Is it rocket science?

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Is it rocket science?
« on: 06/03/2009 12:18:45 »
A new programme on BBC2 tonight, look interesting...

Episode 1
Next on:

06 Mar 2009, 21:00 on BBC Two (except Wales, Wales (Analogue))

Class 8XS at Woodchurch High do not like science - and they are not alone. Across the UK, fewer and fewer kids want to study chemistry and physics, so with the help of wonderfully inspirational physics teacher Andy Smith, Rocket Science sets out to convert a small sample by teaching them everything safe there is to know about fireworks.

Kids? Fireworks? It is a health-and-safety nightmare, but once he has grabbed their attention with a few flashes and bangs (all overseen by pyro-professionals), Mr Smith shows the class how much serious science is involved in the creation and use of the average rocket or Roman candle.

It is a rollercoaster nine months. At the beginning of this first episode, Chantelle thinks science is 'just copying out', Taz wants to be Kate Moss, and Charlie can do the work but cannot be bothered to behave.

Mr Smith sets out to teach the chemistry of fireworks' fantastic colours, but the class's first taste of professional pyrotechnics is a washout, and to re-engage them, he has to battle short attention spans, filthy weather, and the fact that most chemicals in the school storeroom are well past their sell-by date. However, when the kids do get hands-on in an innovative 'glow in the dark lesson', you can see the light of fascination start shining in their eyes. There is hope after all.

Then the head's retirement party is cancelled along with the firework display 8XS was preparing in her honour. Can Mr Smith hope to hold their interest over the coming summer break? He certainly has a plan.


Offline Make it Lady

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Is it rocket science?
« Reply #1 on: 07/03/2009 00:35:59 »
This is what my "make it Science" stuff is all about. Sadly, keeping up this kind of pace as a class teacher is killingly exhausting. I think he is doing the right thing but to sustain it is so hard. I have gone into schools and have been faced with exactly the same problems. I'm surprised the place didn't blow up, the way the chemicals were stored and kept well pat the expiry date.

One thing I do hate is the phrase "it is not rocket science." It makes children think it is hard but it isn't that hard at all.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.