Creative Science Workshops for Primary Schools

as creatives is one of the UK’s leading providers of Science Workshops to primary and secondary schools. Always rooted in real and concrete science and taking their lead from the National Curriculum – but taking approaches from the world of the arts – our Creative Science workshops for primary schools (EYFS – KS2) provide an excellent way of engaging students with science and supporting them in understanding the world (and worlds) around them.

Delivered by practitioners who are passionate about science, these exciting programmes provide an amazing way of promoting science, cementing pupils’ subject knowledge, explaining difficult concepts and introducing new content.

We know how complex delivering whole-school approaches to science can be, so you can now book a Big Science Day for a number of year groups, comprising either different workshops exploring a number of topics – or a range of age-differentiated activities on a single scientific theme!

Science Investigation:

 

Science Skills (Best Seller!)

Creating a “buzz” about Science Investigation – through drama!

What skills does a Science Investigator need – and how can the natural world help us identify and understand them? This quick-fired workshop, suitable for up to 60 children at a time, answers these questions through a high energy drama activity that incorporates both team working and problem solving too. And longer workshops can also include a game designed to cement key content from topics classes are currently exploring!

Suitable For: EYFS – KS2 (up to 60 pupils at a time)

Exploring: science investigation skills, animal adaptations, subject-specific content

Duration: 30 – 90 minutes, depending on the number of classes

“All staff have fed back to me about how impressed they were with the workshops, how well the children responded to them and how excellent Chris was as a presenter, making the sessions interactive, engaging and educational for the children.  They have taken a lot from today and the workshops have helped support me with my mission to promote working scientifically and develop a love of science loving in the school.” (Science Co-ordinator, Bursted Wood Primary School)

“The workshop linked beautifully with our IPC topic – Mission to Mars and supported their learning about the features of different planets.” (Ms Hanford-Phillips, John Ball School, London)

 

Expect the Unexpected!

How can Science Investigation save lives? Learning from the past!

Which great Science Investigators of the past capitalised on “happy accidents” to create amazing science? You’d be surprised how many there are, resulting in inventions that have fed the world, made life easier – and saved millions of lives! This busy and engaging workshop introduces children to some of these, from Post-its to penicillin to pacemakers, then supports them as they make connections to imagine and market some amazing new inventions of their own.

Suitable For: KS2 (up to 30 pupils at a time)

Exploring: science investigation skills, unexpected discoveries, cross-connectivity

Duration: 1 – 2 hours, depending on the number of classes

*Remember – you can mix and match this workshop with others to create a Big Science Day!

 

Pirate Science (Years 1 – 6)

Putting Science in context – with a real live pirate in school!

Blackbeard, Bartholemew Roberts, Anne Bonney and their ilk were undoubtedly skullduggerous scoundrels – but they also had to be sophisticated Science Investigators as they steered their way through the seven seas. But while our own travelling pirate, Captain Richard Morgan, has a strong grasp of science theory and fact, he’s less certain when it comes to the practicalities! So he’ll arrive in your school needing some grounding in Pirate Medicine. How does the chemistry of vitamins affect pirate lives? What about the biology of treating injuries? Not to mention the physics of designing effective wooden legs! He’ll also be looking to explore the links between floatation and density.

Suitable for: EYFS – KS2 (up to 30 pupils at a time)

Exploring: floatation, density, upthrust, nutrition, skeletal structure, blood clotting

Duration: 45 – 90 minutes, depending on the number of classes

*Remember – you can mix and match this workshop with others to create a Big Science Day!

“We liked how facts were incorporated into drama, livening up an ‘imparting knowledge’ session.” (Science Co-ordinator, Sheringham Primary)

The Story of Flight 

Looking at ways that Science Investigators have helped humankind fulfil its dream of taking to the skies!

