Rothamsted Research engaging with primary schools
"The school’s partnership with a local agricultural research centre provides the children with opportunities for practical environmental studies".|
Ofsted Inspection report: The Grove Infant and Nursery School, 10 October 2007, p.6
Since 2000, Rothamsted Research scientists have been engaging with primary school children through the Rothamsted Primary Science Group. An annual programme of activities is developed with teachers to support the teaching of the science curriculum as well as focusing on pupils’ interests and needs. Every year, more than 600 children participated in activities. These are carefully designed to present the contribution of Rothamsted Research science to agriculture, the environment and sustainable crop production.
The group also aims to change stereotypic perceptions of science and scientists.
Why do we think it is important to engage at an early age?
Evidence has shown that students start losing interest in science by the end of primary school. At Rothamsted, we encourage our scientists to engage with primary pupils to foster their interest, enjoyment, curiosity and creativity as well the development of key scientific skills necessary for their progress in learning science.
Primary Horizons: Starting out in science
“Primary and early secondary education serve more than the purpose of providing a foundation for later secondary and then tertiary education. During these periods, young people are developing knowledge, capabilities and other attributes that affect their daily lives as well as their further learning. This is a crucial period of their education during which changes in their ways of thinking, particularly the ability to deal with abstract concepts, enable them to see connections within their rapidly expanding experience of the world around them. Generally it is a time when children enjoy new experiences and want to be challenged, to learn things of relevance to their lives and to understand how everything fits together.”|
Royal Society 2010
'State of the nation' - science and mathematics education 5-14