FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

ASE Summer Conference experience

Two FSC tutors visited the first ASE Summer Conference. Here's how they got on:

The workshops and stalls were of very high quality, which made getting around everything and making those all-important connections, very easy.

Tom Frost and I attended as presenters, netting only a few stragglers who attended our very hands on practical session, set on top of a windy hill where only our solar balloon could be seen from the conference tent. As writers of a residential, core science GSCSE course for the FSC, we hoped to present our course outline to teachers in a practical way and gain valuable feedback that would inform the direction of the development.

Elements of the course have been trialled on secondary schools local to Nettlecombe and Castle Head, and we are now in the second phase of planning where we can write lesson plans etc for some of the physics and chemistry modules. Tom has worked hard developing the physics aspects and has run numerous trial days and a recent IB level practical week focusing on ‘light and solar energy’ ‘renewable energy’ and ‘forces’. Many of the physics modules are ready to be finalised having been trialled by both myself and Tom. I have begun the creation of the chemistry aspects of the course and plan to trial them with schools in September. We have met with the Institute of Physics and spoken to the Royal Society of Chemistry, both are keen to review the material and endorse the course when the time comes.

As always I left the conference with a ‘sciency’ spring in my step, one that Newton would be proud of. I felt excited about the direction that science education could take in the hands of professional educators, not necessarily politicians. Being surrounded by others who share your passion for educating our future society allows you to recharge your batteries and gain momentum in your work.

Rachael Passant-Coy


Suggested websites for free resources and teaching support in science education:

Institute of Physics

Royal Society of Chemistry

Wellcome Trust


Friday, July 5, 2013