My son Jim (who is our chemistry technician) is currently writing a dissertation on microscale science in schools and has asked if you would be kind enough to complete this short 5 minute questionnaire

It does not matter if you have never done any microscale work or indeed have never even heard of it - everyone's input would be very welcome. If anyone would like to pass this on to their science department colleagues too, please feel free to do so.  Many thanks in advance!

Mrs Marian Bailey
Senior Science Technician
Surbiton High School

Parliament logoOn 14th September, the House of Commons Select Committee published a report into "Practical experiments in science lessons and science field trips. On 15th November, the Government and also Ofqual responded to the report. The report focused on what schools need to do, with encouragement from the Government , to overcome the perceived and real barriers to providing high quality practicals, fieldwork and field trips as part of the science education they deliver. The Governments has made several recommendation. However, the most important of these as far as our profession is concerned is as follows;
  • There was no evidence that health and safety legislation itself prevented this (safe science and field trips) from happening
  • The Government should work to establish a central repository or facility (or  network of such facilities with a common interface) which will contain detail guidance on standard experiments. This facility should provide access, for member schools to any CLEAPSS provided health and safety guidance for those experiments
  • Trainee teachers should be given the opportunity to actually take part in a field trip before acquiring qualified teacher status. Teachers would also be expected to keep their science classroom skills up to date.
  • The Government reiterates that a former committee has made for action to be taken to "address the appalling pay and conditions of science technicians and to create a career structure that will attract skilled and dedicated people to work as technicians." The Government recognizes and fully appreciates the important and valuable contribution that science technicians make in school. They understand that head teachers and school governors value the role of support staff and that those staff can have a very big impact in science teaching

For Open evenings, or indeed anytime througout the year, teachers maybe Looking for some good demo activities? Many turn to Youtube for inspiration. While ideas maybe generated, Youtube videos can be hazardous to setup and run if the teacher has not carried out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment beforehand. However, CLEAPSS have taken care of this problem. Have a look at their Supplementary Risk Assessments Lots of fun & easy demos.

Required as soon as possible : Grade F (£17,802 - £19,621 pro rata. (£9.23 - £10.17 per hour))
37 hours per week, 40 weeks per year (term time +2)

Malmesbury School is a specialist school for science, the performing arts, maths and ICT. They are looking for a qualified and skilled science technician to work in their successful science faculty. 
The school has 10 science laboratories, served by two prep rooms and three technicians.  Science is a popular subject at this school which results in large sixth form groups.  Preference will be given to candidates with particular skills in chemistry including the preparation of A level practicals.

Applications should be submitted using the application form available on the school's website and be submitted as soon as possible.  The closing date is noon on the 16th November 2011.  

Looking for a job? Then check out the CLEAPSS Job service here...

The Christmas Advent Calendar is a free colourful interactive Advent Calendar provided by "Wishtrac" for you to use in December.

Over 11,000 classes have downloaded the Advent Calendar, and you are welcome to download it for class use or otherwise in your school. This year they have added music to the Advent Calendar. There are options allow you to select between no music, quiet tunes or Christmas music.

When you open the advent calendar each day, not only will you see delightful, full-screen Christmas images on your computer, but you can also find out about Christmas traditions, such as why we have Christmas trees, or why we pull crackers at Christmas time! If the Advent Calendar is shared between the class, the software will even record the name of the child (or children) who opens the advent calendar each day. The Advent Calendar also contains links to Religious festivals of other faiths during December, such as Bodhi Day or Hannukah.

Click here to download or get more information about the FREE Christmas advent calendar

Check out some of the best technical useful tips for technicians working in the prep room from colleagues just like you! Do you know of any better suggestions than the ones given below or perhaps have other great technical tips that you want to share with the community. Check out our Technicians Tips area now...

Faster than the speed of lightScientists who announced that sub-atomic particles might be able to travel faster than light are to rerun their experiment in a different way.  Read more....
This will address criticisms and allow the physicists to shore up their analysis as much as possible before submitting it for publication. Dr Sergio Bertolucci said it was vital not to "fool around" given the staggering implications of the result. [Courtesy: BBC NEWS SCI/ENVIRONMENT]

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has proposed that employers should be allowed to talk openly with older workers about performance and retirement without fear of being accused of age discrimination.
Clegg was visiting a firm in Shoreditch this week when he made the comments. He said: "Employers tell us they're afraid to have frank discussions with staff ... for fear of those exchanges being used against them unfairly, should a dispute end up at tribunal....

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