When you picture a science lab, is it a place for innovation and discovery, where curious minds are free to explore how our universe works? That’s the picture SHINE and our partners, The Primary Science Teaching Trust and The Ogden Trust, had when we created SHINELabs – a new programme that has so far been launched in six schools with the aim of improving primary science provision.
With the tailor made programme ready to go, the first task for our host schools was to find the perfect space for their lab. All six schools rose to the challenge, with labs transforming spaces that varied from regular classrooms to a dis-used London bus!
We then delivered a dedicated science support package to Teachers. The Teachers were trained in the programme, which was modelled upon The Ogden Trust’s Phiz Labs, before they launched it as an after-school club in the labs.
The participating schools are encouraged to choose students from Years 4-5 who are keen to discover more about science. The children who have taken part in SHINELabs have done so with much enthusiasm, and we’ve had a particularly good response to the specially designed mini lab coats that are provided to students. Through investigative and independent learning, SHINELabs students explore biology, chemistry, and physics. Teaching in the labs was complimented with visits from expert practitioners, outings to museums, science centres and other inspirational places of scientific discovery.
The pupils gave a positive response to the varied learning techniques, with one child from Stebon Primary School stating “I loved it when we learnt about magnets.” Whilst another at Wellington Primary School reported “I enjoyed making explosions and a mess the most.”
With the success of the programme continuing to make a difference in our six pilot schools, SHINE has confirmed another four primary schools to run SHINELabs, with plans for further expansion.