Science for Families — Background
Think Physics’ parent & child workshop series, delivered by partners across the North East.
Science for Families isn’t your typical family engagement. It doesn’t exist to tick boxes or get families into schools: we understand that families have a huge impact on children. Science for Families provides opportunities within that time – within the home – to improve the Science Capital of participants.
We’re not naïve, we know that creating opportunities for family engagements can be extremely difficult. We work through schools to bring families together into the shared, community space of their children’s classrooms, then shape a learning journey for all participants which extends out of the classroom and into the home.
The response to our early stages has been excellent, and in 2016 we’re seeing Science for Families roll out through regional partners across the North-East.
We wanted to break down as many barriers to exploring science as we could. So we made sure that every experiment or demonstration – all 20 of them – is repeatable at home. The resources are cheap, and can usually be found in a drawer in the kitchen, just waiting to be re-used, repurposed, or modified into something extraordinary.
Each experiment offers the opportunity for families to work closely together on something that’s likely to be new to everyone. There’s certainly no need for expertise, and our resources guide families carefully from first steps to interesting and sometimes exciting conclusions. There’s no competition between families: the sessions represent a safe space for genuine exploration and questioning.
Feedback from participants has been excellent, and we already have some evidence to suggest that families are starting to do more science at home as a result of the course. We’re continuing to evaluate and research the impact of the course alongside the rest of Think Physics’ work. So it’s early days yet for formal reporting.
We are, however, seeing regular views to the online support materials whilst courses are being run: families are downloading materials to try out at home, extending their experience beyond the school. Our course completion rates are also extremely high, with the vast majority of families returning week after week and even bringing in things they’ve been exploring between sessions.
Keen to experience Science for Families yourself? Drop Joe an email and he’ll keep you posted about upcoming courses.
If you’d like to deliver Science for Families in your school, we offer free training sessions throughout the year.
The training covers everything you’ll need for successfully delivery: printed and online resource materials, ongoing support form our team and an evaluation pro forma so you can continue to improve the course as you deliver it in your setting.
Nothing showing up above? Then it looks like we’ve nothing planned at the moment. Check back later or sign up to our mailing list.
In our second session, families explore humans and plants in three interesting demonstrations. They begin by taking fingerprints (and toe prints) and learning how to observe the world a little more closely. Next we try our hand at dissection by taking apart a plant. Participants learn about how the different parts of flowering plants work. Finally, we start growing seeds in a clever plastic bag arrangement. Take the bag home, clip it to your fridge, and watch as a broad bean or pea germinates and grows!
You can find out more about the plants session from the page for that week’s part of the course.
Click on the different category headings to find out more. You can also change some of your preferences. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer.
These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.
We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. You can check these in your browser security settings.
These cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help us understand how our website is being used or how effective our marketing campaigns are, or to help us customize our website and application for you in order to enhance your experience.
If you do not want that we track your visit to our site you can disable tracking in your browser here:
We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Changes will take effect once you reload the page.
Google Webfont Settings:
Google Map Settings:
Google reCaptcha Settings:
Vimeo and Youtube video embeds:
The following cookies are also needed - You can choose if you want to allow them: