. This means that teachers can do science enquiry with a class and any children who are at home can do the same lesson.
Each video includes:
- A question or scenario related to the real world
- Time for children to think about what they already know
- A demonstration of a starter practical activity
- Time for children to think of their own questions
- Ideas about what they could find out for themselves
- Encouragement to share what they found with others
Please note that the videos are designed to get children doing some simple practical science enquiry and as such are not age specific, nor directly aligned to any particular curriculum unit. They are intended to give children valuable practical experiences that they will then be able to draw on once they meet the relevant concepts in a more formal learning situation.
OVERVIEW AND TEACHER NOTES
|STARTER FOR SCIENCE||FOCUS||KEY WORDS||YOU WILL NEED||YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT|
|1. Paper Towers||Structures||Weight, gravity,
||3 pieces of A4 paper, some books (or plastic plate with small, heavy objects)||Sticky tape, other kinds of paper or card, ruler|
|2. Straw Planes||Flight||Air resistance, gravity, shape, distance||Paper straws, card, sticky tape, scissors||Different kinds of paper or card, ruler or tape measure|
|3. Paper Flowers||Absorbency||Absorb, liquid, solid||Bowl or tray of water, paper, scissors||Different kinds of paper or card, stopwatch or timer, other liquids|
|4. Shadow Puppets||Shadows||Light, shadow, block, opaque ||Small piece of card, scissors, sticky tack, torch or mobile phone||Ruler|
|5. Falling Paper||Air resistance||Air resistance, weight, gravity, speed||Pieces of A4 paper||Card, other kinds of paper (sugar or tissue paper), ruler, mobile phone|
|6. Levers and Catapults||Levers||Lever, pivot, force, catapult||Different types of spoons, cylindrical objects (pen, pencil, glue stick, rolling pin), scrunched up paper ball||Elastic bands, bendy spatula|
|7. Animal Camouflage||Adaptations||Camouflage, visibility, predator, prey||Plain paper, colouring pens, pencils of paint, scissors||Leaves, twigs, natural materials, glue|
|8. Mirrors and Light
||Light||Light source, reflect, travel, straight lines||Shiny, flat objects (mirrors, CDs, DVDs or saucepan lids), source of light (mobile phone or torch), dark place||Sticky tack or plasticine|
|9. Melting Ice||Insulation||Solid, liquid, melting, insulating||Ice cubes, different types of socks, cups or containers, timer (clock or stopwatch)||Ruler, foil, bubble wrap, fabric or other materials to test|
|10. Paper Friction||Friction||Force, friction, grip, contact||Two similar sized books||Other kinds of books: exercise books, hardbacks, paperbacks, magazines|
|11. Pendulum Swings
||Gravity, force, pivot,
oscillate, swing, air
||String or wool, something small and heavy (a
blob of sticky tack, some coins taped together, a
key or a marble), card, sticky tape
||Ruler, timer, scissors
Click here for a downloadable PDF version of this overview.
Click here for a downloadable PDF version of this overview in Welsh.
Click here for the supporting teacher notes giving short descriptions of the science behind each video, plus some top tips.
Click here for these supporting teacher notes in Welsh.
1. Paper Towers
- Explore and make different shaped towers with Alex Farrer
2. Straw Planes
- Take flight by
building straw planes with Tom Jones
3. Paper Flowers
absorbency and paper with Vanessa Seehra
4. Shadow Puppets
- Change and measure
shadow size and shape with Katharine Pemberton.
5. Falling Paper
- Explore how to slow
down falling objects with Jeanette Morgan
6. Levers and Catapults
- Create and test your
own catapult with Jules Pottle
7. Animal Camouflage
- Investigate and make
camouflaged animals with Tracy Tyrrell
8. Mirrors and Light
- Use reflection to see
around walls with Rufus Cooper
9. Melting Ice
- Explore how we keep
things cold with Elaine Stockdale
10. Paper Friction
- See friction in a whole new way with Jenny Lister
11. Pendulum Swings
- Work out
how to create your own 30 second timer with Alex Farrer
Safety Notice and Disclaimer
PSTT is not liable for the actions or activities of any reader or anyone else who uses the information in these resource pages or the associated classroom materials. PSTT assumes no liability with regard to injuries or damage to property that may occur as a result of using the information contained in these resources. PSTT recommends that a full risk assessment is carried out before undertaking in the classroom any of the practical investigations contained in the resources.
All materials are ©Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) and are freely available to download and share for educational purposes. Whilst educators are free to adapt the resources to suit their own needs, acknowledgement of copyright on all original materials must be included. Rights to images included in the resource have been purchased for PSTT use only – as such, these images may only be used as part of this resource and may not copied into or used in other materials.