Science -- Your Future, Scotland's Future
SCI-FUN Primer Logo
About SCI-FUN Primer
One of the many Primer exhibits (this one on magnetism)
We are pleased to announce that, after months of hard work, SCI-FUN Primer – our new initiative for Primary schools – is underway.

The success of SCI-FUN’s activities in Secondary schools in Scotland is well known. With SCI-FUN established, and with requests for a similar activity for Primary schools, it was decided that a new venture should be embarked upon.

SCI-FUN Primer is based upon the original SCI-FUN concept of taking Science into schools, instead of schools arranging a visit to a fixed location. The idea of producing the exhibits on individual boards has also been retained, but these have been scaled down in size to suit the Primary classroom environment.

When SCI-FUN visits a Secondary school, the associated Primary schools will be given the opportunity to host a SCI-FUN Primer event for their Primary 7 classes. A member of the team and one of our volunteers will visit the Primary schools, spending an hour with each class. We hope that a member of the Science staff from the Secondary school will also be involved, strengthening links between the Primary and Secondary schools, and helping to give a ‘point of contact’ for the Primary teacher.

Each session involves: a short opening talk about Science and its importance in everyday life; a hands-on period; and a final short talk to encourage the children to consider studying Science when they go to Secondary school.

A Primer exhibit on anatomy
Around twenty brightly-coloured hands-on activities on small boards have been developed (described here), and are placed on desks within the classroom area. Each activity is shared by two pupils who work together to carry out the task in front of them. There are instruction sheets, which give the pupils some guidance, but the aim is to allow the pupils to discover for themselves. After a few minutes the pupils move on to the next activity until, time allowing, they complete all the activities. The exhibits cover Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Technology.

Pupils are encouraged to discuss between themselves what they are discovering and what they are learning from their experience. Each activity is accompanied by a bright explainer board with relevant tips and questions for the pupils to use towards their learning outcome. The class teacher and members of SCI-FUN team will be available to encourage the pupils to get the most from each activity without giving them too much direction.

A Primer exhibit on renewable energy sources
Comprehensive notes will be left with the class teacher along with contact details and information about where further information can be found. It is hoped that, with the Secondary school’s involvement, this will strengthen relationships, aid the transition between the schools, and ultimately to enhance the teaching of Science.

The aim of SCI-FUN Primer is to “prime” the children into thinking about how Science affects them in their everyday life, and to appreciate that Science is all around them. They will also be encouraged to think about studying Science at Secondary school. The class teacher will have an opportunity to see ways in which they can use everyday familiar things to study Science.

The initial pilot events have been very encouraging, and there has been great enthusiasm from both teachers and pupils. Some comments:

“The whole class enjoyed the experience and wished you could have stayed longer.”

“The children were surprised that there was science in toys.”

“I really thought it was really cool.”

“It was interesting; I learnt a lot.”

“Oh, quality man!”

“Great fun, even though it was educational!”

Booking SCI-FUN Primer

If you are interested in finding out more about SCI-FUN Primer, click here for a PDF file which includes information for schools who may wish to host the event, and a booking form. (The latter is also available as a Word document, for those who wish to complete it electronically and email it to us.)

If you would like to book a SCI-FUN Primer visit to your primary school, fill in the forms as described above, or contact us.

The display panels for the SCI-FUN Primer exhibit at the Science and the Parliament event (click each for larger)
Primer panel top left
Primer panel top right
Primer panel bottom left
Primer panel bottom right