Running a science club can be an extremely rewarding experience. They provide a chance to explore and investigate science, especially topics not in the curriculum, and enrich the educational experience of your pupils. Whilst it’s mainly an opportunity to have some fun in the afternoon or evening, don’t forget that science clubs are a great way of raising the profile of science in your school. If you do start your own club, be sure to take plenty of photos and create a display somewhere where the whole school and local community can see it. The club could also help promote and run activities they have done at the club in a whole school science week or community event.
Because it’s essentially a practical club, it’s necessary to gather equipment and resources in order to run it, and to allow sufficient time to prepare activities and then set them up. This can prove tricky for many teachers, especially on top of the everyday responsibilities of being a class teacher, which is why part of AfRIS’ remit is to provide remote support, guidance and a few ideas for the setting-up and management of your new science club. It’s also worth considering local support for your club, whether it’s another teacher, teaching assistant or parent helper … help is key. Be sure to include wow-factor investigations and experiments, such as lasers, programmable robots, lava lamps, stomp rockets and volcanoes.
Thankfully, there are a whole host of wonderful resources out there, so here are a few suggestions to help you get started:
- ExpeRimental Series – from the Royal Institution.
- Primary Science Demonstrations – from the Royal Society of Chemistry.
- Crest Star Investigators – from the British Science Association.
- British Science Week: Primary Activity Packs – from the British Science Association.
- Do try this at home postcards – from the Institute of Physics.
- Inspire Resources – from the Centre for Science Education (SHU).
- Primary School Resources – Young Engineers and Science Clubs Scotland.
- Little Book of Experiments – from Planet Science.
- Kitchen Science – from the Science Museum.
- Club Activity Pack – from Planet Science.
- Spacelink Resources – from the Spacelink Foundation.
- Cracking Chemistry – from the British Science Association.
- Secondary School Resources – Young Engineers and Science Clubs Scotland.
- Astronomy Simulations and Animations – from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.