Discover how Science Investigators helped humankind left the earth’s surface for the skies and then space – and ultimately the stars – in this thrilling and action-packed drama-based workshop. Starting with the Icarus myth, pupils will explore, learn about and teach each other some of the scientific and technological landmarks in The Story of Flight, including Leonardo’s musings on helicopters, the Montgolfier brothers’ experiments with balloons, Orville and Wilbur Wright’s development of the aeroplane, Frank Whittle’s work on the jet engine and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.

Suitable For: KS2 (up to 30 pupils at a time)

Exploring: aerodynamics, forces (gravity, friction and air resistance), pressure

Duration: 1½ hours – half a day, depending on the number of classes

*Remember – you can mix and match this workshop with others to create a Big Science Day!

 

“Children were so engaged by the ‘pirate’ when he arrived at school. It was great to see an inventive way of teaching tricky science concepts through drama. A good balance to the hands on investigative approach and one which I hope staff may attempt themselves in future science lessons. Please keep us informed of future events as we would love to work with you again.” (Science Co-ordinator, Windsor Primary)

“I’ve had such great feedback from teachers! thank you so much for making the topics so engaging, relevant and meaningful to the children. I know for a fact how much my class loved inventing new things.” (Science Co-ordinator, St Matthias School)

 

Space and the Solar System:

 

Interplanetary Tours

A fast-paced exploration of our solar system in which children learn and teach each other key facts

 From Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon to the photographs sent back by Juno on its historic and ongoing mission to Jupiter, we’re all entranced by our neighbours in the solar system. And we’ll know even more when Bruno, the British-built rover, lands on Mars in 2018. Taking things one step further, this intriguing workshop asks pupils to imagine the day when interplanetary tours are possible. Informed by the endeavours of such new space actors as Virgin Galactic and Space X, they’ll plan, prepare and present short plays exploring the problems posed by visiting the sulphurous volcanoes of Venus, the gaseous storms of Saturn or the icy plains of Pluto. Just remember one thing: “In space, no-one can hear you scream …”

Suitable For: up to 30 students at a time.

Exploring: the solar system, orbits, gravity

Cross-Curricular Links: Maths, History, English

Duration: 1½  – 2½ hours, depending on how many classes.

Suitable For: up to 30 children at a time.

 

Space Pirates!

Navigating the stars – a beginner’s guide to black holes and supernova!

Our travelling pirate, Captain Richard Morgan, has a new ship – but the Solar Surfer sails through the stars, not the seas! And as the Solar Surfer is powered by solar waves, of course, it’s vital that the Captain understands the differences between Red Giants, White Dwarves and Black Holes. But that’s the problem: he doesn’t. So he’ll arrive at your school in search of help.

After working in small groups on an age-differentiated independent carousel of activities, pupils will have all the information they need to solve his problems for him. And they’ll do that by performing dramatic representations of a range of different possible life cycles for stars – and alerting the Captain as to exactly what he needs to look out for!

Suitable For: EYFS – KS2

Exploring: the characteristics of stars, the life cycles of stars, characteristics of other bodies in space

Duration: 45 minutes – 2 hours, depending on the number of classes

 

The Race into Space – mixing science and maths for up to 420 pupils in a single day!

The search is on for Britain’s next astronaut – and Major Tom wants your pupils help in selecting the best person for the job. He’s found six well-suited candidates, all with different qualifications – but it’s up to you to decide which one will win The Race into Space!

After meeting the Major at an opening assembly, and being introduced to the would-be astronauts, each class will be issued with a Mission: to analyse and manipulate data to rank the candidates on one of a number of factors (including bone density, kidney function and the ability to work in confined spaces). The Major will be on hand to visit each classroom with some vital, additional information – and the programme ends with a second assembly in which each class reports back its findings and helps whittle the field down to just one: Britain’s next astronaut.

This exciting and engaging workshop provides an ideal platform for one or two-form entry schools to enjoy a shared science and maths experience – and learn something about the science of space travel too!

Exploring: the effects of microgravity, a range of skills in data handling and/or numerical operations and/or understanding shape – selected for each year group in line with National Curriculum objectives.
 

