Lifelong Learning Programme

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BBC School Science
Web Site/Portal, Downloadable material
Life Chemistry, Materials Science, Food Science, Environmental Chemistry
Primary School, Lower Secondary School
The prerequisites
It is necessary a basic knowledge of English and only a basic knowledge of the states of matter, energy and life science

The contents
The site consists of four subject areas:
- Organisms, behaviour and health (Life processes, cells, health, variation and classification, feeding relationships)
- Chemical and material behaviour (Solids, liquids and gases, periodic table, pH scale for acids, bases and alkalis)
- Energy, electricity and forces (Energy, forces, electric currents and magnetism)
- The environment, the Earth and the universe (Rock types, astronomy, and the environment)

The aims
The site aims to teach, both at a microscopic and at a macroscopic level, the states of matter, the properties and behaviours of materials, the matter composition, the nutrients and their effects on human body.

Task Description
Four big scientific areas (chemical, physical, biological and geological) are dealt by the site. Each area consists of some sub-areas that can be viewed clicking on the area title. Each sub-area provides three kinds of tasks: revise, activity and test.
Revise: in this section some informative schedules are provided and some of them are interactive.
Activity: interactive films aiming to improve the knowledge of the related topic. At the end of the film it is possible to answer the “Third degree”, a quiz about the contents. You can see immediately if your answer is right or wrong.
Test: it is an interactive multiple choice test. After ending to answer the questions, a feedback of the answers is available: in case of wrong answer, the correct one is also reported, together with a brief explanation. The website is also provided with a game section, where it is possible to play to improve the scientific knowledge about the four big areas.

How to use it in class
It's not easy for Italian students to use this website without the teacher support, because of the difficulty of the foreign language: indeed, primary school students speak only few words of English and these are not scientific words. However, the site can be a valid tool for interdisciplinary activities between Science and English. ‘Activities’ is the most useful task of the site and it can be used during the last year of Primary school to reinforce the main concepts of Science and to integrate the lessons of English. Better if the same work is proposed to the first (or second) year of lower secondary school.
Points of strength
It's a friendly website with a lot of animations, clear images that explain the different contents and the possibility to use subtitles if you need. In the “Third degree” (at the end of the Activity) you have an immediate feedback. You can print all the schedules and tests with the right and the wrong answers and their explanation.The variety and the care of Contents is appreciable.

Points of weakness
The particle model of liquids is not so clear during the first part of Revise and it could create a misunderstanding in the students because the particles move like a squashed gas, without bonds and without mutual flow. The topic is more clear in the second part and in the Activity section.

Scientific reliability
The scientific reliability is good because it considers the macroscopic and microscopic behaviours of matter, changing variables like temperature, pressure, volume, ...

Pedagogic value
The contents are quite difficult for Primary school students and the foreign language is not a facilitator. In order to use it at Primary School, but also at Lower Secondary School, it's necessary the support of a teacher that translates and mediates the proposed activities. It helps to built scientific models and mental images. It's better to use it in Lower Secondary School.
University of Genoa

Comments about this Publication

Your comments are welcome

Date: 2014.04.24

Posted by Véronique Bollinne (Belgium)

Message:  Is the teaching resource described useful for you? Why?
The activities proposed on this website are useful to reinforce what is seen during “theoretical” lessons.

 Do you think it can increase the students’ interest toward chemistry? Why?
As it gives a different approach, using individual computers, it may raise the interest of some students.

 Do you think it can help the students to understand better and faster? Why?
I’m not sure that it can help students to understand faster but it can clearly help to understand better as it gives another approach with different types of explanations.

 Do you think it proposes an innovative didactical approach? Why?
Yes. I think that this approach is innovative as each activity includes an interactive animation, with a recap and a quiz at the end.

Date: 2013.02.07

Posted by Anna Fedešová (Slovakia)

Message: At the educational portal of BBC you can find educational content for primary, secondary and high school education (from KS1 to Higher). Individual educational levels are processed with regard to age and needs of students and to curriculum. Content of a subject of chemistry at Slovakia (according to State Educational Content of SR) is also content of UK in science (KS2 and KS3). At BBC portal you can find complete educational content for scientific subjects. This portal covers scientific education of primary, secondary and high school education (mainly subject of chemistry) in those areas: Life chemistry, Materials Science, Food Science, Environmental Chemistry, for 11-15 age students. For needs of teaching at Slovakia in subject chemistry, mainly part Chemistry and Material Behavior. It is processed in the form of study materials, activities for students and online tests. Study materials are in a form of text completed with appropriate illustrations and animations. Activities for students are processed as interactive exercises with spoken text and tasks. You can print study text from activities for students. A student can do exercise on his own by his own speed. After studying and completing exercises a student can test his knowledge in a test. Feedback – results of a test he will know immediately after sending answers. Educational portal Bitesize BBC is complexly processed educational portal at high professional level. It contains a lot of study materials which can be used in lessons of chemistry at primary schools. In addition to it you can find there a lot of games, simulations which are motivating for a student. I like the game Elemental ( and Whack Attack ( I think current students will like them. At this portal you can chat and ask for a help with curriculum by Messageboards.

