Issue 15


Welcome to the fifteenth issue of Science in School

Have you ever wondered who is behindScience in School? We would like to present our publisher, EIROforum: a collaboration between seven European inter-governmental scientific research organisations.Image courtesy of EMBL PhotolabWatching it grow: developing a digital embryo

Back in the staffroom

The winners of the Science in School writing competition

Eleanor Hayes introduces the winners of the Science in School writing competition.

Cutting-edge science

EIROforum: introducing the publisher of Science in School

Watching it grow: developing a digital embryo

What if you could witness the development of a new life, taking your time to study every detail, every single cell, from every angle, moment by moment? Sonia Furtado talks to the scientists who made this possible by creating a digital zebrafish embryo.

Programmable metallisation cells: the race for miniaturisation

Gabriel Cuello from the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble, France, introduces a new type of digital memory that may revolutionise our USB sticks.

Event reports

Science on Stage: gathering momentum

Many of the national Science on Stage organisations are already beginning to select which teachers from their countries will attend the European teaching festival in 2011. Eleanor Hayes reports on the Austrian and Belgian events.


Exploring out-of-body experiences: interview with Henrik Ehrsson

We’ve all sometimes felt ‘beside ourselves’, but have you ever felt that you were actually outside yourself – looking at yourself from outside your own body? Marta Paterlini talked to Henrik Ehrsson, a scientist studying this phenomenon.


Nanoscale: Visualizing an Invisible World, By Kenneth S Deffeyes (author) & Stephen E Deffeyes (illustrator)

Nanoscale: Visualizing an Invisible World is a beautifully produced book, filled with engaging text and attractive illustrations, which provides a captivating tour of the ‘invisible’ world of the nanoscale.

Why the Lion Grew its Mane: a Miscellany of Recent Scientific Discoveries from Astronomy to Zoology, By Lewis Smith

The scope of Why the Lion Grew its Mane: A Miscellany of Recent Scientific Discoveries from Astronomy to Zoology, as stated by the author, is to offer a “fascinating collection of recent discoveries that overturn popular conceptions, enter realms that were previously the preserve of science fiction, or simply add to the sum of human knowledge”.

The Periodic Table: its Story and Significance, By Eric R Scerri

Professor Eric Scerri is a leading philosopher of science who specialises in the history and philosophy of the periodic table.

Science and society

Homo sapiens – an endangered species?

This year has been proclaimed the International Year of Biodiversity. During 2010, governments will seek to reach agreement on a new biodiversity target, to be decided at the Nagoya summit in October. Will this enable us to save not only whales and tigers, but also our own species? Marlene Rau investigates.

Science education projects

Getting down to Earth: ideas for the earth science classroom

Are you looking for ideas to spice up your earth science class? Why not try out one of the rich collection of activities developed by Chris King, Elizabeth Devon and Peter Kennett from Earth Learning Idea.

Science topics

The ALMA Observatory: the sky is only one step away

Claudia Mignone and Douglas Pierce-Price take us on a trip to the Chilean Andes, to the site of ALMA, the world’s largest radio astronomy facility, which is set to discover the secrets of our cosmic origins.

Deadly proteins: prions

Since the epidemic of ‘mad cow disease’ in the 1980s and 90s, and the emergence of its human equivalent, variant Creutzfeld-Jacob disease, there has been a great deal of research into prions, the causative agents. Mico Tatalovic reviews the current state of knowledge.

Combating earthquakes: designing and testing anti-seismic buildings

Earthquakes can be devastating. Is there anything we can do to resist them? Francesco Marazzi and Daniel Tirelli explain how earthquake-proof buildings are designed and tested.

Scientist profiles

Sowing the seeds of science: Helke Hillebrand

Helke Hillebrand has always been fascinated by science, but on the back of a career in plant biology, her urge to work more closely with people helped her decide to go into tending young minds instead of new shoots. Vienna Leigh reports.

Teacher profiles

A chemical bond: Nick Barker, linking schools and universities in the UK

Lucy Patterson spoke to Nick Barker, a former secondary-school chemistry teacher and head of year who, after 12 years in the classroom, landed a dream job as a Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Teacher Fellow.

Teaching activities

Using news in the science classroom

Fernanda Veneu-Lumb and Marco Costa show how news reports – even inaccurate ones – can be used in the science classroom.

GIS: analysing the world in 3D

Earthquakes, global climate or the placement of wind farms – with the help of geographic information systems, these can all be investigated dynamically in the classroom. Joseph Kerski describes how.


Published and funded by EIROforum