Open Educational Resource programme ‘The Virtual School’
Virtual school would like to invite teachers to contribute short audio lessons to be turned into learning videos. The videos will be distributed free of charge on the Virtual School YouTube Channel for use by teachers and science explainers or for pupils to watch at home.
Scientists, social scientists, engineers and clinicians can experience life in the heart of the newsroom by applying for a British Science Association 2012 Media Fellowship.
Spend 3-8 weeks this summer working with hosts including the BBC, Guardian and Nature to produce accurate, well-informed news about developments in science, and work alongside the UK’s top science editors in the British Science Festival Press Centre.
Return to work with media confidence, contacts, and first-class communication skills.
“I came away brimming with ideas, skills and advice for my researcher peers and I met some amazing people with the same values and drive as me. It was extremely interesting, educational and fun I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in the world outside their research bubble.” Media Fellow
Apply online from 16 January – 11 March 2012
We welcome applications from researchers at all stages of their career and for eligibility criteria, experiences from past Media Fellows, and the online application form go to
Here’s a quick run-down of National Science and Engineering Week events open to the public and schools in the North East. Click on the links to view full descriptions of the events
National Science & Engineering Week: Events and activities for everyone, 9–18 March 2012
In 2012, National Science & Engineering Week explores “our world in motion.”
National Science & Engineering Week shines the spotlight each March on how science, technology, engineering and maths relate to our everyday lives and helps to inspire the next generation of scientists with fun and participative activities.
With over 4,500 events and activities attended by 1.7 million people in 2011 and generating over £1m in press coverage, this is the UK’s widest grassroots celebration of all things science and engineering. You can join the celebration by attending an event or taking part in our national activities.
Can you help explain the concepts that students find hardest to learn?
“Often, the best teaching goes unnoticed and unrewarded. Britain’s Dream Teachers, created by Jamie Oliver and YouTube, aims to identify and celebrate inspiring teaching and help students get to grips with the toughest topics.”
YouTube has asked more than a thousand students and teachers as well as subject experts at Edexcel, the UK’s largest awarding body, to come up with what they consider to be the toughest topics at GCSE and Standard Grade in Maths, English, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography and History.
The identified topics in Biology are: What is the role of DNA in cloning and evolution?; How does nerve transmission work?; Which enzymes catalyse what substrates and how do I remember them all?
In Chemistry: How are polymers structured?; How do I test for ions in a compound?; How do you balance a chemical equation?
In Physics: How is radioactivity used in everyday life?; What is electromagnetic induction and how does it work?; How do I calculate forces and momentum and what equations do I need?
Now the question is have you got the answers?
If you’ve got an effective way of teaching one of the toughest topics make a short video of your idea and post it up on YouTube so other teachers and students can learn from your approach. You could also win a £10,000 prize split between you and your school, and the winning teachers with a group of students will be invited to an award ceremony at Google’s UK headquarters.
Upload your video by midnight on 5th April when all entries will be judged by a panel of subject specialists including previous Teaching Award winners. The results will be announced on 13th April.
As part of BBC Radio Three’s Free Thinking Festival (try saying that quickly), Cafe culture Newcastle are organising a Theory Slam event.
This is your chance to expound on those little mad, exotic, insightful ideas that for years have been whirling around in your head and may in fact be absolute truth. You will have three whole minutes to convince an audience that your theory, which can be on any subject- science, philosophy, conspiracy, cookery…- is valid and robust. There are even prizes on offer.
The Theory Slam is likley to appear on radio three at some point over the next 12 months, so this is your chance for three of your fifteen minutes of fame!
County Durham based multimedia specialists Lush Places Media have created a unique and interactive TV workshop using cutting edge technology.
A portable television studio with the latest ‘virtual’ computer generated set gives groups a rare opportunity to experience life in the high pressure world of broadcast news.
The course, flexible enough to appeal to primary school children through to college students and corporate team building teams, gives an insight into the decisions that need to be taken to ensure a programme gets ‘on air’ to deadline.
Groups will have to use teamwork, leadership and decision making skills to choose the content and write scripts. Everyone will then audition in front of the camera and autocue before final roles are allocated as the clock counts down towards transmission.
The final programme will be recorded ‘as live’ and made available to the client. Everyone involved will leave with a laminated certificate to prove they have taken part in Lush Places Media’s Lights! Camera! Action! experience.
Lights! Camera! Action! feeds into the curriculum with elements of IT, English, communications, arithmetic, media literacy and raising self-esteem.
For schools and colleges no worrying about transport costs and form filling. Lights! Camera! Action! comes to them, providing value for money and flexibility.
The sessions will be led by award winning journalist, broadcaster, presenter and multimedia trainer Andrew Glover, Director of Lush Places Media.
The Research Councils UK (RCUK) school placement scheme, Researchers in Residence (RinR) is searching the North East for engaging scientists wanting to participate in a TV school science documentary whilst raising their own profile.
This opportunity will raise your profile, allow you to engage the public, maximise the impact of your research and support the development of transferable skills such as teaching and communication skills.
The documentary requires a motivated and enthusiastic PhD or post doctoral researcher to deliver a project based on their research area to inspire 11-18 year olds. Placements consist of a minimum of 14 hours student contact time (supervised by the host teacher) and can be tailored around research commitments, spanning a six week period. The project is open primarily to STEM researchers however, non-STEM disciplines will be considered based on the strength of the project rationale. Whether you specialise in astrophysics, biology or geography, participating in the documentary is an excellent opportunity to showcase your research.
The project should enrich the classroom and include practical demonstrations, activities for the students and talks on focussed topics.
The placement will be supported by a teacher mentor, and communications training and T&S will be provided. Participants are encouraged to meet with the host teacher prior to beginning the placement as they are often able to advise and offer guidance on suitable project ideas. Commenting on the support she received whilst on placement at Thomas Hardye School, Katie Ball, biosciences researcher states, “Always ask the teachers before going into schools for their advice, maybe even show them your lesson plans; they probably have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t, remember they’re trained to teach.
“It was inspiring working with Dr. Jeremy Rowe, (biology teacher) at the school; I learnt a lot from his interaction with the students.”
The documentary will be filmed by Brook Lapping, an internationally acclaimed documentary production company which produces content for both TeachersTV and new online channel Newton
1 The Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils:
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Science and Technology Facilities Research Council (STFC)
2 Researchers in Residence, funded by RCUK with support from the Wellcome Trust, brings together PhD and post doctoral researchers, young people and teachers via exciting and innovative placements in secondary schools and colleges across the UK. www.researchersinresidence.ac.uk
3 Teachers TV supports the professional development of anyone working in school through engaging videos, practical resources and an active online community and is funded by the Department for Education and operated by independent media consortium, Education Digital. www.teachers.tv
HD 4 , a perfect platform for participating researchers to raise their profile amongst the academic community.
Open to PhD students and post docs funded directly or indirectly by one of the seven UK Research Councils or the Wellcome Trust.
Researchers need to apply now to be considered, as filming starts in the mid-winter term (November). To apply, complete the application form at www.researchersinresidence.ac.uk