Date: 2013.01.25

Posted by Iwona Krawczyk - Kłys (Poland)

Message: A very interactive science oriented section of BBC content. It contains various fields of science but i concentrated on Chemistry.
What I liked what the interactivity and easiness of understanding concepts of solids, liquids and gases. Theretical descriptions of the topic, followed by a revise and refresh interactive section (animated one) and the the possibility to verify students knowledge is great and gives the material high level of usuability both in the class as well as at home (student\'s individual work. What i found particuraly interesting was the fact students can both watch, listen to read the explanations (each video clip is accompanied by sound and subtitles on/ off feature).
Influencing all the sentences plus ICT component make the material user friendly and easy to use. My students loved it.

Date: 2012.10.08

Posted by Alberto Regis (Italy)

Message: This paper takes account of the chemistry thematic area. This resource contents are suggested for the 1st degree of the secondary school even if are often introduced conceptualizations that are not proper to this school contest.
The attempt to semplify notions could results as a trivializing and this is bad for a correct learning.
So, it could be that students' interest for chemistry be sharpen, but certainly this does not facilitate a better notions comprehension. Just only it is presented as a multimedia tool with an easy access, actractive and seemengly simple.
In a paradoxical way this puts in evidence wich could be the achievable advantages with this means.
This resource is useful just for this reason: it shows the possibility to utilize the informatic tool to improve the notions comprehension. Neverthless it is necessary to proceed with care, reflecting upon what teaching and how to teaching it.
For example, it could be useful to reflect upon following aspects:
The particle model is not builded by students but it is taken for granted. For this reason the representations using this particle model are often confused with the model itself (its explaining rules).
Furthermore the macroscopic world (facts) and the microscopic world (facts interpretation) are not opportunely distinguished.
From an educational point of view it does not seem to state that it is an innovative approach.
It is neverthless true that the multimedia setting could be food for thought and work to clear the underlined hudles.

Date: 2012.10.04

Posted by Saime ALTUN (Turkey)

Message: This site, which is built by BBC, has some sections like maths, science, English. Especially In science section a learner can find different topics like organisms, behavior and health. And each topic is perfectly divided into subtopics. The fonts used in this site are suitable for the learners of different ages. They are not so small. You are not lost between sections. Each section has revision, activity and test part. What took my attention is that the subparts are also relevant to life. I actually liked the Life processes part. It has a nice instruction of our body functions. The users are not bordered only with texts. Illustrations, pictures used for demonstrations are clear and understandable. Especially the activity parts are enjoyable. With flash support, learners can learn easily. And those activities gives opportunity to apply what has been learned. For example you can try to crash solid materials or play with balloons to understand the principles of gases. Most of the activities also have revision part from which it is possible to take some notes about what has been learned. It is a nice site for students and teachers on the aspect of materials to be used during the classes.

Date: 2012.10.03

Posted by Ömer Faruk ŞEN (Turkey)

Message: The chemistry section of the website is quite useful for 6th-8th grade students with teacher support because of foreign language. It consists of six parts (the particle model, behavior of model, atoms and elements, compound and mixtures, acid base and metals, pH experiment). Each part has revise, activity and evaluation part. Some revise parts look like reading materials but it is supported with interactive material in activity part. In activity part, there is direction for user. It helps students to do activity even they don’t know English well. There is no need of tutorial support. That allows students to work at their own pace and encourages initiating and learning independently. Moreover, students can test themselves and get the result immediately. However, there are only multiple choice questions in evaluation part. Maybe, true-false or matching also could be used. This site may be useful for secondary level school science curriculum. The scientific reliability is not good because when we consider the macroscopic behaviours of matter, changing variables like temperature, pressure, volume, these experiment can be performed in lab and that makes students more interest to the topic.

Date: 2012.08.13

Posted by Kathleen Lough (Ireland)

Message: Of the four sections in this resource, the section titled ‘Chemical and Material Behaviour’ is particularly useful for teachers who have started introducing basic concepts of chemistry to young (11- 15 year old) students. Within this section, the properties and behaviour of solids, liquids and gases are explored. This then leads on to atoms and elements and a very nice introduction to the Periodic Table. Compounds and mixtures are discussed along with the basic ideas of chemical reactions and formulae. Techniques such as chromatography and distillation are also introduced. An introduction to acids, bases and pH is also included.
The resource material could be used directly in the classroom or as a follow-on activity once the various topics have been taught in class. Students should find it very easy to work through the resource at their own pace as each topic is laid out in clear, easy-to-follow sections, and after working through the text, they can advance to an interactive type video activity. This in turn leads to a multiple choice test which is very useful for students to test their understanding of each topic. The language used throughout in text and audio material is clear and examples of everyday situations where the scientific concepts discussed might be relevant are included.
As well as facilitating students to work through at their own pace, it also allows them to return at any time to revise concepts taught at an earlier stage.

National Reports on successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry The national reports on chemistry successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry are now available on the related section of the project portal. The reports presents examples of successful experiences in the partner countries and the results of testing of ICT resources with science teachers.