Issue 12

Editorials

Welcome to the twelfth issue of Science in School

In this issue’s feature article, Leroy Hood, the ‘father of systems biology’ describes his commitment to encouraging concept-driven, hands-on science teaching. He explains how he introduced this approach across schools in Seattle – and why his achievements in science may be due to his small-town upbringing.

Back in the staffroom

The Beagle

In 2009, the world celebrates the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Emmanuel Reynaud revisits the story of the vessel aboard which the foundations for Darwin’s publication were laid.

Cutting-edge science

Painting life green: GFP

From jellyfish to arsenic detectors via a Nobel Prize: Sonia Furtado reports on the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, and interviews scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, about its applications.

Plasma balls: creating the 4th state of matter with microwaves

Halina Stanley describes how two Israeli scientists investigated plasma balls and in the process found a potentially useful way to create nanoparticles.

Event reports

Science on Stage: recent activities

Sonia Furtado and Marlene Rau report on the news from the national Science on Stage representatives.

Features

New approaches to old systems: interview with Leroy Hood

Leroy Hood talks to Marlene Rau, Anna-Lynn Wegener and Sonia Furtado about his long-standing commitment to innovative science teaching, and how he came to be known as the father of systems biology.

Reviews

Whynotchemeng.com website, By the Institution of Chemical Engineers, UK

Whynotchemeng.com is an excellent website designed for students who are considering a career in chemical or biochemical engineering. The website has two particular strengths: careers information, and a resource of practical demonstrations designed to inspire potential young physical scientists and chemical engineers.

Gene ABC website, By the Swiss National Science Foundation

DNA, also known as the molecule of life, has fascinated scientists since its discovery over half a century ago.

Science education projects

A classroom in space

Lucy Patterson spoke to Greek science teacher Theodoros Pierratos, who recently won the chance to bring physics to life for his students in a truly extraordinary way with the help of the European Space Agency.

Radioactivity in the classroom

Luis Peralta, professor at the University of Lisbon’s physics department, and Carmen Oliveira, physics and chemistry teacher at Casquilhos High School in Barreiro near Lisbon, describe the ‘Environmental radiation’ project, in which students become actively and enthusiastically involved in science through easy and inexpensive experiments that highlight the thrilling world of invisible particles.

Science topics

Hydrocarbons: a fossil but not (yet) extinct

Continuing our energy series, Menno van Dijk introduces us to the past, present and future of hydrocarbons – still the most common of all fuels.

Scientist profiles

The science of preserving art

As Head Conservator at the National Trust, Katy Lithgow’s education turned her into ‘more an arts person’ than a scientist – but her work has shown how the two can be inextricably linked. Vienna Leigh finds out how.

Teacher profiles

Teaching on the move

Jeanne Keweloh is a substitute teacher, going wherever she is needed to share her passion for science. She tells Sonia Furtado about the ups and downs of teaching on the move, and shares some of her strategies.

Teaching activities

Microwave experiments at school

Halina Stanley introduces a number of spectacular classroom experiments using microwaves.

Looking to the heavens: climate change experiments

In the second of two articles, Dudley Shallcross, Tim Harrison, Steve Henshaw and Linda Sellou offer chemistry and physics experiments to harness the Sun’s energy and measure carbon dioxide levels.

Physics: a black box?

Ľudmila Onderová from PJ Šafárik University, Košice, Slovakia, introduces us to the use of black boxes in the physics classroom.

Fishing for genes: DNA microarrays in the classroom

Anastasios Koutsos, Alexandra Manaia, and Julia Willingale-Theune bring a sophisticated molecular biology technique into the classroom.