Archive by category | Education

Double Shift: schooling Syria’s child refugees


Imagine this. You’re 12 years old. Half your family has been killed in conflict, and you find yourself in a country where every other word is a mystery. You’re desperate for stability — not least, school enrolment.  Read more

Revisiting Feynman on physical law

Revisiting Feynman on physical law

Physics, along with jurisprudence, is principally known for its laws. And physical laws are amazing: they can predict almost anything, from the effects of gravity to why the Sun shines. Explaining them is surprisingly hard, however. Anybody first encountering them in the classroom, typically as mathematical formulae applied to abstract problems, can attest to that. The result is countless hours spent by teachers, educators and popularisers of science devising ways to make physics (and its laws) ‘more interesting’.  Read more

Lunar balloonist

Artist's impression of Museum of the Moon as it will look in a park setting.

Multi-media artist and researcher Luke Jerram experiments with sound, movement and materials in a dazzling array of installations. He has created monumental blown-glass sculptures of bacteria and viruses (Glass Microbiology), the acoustic wind pavilion Aeolus, and Retinal Memory Volume, an interactive sculpture using the mechanisms of eyesight. Here Jerram talks about his new Museum of the Moon, a vast globe that will premier at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta in August.  Read more

Neuroscience-tinged kids’ app put to the test

Neuroscience-tinged kids' app put to the test

I have two criteria for a game app for my daughter: it must assuage my guilty conscience when I’m not able to play with her, and contain no ads. Ideally I would want her to learn calculus while we wait at the airport security line (or to discover that lingering boredom can lead to creativity and observation). Realistically, I at least want her to learn something useful.  Read more

Of mud pies, muscle and science education

Of mud pies, muscle and science education

What really prepares the young for a life in science? This week a joint Nature and Scientific American special on STEM education attacks that question on a number of fronts. In Books and Arts, design practitioners Stephen Kellert and Günter Beltzig argue that young children need the complexity of natural environments and intelligently designed playspaces to learn the joys of discovery, teamwork and materials nous necessary for a life at the bench.  Read more