 

MoonWalking

Where did the moon come from – and how has it impacted on our history?

From its phases to its place in North American mythology and from the Apollo programmes to its potential to provide a launch pad to Mars and beyond, our only natural satellite has always exerted a pull on humanity. So this busy and interactive workshop sees pupils learning about a range of aspects of this celestial neighbour – including its creation, its make-up, its effects on our tides, its role in eclipses and its hold on culture.

Suitable For: KS1, KS2 (up to 30 pupils at a time)

Exploring: satellites and orbits, the lunar cycle, gravity and other forces, the moon and storytelling

Duration: 45 minutes – 2 hours, depending on the number of classes

 

“as creatives highlighted how creativity can be incorporated into whole school life and modelled how diverse and exciting a place school can be.” (Headteacher, Christ Church Primary School, Liverpool)

 

Forces:

 

CSI: Forces

How do different forces operate – and what do they actually do?

CSI: Forces sets your pupils a problem – to use their knowledge and understanding of forces in identifying which of six suspects sabotaged the new Jupiter VII space rocket. They’ll take part in a number of activities, each releasing a force-related clue eliminating one of the possible criminals – until the Police Force becomes the most important force, as the miscreant is hauled before justice …

And we’ve also got two new additions to the range, exploring forces in different contexts – CSI: Rollercoaster and CSI: Moonshot.

Exploring: gravity, friction, upthrust, centrifugalism, centripetalism, magnestism.

Duration: 1½ hours – half a day (depending on the number of classes)

 

“We really enjoyed the workshop, staff felt they gained a great deal from it, as well as the children. The children now recognise the “hidden” skills of science. They know that you need patience, observational skills, questioning and team work in order to succeed.” (Deputy Headteacher, St. Edward’s Catholic Primary School)

Sound:

 

Making Sense of Sound

An active investigation of the science of sound – with acoustic high jinks!

Specifically developed to support the new National Curriculum, this highly active drama-based workshop uncovers how we – and other living things – make sense of sound. After exploring the nature of soundwaves and how they behave in different situations and how they can help us make sense of the world, children will teach each other incredible, new acoustic facts in such exciting improvisations as “Escape from the Volcano”, “Terror from the Skies” and “Submarine Shocker”!

Suitable For: KS2 (up to 30 pupils at a time)

Exploring: soundwaves, acoustic resistance, echo location, the Doppler Effect.

Duration: 1½ hours – one day (depending on how many classes)

*Remember – you can mix and match this workshop with others to create a Big Science Day!

“The pace and variety of activities kept all the pupils engaged – and the dramas brought science to life!” (Teacher, Runcorn All Saints Primary)

“Great timing for our SATS revision – light hearted but purposeful and the children were learning all the time. Thank you so much for an entertaining and enjoyable afternoon!” (Science Co-ordinator, Childwall Primary)

Rocks and Soils:

 

Fossil Hunters!

Using role play to explore rocks, soils and paleontology

After exploring both the differences and connections between rocks, soils and fossils, pupils will take on the roles of ardent palaeontologists who find themselves in a tricky situation as they investigate the contents of an ancient river bed. Armed with word banks of key vocabulary and some simple props, they’ll work in small groups to plan, prepare and perform short plays that build on the challenges faced by Fossil Hunters!

Suitable For: KS2 (up to 30 pupils at a time)

Exploring: soils, rocks, fossil formation

Duration: 1 – 2 hours (depending on how many classes)

 

Big Science Days

 

Big Science Day: Phenomenal Plants! 

