It’s the start of a new term, teaching for the new GCSEs is underway and a professor plans to lock himself in an airtight glass box full of plants to show photosynthesis in action. To celebrate all of this, we’ve got a newsletter packed with grants, information and resources for you.
SAPS Associate Awards
Do you have a head full of ideas for new teaching resources... if only you had the time and money to develop them properly? Do you have a great science lesson that you'd like to develop and share with teachers around the UK?
If so, the SAPS Associate Awards are for you. We're offering our Associates grants of up to £500 to help you develop new teaching resources, which we’ll then share on the website. Find out more (Closing date for applications is 7th October)
New SAPS Pilot Teaching Resources on Biological Modelling and Natural Section
Two new teaching resources have been added to the Pilot Resources pilot of the SAPS Associates area. The first, by biology teacher Roger Delpech, takes advantage of the abundance of winged seeds around at the moment to consider evolution, adaptation and natural selection.
The second looks at an increasingly important area of biology, modelling, including both computer models and the use of model organisms. The resource includes both an article introducing biological modelling in general, and then demonstrates how a free online genetics tool created for researchers can be used in the classroom. This resource was written by plant sciences student Freya Scoates, our first SAPS Summer Intern. To access these, log in to the SAPS Associates area of the site, and visit the ‘Pilot Resources’ page. Don't forget to leave us your comments on the pilot resources.
New Resource – Circadian Rhythms
If you’re about to teach circadian rhythms at GCSE, Alex Webb, one of the UK’s leading researchers in the field has created a multimedia teaching resource, with amazing videos showing the levels of gene activity over the course of a week, amongst other things. Don’t forget that if this inspires you to develop your own teaching resource, you can apply for a SAPS Associate grant.
Ask the Experts
The Ask the Experts team have been challenged to answer questions on topics old and new over the summer, with queries relating to the new GCSE Specifications and beyond. The team is currently putting their minds to questions about tissue culture of junipers and on phytoremediation with brassicas.
So if you’ve got questions about plant biology, then log in to the SAPS Associates area of the site, and visit the ‘Ask the Experts’ page.
Save the Date for ASE Early Bird Rates
If you’re looking for inspirational practicals, not to mention a whole day's lectures by leading researchers, then get the ASE Annual Conference in your diary straight away. Member organisations of the Society of Biology, including SAPS, the Wellcome Trust, the Biochemical Society and many more are getting together for two days of cutting-edge biology in the classroom.
Thursday 5th January 2012 will see the 'Biology in the Real World' drop-in practical session, a lab full of practical inspiration, together with tips to get old favourites working reliably. Friday 6th January 2012 will then host the 'Biology in the Real World' lecture series. Those of you on a tight budget can take advantage of the free exhibition entry to visit the Biology show stand, with plenty of free teaching resources and giveaways on offer from the biological societies attending. Last year we were handing out vials from our ‘glowing tower of algae’ – who can say what we’ll be giving away this year?
For more details, visit the ASE web page. http://bit.ly/e0Wpjy
Welcome to Vicki Cottrell, our Nuffield Foundation Education Fellow
SAPS is welcoming our latest team member – Vicki Cottrell, Head of Science at Didcot Girls’ School, who has been awarded a Nuffield Foundation Education Fellowship to work with the SAPS team. She’ll be with us for two days a week for the next six months, developing new teaching resources on a range of plant science topics in the curriculum.
And Finally – a professor, an air-tight box, and plenty of plants…
The lengths some people will go to to demonstrate photosynthesis. Professor Iain Stewart is spending 48 hours sealed in an airtight container filled with plants, surviving on the oxygen they produce. Not surprisingly, it seems that the team has selected C4 plants for their more efficient photosynthesis. The experiment is for a new BBC Two series, How Plants Made The World – we’re looking forward to it, and will keep you posted about the start date.