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Disseminating quality controlled scientific knowledge

Secondary school program at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History

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Author(s): Sarah Lloyd

Journal: University Museums and Collections Journal
ISSN 2071-7229

Volume: 2;
Start page: 75;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Themed science study days | Students | Group discussion | Science behind the headlines

ABSTRACT
The Oxford University Museum of Natural History runs a series of themed science study days for up to 300 Key Stage 5 students. The day’s program includes short lectures from academics and curators and a range of smaller group activities. The program always features an activity called ‘Science Behind the Headlines’; a small group discussion framed around a theme taken from science stories in the news and focused on a topic covered in one of the lectures. Groups are facilitated by scientists from within the University. Scientists are given a framework to work with. Those with little experience can support the more experienced and everyone willing to contribute can be involved in the program. Uptake from both schools and academics is very strong; the university museum context provides an ideal opportunity for students and scientists to engage. Each discussion is unique; however ‘Science Behind the Headlines’ enables students to understand the impact that science has on their lives and provides role models to inspire students to consider a career in science.