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Inspiring the next generation of scientists

PUBLISHED: 10:52 24 January 2019

Sizewell C and West Suffolk College are working together to deliver free science boxes, to inspire practical science in primary schools. West Suffolk College schools co-ordinator Victoria Fiebelkorn with the boxes.
Picture: DANNY HEWITT

Sizewell C and West Suffolk College are working together to deliver free science boxes, to inspire practical science in primary schools. West Suffolk College schools co-ordinator Victoria Fiebelkorn with the boxes. Picture: DANNY HEWITT

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Sizewell C and West Suffolk College have teamed up in a pioneering `science box' project to boost science teaching in primary schools.

Sizewell C and West Suffolk College are working together to deliver free science boxes, to inspire practical science in primary schools. One of the cleaning copper pennies' boxes
Picture: DANNY HEWITTSizewell C and West Suffolk College are working together to deliver free science boxes, to inspire practical science in primary schools. One of the cleaning copper pennies' boxes Picture: DANNY HEWITT

The first phase of the scheme will see almost 5,000 Suffolk school pupils benefit, within 16 schools, and it is a scheme that could be rolled out across the region with further sponsorship.

The science boxes contain different components with each box giving resources for a single lesson using easy to get household items. They include ‘Cleaning copper pennies’ where the box contains 5 different liquids from vinegar to washing up liquid for the pupils to predict and then test which is most effective and ‘Changing shape’ where the schools are provided with different solid objects to see if they change shape when squashed, bent, twisted or stretched.

The funding was provided by Sizewell C to enable West Suffolk College’s pioneering Primary science box project to continue in its growth and development.

Science teachers in the schools taking part have been coached by Victoria Fiebelkorn, West Suffolk College schools science coordinator and former industrial chemist.

Sizewell C and West Suffolk College are working together to deliver free science boxes, to inspire practical science in primary schools.
Picture: DANNY HEWITTSizewell C and West Suffolk College are working together to deliver free science boxes, to inspire practical science in primary schools. Picture: DANNY HEWITT

She said: “Science can sometimes get lost within other topics so this project is designed to bring it back to the forefront of the pupils mind. Science can often be taught using a YouTube clip or a demo which is great but children want to be more hands on by trying things for themselves. This is all about the pupils doing the Science not the teachers.

“We are immensely grateful to Sizewell C for the support in enabling us to reach more schools and more young people. During this phase we will reach nearly 5,000 young people, who will have their passion for STEM ignited. We couldn’t do it without them.”

The primary science boxes cover all aspects of the “Everyday Materials” section of the Key Stage 1 national curriculum for science. Each box has all they need for the selected activity including a kit list, instruction manual, any potential hazards, a worksheet and a summary of the science included.

Jim Crawford Sizewell C Project development director said: “Inspiring the next generation and creating the wow around STEM subjects is at the heart of EDF Energy’s partnership with schools. We believe generating an interest at a young age will help support the take up of STEM careers in the future. Science in a box is a great way of bringing STEM to life in the class room and complements our activities at the Sizewell B visitor centre.”

This unique project was initially seed funded by Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury District Council.

Mrs Fiebelkorn is looking to continue working on the project with the aim to progress into KS2 and for pupils aged 7-11 years.

She added: “This will help children realise that science is absolutely everywhere and it’s exciting as well as important; it is no good waiting until students are at high school – we need to enthuse pupils from 5 years old. But we need other companies like EDF Energy and the District Council’s to come on board to help us to do this.”

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