Alice Williamson, The University of Sydney; Annabelle Buda, The University of Sydney
Sydney 2018: Infrastructure and co-design

Science and technology are practical subjects and demonstrations and experimentation go hand-in-hand with theoretical subject knowledge. Time pressures, limited resources and low confidence are among reasons cited for minimal practical content in schools.

Inspired by the success of ‘meal kit’ services that deliver subscribers food ingredients and recipes for preparation into fresh meals, The Modern Chemistry Set team have done the same for science. We are building a ‘science kit’ service for primary school teachers. Our team have matched bespoke science practicals with the NSW syllabus and – starting with chemistry – built boxes containing experiments that are pre-prepared for use by teachers and students. Each box contains a ‘recipe card’ containing instructions, methods and questions that can be built into an inquiry-based science lesson using the apparatus and raw materials ‘ingredients’ provided.

Additionally, our boxes aim to build strong connections between the social sciences, humanities, arts and STEM from the earliest years of education – entwining topics in history, ethics and art with science and technology in an attempt to encourage holistic learning and teaching.

In this making and doing session we invite conference delegates to participate in some of the practical science lessons that we have designed, appraise our methods of engagement and intervention, and help to build practical science experiences pertinent to children of all cultural backgrounds in Australia and far beyond.