School Workshops

As part of your visit to the Science Oxford Centre, you can book one of our workshops, which are designed to engage children of all ages with creative and challenging practical science. They provide opportunities for discussion and higher order thinking and enable children to progress their understanding of scientific concepts as well as to develop their enquiry and problem-solving skills. Most of the workshops are run in the Centre but from September 2021, you can now select one of our new Pond Dipping Workshops outdoors too.

These workshop sessions are based on the Thinking, Doing, Talking Science approach, developed by Science Oxford and Oxford Brookes University, and will provide accessible ideas for teachers to adapt for their own classroom use. Any recording done by the children during the workshops will be made available to teachers so evidence of progression in their learning can be documented.

Young Explorers

Early Years and Years 1-2

This ‘free flow’ workshop allows children to explore a range of activities at their own pace in a safe environment. Activities include developing early computing skills with our ‘BeeBots’, building bridges for the Billy Goats Gruff, and playing with our sensory bottles. Each activity supports the development of specific scientific skills such as sorting, testing, grouping and observing while allowing children to make choices and spend time investigating what interests them.

Topple, Bump and Roll

Years 2-6

This workshop is designed to develop children’s creative and problem solving skills as they apply their understanding of forces to a Design and Technology challenge. Children will work in pairs to build and test their own chain reaction (or Rube Goldberg Machine) using simple materials. Teachers may video their results as evidence of what they have achieved and inspiration for back in the classroom or at home.

Changing Materials

Years 3-4

This workshop is designed to develop children’s understanding of states of matter and changes of state, and their ability to make careful observations and use them to answer questions and consider ideas. They will learn how to use simple equipment to safely heat different materials with a small flame and will manage their own experiments and focussed recording.

Circuit Detectives

Years 3-4

This workshop is designed to consolidate children’s understanding of electrical concepts as they work like electricians to identify different faults in a set of circuits and apply their problem solving skills to fix them. The children will work in pairs in a way that suits them and will record their findings as they progress through the challenges.

Puzzle Challenge

Years 3-6

This workshop provides children with a series of intriguing maths games and puzzles which will challenge them to think logically and experiment with numbers, patterns, shapes and angles. Children will be able to access the challenges at their own level and in a free-flow format. All of the activities can be replicated back at school so that children can investigate the ideas further.

Think the Link

Years 3–6
In this workshop, children will be challenged to spot patterns and similarities between a variety of rocks and materials, to design a recipe to make the ‘best’ snow and to investigate which is the strongest magnet. Based on the Thinking, Doing, Talking Science approach to science learning, this session uses innovative ways to enable children to discuss, observe and think carefully about a range of curriculum-linked science topics. It will provide teachers with new techniques to use across the primary science curriculum. Available from September 2021.

Pond Dipping Workshops

Early years & Years 1–2; Years 3–4; Years 5–6
For more information on our pond dipping workshops for different age groups, see the outdoors section for full details. These workshops are available from September 2021.

Data Logger Discovery

Years 5-6

This workshop is designed to enable children to design and complete an investigation, linked to light, using a data logger. Children will work in pairs and will use the data loggers to record their findings and interpret their results. For schools with no data loggers there may be an opportunity to borrow one for a couple of weeks immediately post-visit.

Exploring Evolution

Years 5-6

This workshop is designed to develop children’s understanding of variation, natural selection (‘survival of the fittest’) and the evolution of populations over time. Different interactive games and simulations will allow children to deepen their understanding of these key ideas and how they relate to each other.

Booking Open

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