Create your own Phenomenal Plants Big Science Day by selecting from these age-differentiated workshops …

  • EYFS/KS1: Characteristics of Living Things A large-scale drama-based activity exposing and exploring some of the principal characteristics of living things.
  • Year 1: Root and Branch: Working in small groups, pupils are guided through a drama activity that imaginatively explores the structure of trees.
  • Year 2: From Seed to Seed: Working in small groups, pupils are guided through a drama activity that explores the cyclical nature of a plant’s life – starting off as a seed and ending up sowing seeds.
  • Year 3: The Elements of Life: Working in small groups, pupils plan, prepare, present and peer review dramatic illustrations of the basic requirements of life.
  • Year 4: Struggles for Survival: Working in small groups, pupils plan, prepare, present and peer review dramatic illustrations of ways that different plants are adapted to their habitats.
  • Year 5: Destined for Death: Working in small groups, pupils plan, prepare, present and peer review short dramas exploring how the lives (and deaths) of some plants are inextricably entwined with those of the animals with whom they share their habitats.
  • Year 6: Pollinatory Tours: Pupils imagine they are flying bee-sized aircraft – and consider the perils they would face as they ape the insects’ pollinatory journeys. Then, working in small groups, and given specific plants (and armed with FactFiles), they plan, prepare, present and peer review short dramas uncovering the micro-worlds that they’re visiting.

We have a whole range of other Big Science Days to choose from, including Amazing Animals (and Hair-Raising Humans!), Looking at Light and Eclectic Electricity – just ask for more details!

 

STEM Geodesic Domes

What connects science, maths, engineering space – and sport? Geodesity, of course! And our Geodesic Dome programmes offer students fantastic opportunities to cement their understanding of specific curriculum areas – and to celebrate and share their learning in a unique, eye-catching and inspiring way.

After recalling their learning in a creative manner, students will work to a template in using it to illustrate the 105 triangular panels that make up our Geodesic Domes. They’ll then be guided through a process that allows them to fit the triangles together to make hexagons and pentagons – and then to piece these together to construct the 2m high dome.

Exploring (in addition to your curriculum area): chemical structures, engineering forces, properties of 2D shapes.

Duration: one day.

“The levels of engagement and behaviour have been fantastic – and this programme has provided us with a range of interesting activities to inspire collaborative teamwork!” (Director of Learning, Broughton Hall High, Liverpool)

 

The Best of British Science

After a whole-group activity exploring the achievements and impacts of such British luminati as Isaac Newton (physics), Joseph Priestley (chemistry), Rosalind Franklin (biology) and Colin Pillinger (engineering), students work in small teams to plan, prepare, present and peer review persuasive “television” adverts promoting each of these. This workshop can cater for up to 30 students at a time – and requires a minimum of an hour (although the longer we have, the more depth we can go into, of course).

   

 

Exploring Evolution (KS2)

Most of us take Darwin’s ideas of natural selection, and the theory that all life is in a constant state of change, for granted – though they caused a right old rumpus back in 1859! This workshop uses drama techniques to introduce pupils to two different theories of evolution – then challenges them to design their own creatures, able to thrive in some changing environments. They’ll then produce short “documentaries” introducing the world to their newly-discovered animals – and support each other through peer evaluation.

Suitable for: up to 30 pupils at a time.

Exploring: evolutionary theory; heredity; animal and plant adaptations 

Duration: 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours.

  

Counting the Cost of Carbon (Upper KS2)

Most scientists agree that climate change is one of the biggest threats facing the planet. But how many of us understand the role played in the process by the carbon cycle – a cycle that’s increasingly out of balance as we continue to produce more carbon dioxide than we can absorb? This intriguing workshop physicalises the stages and mechanics of the cycle – and asks pupils to consider (and dramatise) how the world might change if humanity doesn’t mend its ways! 

Suitable for: up to 30 pupils at a time. 

Exploring: chemical structures; deforestation; climate change.

Duration: 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours. 

 

 

Get in touch:

To find out more about our Science Workshops please contact us on 0151 708 8886, or email Jackson Kavanagh, Director of Programmes at j.kavanagh@as-creatives.com.

 

British Science Week (BSW) is a ten-day programme of science, technology, engineering and maths events and activities across the UK for people of all ages. Find out more by visiting: https://www.britishscienceweek.org/ or @ScienceWeekUK #BSW18

 

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