Issue 16


Welcome to the sixteenth issue of Science in School

Progress in science can be sporadic. For nearly 40 years, no human has visited the Moon, but interest in lunar exploration is now growing, as Adam Baker reports.

Cutting-edge science

Space exploration: the return to the Moon

Have you ever looked up at the Moon in a clear night sky and wondered about the very few people who have walked on its surface? What did we learn, and what are we still unsure about? When might humans return to the Moon? Adam Baker investigates.

Hot stuff in the deep sea

How do fossils form around hydrothermal vents? Crispin Little describes how he and his team found out – by making their own fossils.

Event reports

Science on Stage: sharing teaching ideas across Europe

Originally, Science on Stage was the brainchild of EIROforumw1, the publisher of Science in School. Since then, the commitment of the national organisers has enabled this network of local, national and international events for teachers to grow and grow. Eleanor Hayes reviews some of the latest activities.


Life savers in the sky: flying doctors

Anne Weaver, lead clinician for London’s Air Ambulance, tells Marie Mangan about her job: saving lives.


Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution, By Nick Lane

Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution gives a detailed account of the ten events that author Nick Lane considers to be the most important in establishing the direction that evolution has taken ever since the beginning of life on Earth.

Science education projects

LeSa21: primary-school science activities

Teaching science in primary school can be challenging. Astrid Kaiser and Marlene Rau describe a rich source of online materials in three languages – and highlight some activities about oil and water.

Science topics

Solar cars: the future of road transport?

Ever dreamed of a car that needed no fuel and produced no pollution? Mico Tatalovic investigates the solar car.

Evaluating a medical treatment

Sarah Garner and Rachel Thomas consider why well-designed and properly analysed experiments are so important when testing how effective a medical treatment is.

Cold seeps: marine ecosystems based on hydrocarbons

David Fischer takes us on a trip to the bottom of the sea to learn about cold seeps – their ecosystems, potential fuels, and possible involvement in global warming.

Scientist profiles

Jean-Luc Solandt: diving into marine conservation

Marine biologist Jean-Luc Solandt tells Karin Ranero Celius about his commitment to study and preserve one of the world’s biggest treasures: the ocean.

Spotlight on education

Sven-Olof Holmgren: science education is more complex than particle physics

Do you think particle physics is a complex subject? Having moved from basic research to science education, Sven-Olof Holmgren would disagree. He tells Lucy Patterson and Marlene Rau about the challenges of this shift, and about a major reform in the Swedish education system.

Teacher profiles

The physics of inspiration: teaching in Austria

Gyro-cars, gymnastic cats and a slow-motion slap in the face. Lucy Patterson spoke to Rudolf Ziegelbecker, an Austrian physics teacher, about how to catch the imagination of even the most anti-physics students.

Teaching activities

Using cutting-edge science within the curriculum: balancing body weight

Friedlinde Krotscheck describes how she used a cutting-edge science article from Science in School as the main focus of a teaching unit on the human body.

Microscale chemistry: experiments for schools

Elias Kalogirou and Eleni Nicas introduce a selection of very small-scale chemistry experiments for school.

Car racing in the physics classroom

Physical science teacher Nicolas Poynter wanted his students not only to learn but also to think for themselves. His solution: a competition to build the fastest car!

Can you spot a cancer mutation?

How does cancer develop, and how can geneticists tell that a cell is cancerous? This teaching activity developed by the Communication and Public Engagement team from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK, answers these and other related questions.