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Archived ideas for ICT in Primary Science

About sensors

There is a branch of technology where the product is not words, pictures or web pages but nevertheless offers to shift what happens in classrooms onto a new level. Here electronic devices or sensors take readings in science experiments as the computer displays them on a graph. It is fun, enthralling and a core school activity. In primary schools, sensors are incredibly handy tools for learning about graphs and measuring. It’s not hard to take a light sensor and measure the brightness of the room all day and night. You can pop the graph into PowerPoint and get the pupils to label what happened when.

You can do the same with a temperature sensor to see the heating comes on and off. You might even conclude that you're overheating the building. A sound sensor can be unusually good value - if you leave the room you can check if the class has been quiet. Or place it on your chest and you may pick up a heartbeat. More forays into electronic measuring - seeing how things cool, which clothes keep you warmest are the starting points of investigating science. While some schools go far with this, many will be happy with as basic a kit as possible. Price is a good guide to what’s appropriate with kits starting at £100 and rising to £200. Read below for pointers to what we think is best at the moment. Then check out our Data logging pages for Equipment. You'll find some experiment ideas here too and more primary oriented ideas in our book.

LogIT Explorer **** - www.dcpmicro.com  

The LogIT Explorer Junior data logger has won awards and been the subject of praise. It's the lead for the primary choice and it's won a BETT award too. It has built-in sensors and there’s a choice of traditional serial or USB connectors (for the newest PCs and Macs). Buy from Timstar www.timstar.co.uk

Earth, Sun and Moon **** (from Learning Connections)

Earth, Sun and Moon is a set of five interactives designed for the QCA primary science scheme of work 5e - 'Earth, Sun and Moon'. A clever, and sound set of materials that I think you'll enjoy teaching with. Topics covered Day and night; The Moon’s orbit ; The Earth’s orbit. A new title (2007) covers forces.

Data Harvest **

This firm also have a logger for primary schools - it's a tough choice between theirs and LogIT Explorer (above). Look up Data Harvest at Where do I get this stuff. The old model - 'Ecolog' was a troublesome battery eater while the LogIT Explorer (above) has the best battery performance that I've seen.

IT in Primary Science ** - now a free book

  • Good ideas don't date You're probably doing a quarter of it already.

Junior Data logging Insight **

  • Check the supplier www.insightresources.co.uk  

Classification with tree or branching database programs ***


The Dutch edition of IT in Primary Science (out of print)














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