Updated: Mar 12, 2019
How to make the most of this very special Science event.
It’s British Science Week! Whether or not you're scientifically minded, it’s a great excuse to celebrate all things scientific. There are lots of different things to do, make and see – here are just a few suggestions.
1. Take a trip
There are so many amazing places to visit to learn more about science, maths, and the world around us. A personal favourite is Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes, where you can explore the secret activities of the World War Two codebreakers, learn about how computers work, and try out your own codebreaking skills. I also love the Behind-the-Scenes Spirit Collection Tour at the Natural History Museum in London – you can discover some of their 27 kilometres of shelves, holding 22 million animal specimens, see the flesh-eating beetles still used to clean specimens, and meet Archie the Giant Squid.
2. Discover some incredible women
British Science Week began on International Women’s Day, so what could be better than tying them together and learning about some awe-inspiring female scientists? History has had a really unpleasant habit of quietly forgetting about them, and though recently huge steps are being taken to redress that, educating yourself can only help.
I’ve just been learning about Mary Anning, the fossil hunter in 19th century Lyme Regis, who discovered some of the first dinosaur fossils in the UK, and whose research led to a much deeper understanding of the Jurassic food chain, as well as accelerating conversations about evolution and extinction.
There are so many incredible women whose contributions to Science and Maths have been undervalued compared to the men they worked with or for. Some to get you started include: Rosalind Franklin, the chemist and X-ray crystallographer who contributed to the understanding of the structure of DNA; Joan Clarke, the cryptanalyst and numismatist who worked to break the Enigma code at Bletchley Park; and Katherine Johnson, the NASA mathematician whose orbital mechanics calculations got the first manned US space flight off the ground.
3. Start a conversation
It might be just me, but I don’t talk about Science or Maths much in my daily life and social circles, and I don’t think I can be the only Arts grad who tunes out a little when things get technical. So, this week, why not make an effort to seek out people who know more than we do, and ask them about their work, hobby, or specialist area of interest? It can be amazing what you learn: I have a much greater appreciation for both bridges and roadworks since I gained a phenomenal Civil Engineer for a sister-in-law, and having a friend doing a Physics PhD has taught me more about lasers than I ever thought possible! Apart from anything, people with ‘nerdy’ jobs often feel like nobody wants to hear about what they do or worry about boring people – let’s use this week to hear their knowledge and experience.
4. Have a go!
The British Science Association website is full of great suggestions for practical ways to join in with British Science Week, including going on a Run with the Ancestors, listening to a race through 1 million years of Britain’s ancient history as you run. There are activity packs for students or children, and details of Science Live events all over the country. Have a look here. Then on YouTube there are loads of great ideas for science experiments for all ages, from blowing square bubbles to making a hovercraft!
Whether you’re incorporating British Science Week into your tutoring, classroom teaching, parenting, or just for you, have a play and an explore and see what you can discover!
Blog Post Crafted by Rebecca
Background: Rebecca is one of our most popular tutors, with a degree in English from the University of Cambridge and hundreds of hours of private tuition experience in 7+, 11+, English and Maths. She is also an assessor for Titanium Tutors, observing the mock lessons taught by potential tutors and deciding whether or not they meet the high standards of the agency.