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Science into Schools

Durham undergraduates working with school pupils


Science into Schools is a series of Modules offered across the Faculty to third year undergraduates. A primary aim of the module is to develop a range of key skills in the student and to offer an early taste of teaching science to those interested in pursuing it as a career or for other career pathways where public understanding of science is required.

The students spend 40 hours on placement in a local school (typically a half-day per week over 10 weeks) working with a partner teacher. The school is provided with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic student who will offer practical assistance in the classroom and help to engage the pupils in science, especially in their own area of expertise. During the placement, from January to the end of March, the student undertakes a Special Project, the nature of which is based upon the needs of the school and the skills of the undergraduate student, and must be related to the area of expertise of the student.

Prior to the placement all students are DBS checked and they undertake 10 weeks of training including working with schools, explaining concepts at an appropriate level and an introduction to relevant elements of the National Curriculum and its associated terminology. The only administrative burden to the school is the completion of a short assessment of the undergraduate student at the end of the placement. All schools are provided with a Teachers' Information Pack which provides guidelines on the student placement.

The Science into School Modules have been running since 2005/2006. The Module began in the Department of Earth Sciences when 10 students were enrolled; Physics, Biosciences, Engineering, Computer Science, Chemistry and Mathematical Sciences now offer this Module. The Department of Engineering has subsequently extended the Module to their fourth year undergraduates.

Since 2005 over 500 undergraduate students have participated in the Science into Schools Module, working with more than 130 local schools.

If you are a school interested in a student placement (or would simply like more information) please do not hesitate to contact us.