Teachers' Zone
UK Science Curriculum Connections

"Flights of Inspiration" is aimed at students aged 10-14, and the text and activities are written at an appropriate level. The flexibility of the resource means that it can be readily adapted for use by younger or older students.

Science National Curriculum, England and Wales

"Flights of Inspiration" is intended to help students develop their understanding of forces: types of forces, and how objects behave under the influence of forces. It can also help them to learn more about the concept of speed.

At key stage 2 (ages 7-11) students learn:

  • that objects have weight because of the gravitational attraction betwen them and the Earth;
  • about friction, including air resistance, as a force which slows moving objects;
  • that forces act in particular directions;
  • that forces can balance, so that an object at rest remains still;
  • that unbalanced forces can make things speed up, slow down, or change direction.

At key stage 3 (ages 11-14) students learn:

  • how to determine the speed of a moving object;
  • the quantitative relationship between speed, distance and time;
  • that unbalanced forces change the speed and/or direction of moving objects;
  • that balanced forces produce no change in the movement of an object;
  • ways in which frictional forces, including air resistance, affect motion.

"Flights of Inspiration" includes many activities which will help students to develop their investigative skills. Some are short practical activities through which students can develop individual skills; others are more extended activities which will require students to apply their experimental skills:

  • planning an investigation
  • obtaining evidence
  • considering evidence

"Flights of Inspiration" sets this scientific work in the context of the work of the Wright brothers, and the first transatlantic flight by Alcock and Brown. Activities are provided which will help students to develop their appreciation of the wider aspects of science (as listed in the introduction to the National Curriculum Programme of Study):

  • systematic enquiry (how scientific knowledge is acquired);
  • application of science (how science relates to everyday life; its benefits and drawbacks);
  • the nature of scientific ideas (empirical evidence, scientific theories, and the historical development of ideas);
  • communicating science (presenting ideas and using scientific conventions).

Environmental Studies Curriculum, Scotland

"Flights of Inspiration" is intended to help students develop their understanding of forces: types of forces, and how objects behave under the influence of forces. It can also help them to learn more about the concept of speed.

At stages P4 to P6 (ages 8-11) students learn about:

  • friction forces and how to reduce them;
  • air resistance and streamlining;
  • the force of gravity.

At stages P7 to S2 (ages 11-14) students learn about:

  • levers;
  • measuring forces;
  • weight.

"Flights of Inspiration" includes many activities which will help students to develop their investigative skills. Some are short practical activities through which students can develop individual skills; others are more extended activities which will require students to apply their experimental skills:

  • planning;
  • collecting evidence;
  • recording and presenting;
  • interpreting and evaluating.

"Flights of Inspiration" sets this scientific work in the context of the work of the Wright brothers, and the first transatlantic flight by Alcock and Brown. Activities are provided which will help students to develop informed attitudes to the wider aspects of science:

  • recognising and valuing the ways in which science is used.

For more information, visit http://www.dfee.gov.uk/nc/sciindex.html

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