City Science Stars

Engaging practical science activities for upper KS2 (9-11 year old) primary school children, using links to football, other sports and space.


The Primary Science Teaching Trust has been collaborating with Leicester City in the Community (LCitC), Leicester City FC's charitable trust and The National Space Centre. Our Premier League Primary Stars 'City Science Stars’ project aimed to engage primary school children in Years 5 and 6 who have low science capital by linking lessons to football, other sports and to space. Teaching materials for this project, created by PSTT College Fellow Sarah Eames and LCitC STEM Coach Dr Alex Evans, are now freely accessible to all teachers.

The downloadable materials provided include:

  • Lesson plans
  • Lesson presentations (Power Points) for use in the classroom
  • Additional lesson support materials, including a ‘lab book’ for children to use

Read Alex's blog about the project on our Wow Science website here.

Overview

Working with the National Space Centre in Leicester and with additional financial backing from the Premier League Charitable Fund, LCitC and PSTT have embarked on an ambitious programme of support for primary science teaching in Leicester. PSTT College Fellow, Sarah Eames, initially developed a series of lesson plans linking football and space and trialled these materials in local schools, with the ultimate aim of creating a resource that can be shared with other teachers. PSTT further supported LCitC’s appointment of a science communicator and STEM coach, Dr Alex Evans, to disseminate and refine the programme within additional schools in Leicester and to develop additional resources. Working together on these materials, Sarah and Alex have created a collection of resources that are now available for use in primary schools with a target audience of upper key stage 2 (9-11 year olds). The resources were created to enable 'non-teachers' to support children in primary science; we would not expect experienced teachers to follow the detailed plans but to adapt the ideas to their own needs and circumstances.

The children involved have enjoyed the focus on their local Leicester City Football Club and National Space Centre (both were visited during the programme) and whilst these are not part of the lesson resources created, schools across the UK could utilise their local facilities to bring the sessions (called ‘fixtures’) further to life.


Lesson Plans

pdf

Pitch Perfect [228.14kB]

Children will learn about the optimal conditions for germination and plant growth.

This is a 6-8 week investigation into the growth of grass seeds under different conditions to find out how to grow a grass pitch on Mars.

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pdf

Space Olympics [170.34kB]

Children will learn about the importance of fitness and exercise.

Children investigate what it would be like to perform different sports on different planets in our solar system and learn about the importance of fitness and exercise for astronauts.

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pdf

Be A Sport [249.36kB]

Children will group, sort and classify different sports, then create decision trees (classification keys).

The children will use simple equipment to design their own sport.

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pdf

Get A Grip [221.55kB]

Children will learn about friction.

Children will investigate how friction is affected by different footwear and surfaces, and use their findings to think about how friction is advantageous in football. Children will make a hovercraft to demonstrate the effects of reduced friction.

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pdf

Match Fit [218.91kB]

Children will learn about the physical and mental skills that footballers and astronauts have in common.

This investigation is a data collection exercise. Children will test their own skills (balance, patience and resilience) and using the data they collect, they will use different types of statistical information - minimum, maximum, mean average values and descriptive data to analyse their results and draw conclusions.

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pdf

Kick Off to Lift Off [216.25kB]

Children will learn about the forces involved in kick-offs and lift-offs.

Using paper stomp rockets, children will investigate which angles provide the best trajectory for speed, height and distance.

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pdf

Survival of the Fittest [216.13kB]

Children will learn about adaptation in the context of evolution.

Using images of different habitats, children will consider how football players might adapt to playing in different environments.

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pdf

On the Wing [174.79kB]

Children will learn about aerodynamic forces that act on birds and planes during flight.

Using paper planes, children will investiagte which wing shape is better for distance and for airtime.

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pdf

Feel the Pressure [171.87kB]

Children will learn about air pressure.

Children will explore the relationship between air pressure and the bouciness of footballs, and observe the effect of air pressure by launching mini rockets.

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pdf

Roar of the Crowd [243.29kB]

Children will learn about sound.

Using dataloggers, children can investigate how the number of people generating sound, the type of sound, and the distance from the sound source, affect the loudness.

DOWNLOAD

Lesson Presentations

pptx

Pitch Perfect [77.41MB]

Children will learn about the optimal conditions for germination and plant growth.

This is a 6-8 week investigation into the growth of grass seeds under different conditions to find out how to grow a grass pitch on Mars.

DOWNLOAD

pptx

Space Olympics [10.67MB]

Children will learn about the importance of fitness and exercise.

Children investigate what it would be like to perform different sports on different planets in our solar system and learn about the importance of fitness and exercise for astronauts.

DOWNLOAD

pptx

Be A Sport [4.70MB]

Children will group, sort and classify different sports, then create decision trees (classification keys).

The children will use simple equipment to design their own sport.

DOWNLOAD

pptx

Get A Grip [43.86MB]

Children will learn about friction.

Children will investigate how friction is affected by different footwear and surfaces, and use their findings to think about how friction is advantageous in football. Children will make a hovercraft to demonstrate the effects of reduced friction.

DOWNLOAD

pptx

Match Fit [72.77MB]

Children will learn about the physical and mental skills that footballers and astronauts have in common.

This investigation is a data collection exercise. Children will test their own skills (balance, patience and resilience) and using the data they collect, they will use different types of statistical information - minimum, maximum, mean average values and descriptive data to analyse their results and draw conclusions.

DOWNLOAD

pptx

Kick Off to Lift Off [9.36MB]

Children will learn about the forces involved in kick-offs and lift-offs.

Using paper stomp rockets, children will investigate which angles provide the best trajectory for speed, height and distance.

DOWNLOAD

pptx

Survival of the Fittest [8.41MB]

Children will learn about adaptation in the context of evolution.

Using images of different habitats, children will consider how football players might adapt to playing in different environments.

DOWNLOAD

pptx

On the Wing [27.78MB]

Children will learn about aerodynamic forces that act on birds and planes during flight.

Using paper planes, children will investigate which wing shape is better for distance and for airtime.

DOWNLOAD

pptx

Feel the Pressure [28.97MB]

Children will learn about air pressure.

Children will explore the relationship between air pressure and the bouciness of footballs, and observe the effect of air pressure by launching mini rockets.

DOWNLOAD

pptx

Roar of the Crowd [12.82MB]

Children will learn about sound.

Using dataloggers, children can investigate how the number of people generating sound, the types of sound, and the distance from the sound source, affect the loudness.

DOWNLOAD

Additional Resources

pdf

City Science Stars [1.92MB]

Lab Book - includes children's worksheets for the first nine investigations

DOWNLOAD

pdf

Pitch Perfect [99.15kB]

Experiment Sort Activity - vocabulary sheet for describing working scientifically skills

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pdf

Pitch Perfect [33.99kB]

Challenge Cards - 7 group challenges to investigate growth of grass seeds

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pdf

Space Olympics [1.00MB]

Fact sheets - 5 planets (Saturn, Mars, Venus, Neptune, Earth)

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pdf

Survival of the Fittest [2.89MB]

Wild Cup Event - footballer templates, adaptations, habitat cards

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pdf

Survival of the Fittest [26.21kB]

Wild Cup Events - instructions

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pdf

Roar of the Crowd [154.86kB]

Results Tables - includes blank template

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Safety Notice and Disclaimer


PSTT advises teachers to refer to either the CLEAPSS website or SSERC website for up to date health and safety information when planning practical activities for children.

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.

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