Issue 7


Welcome to the seventh issue of Science in School

In our feature article, Vienna Leigh interviews Professor Lewis Wolpert, who leads a research group on the development of the embryo and is active in science communication. He shares with us his controversial ideas about belief, science education and much more. Whether you agree with him or not, why not leave your comments on our website?

Cutting-edge science

Mercury: a poisonous solution

Sigrid Griet Eeckhout from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France, investigates what determines the toxicity of mercury compounds – and how X-ray light is helping to solve the mystery.

Fighting an old enemy: tuberculosis

Tuberculosis isn’t something Europeans normally worry about. But the disease is re-emerging and is resistant to many of our drugs. Claire Ainsworth describes how Matthias Wilmanns and his team are trying to hold the disease back.

The great migration

Why are cells like wildebeest? Laura Spinney investigates the migration of cells and the formation of organs, using the tiny and transparent zebrafish.


Interview with Lewis Wolpert

Professor Lewis Wolpert discusses his controversial ideas about belief, science education and much more with Vienna Leigh from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.

Resources on the web

Free online teaching materials

It can be difficult and time consuming to develop materials for really good science lessons. Many scientific research organisations, however, provide teaching resources, often designed together with teachers. Researchers provide scientific expertise and the teachers bring years of experience in the classroom.

These materials include pictures and videos as well as ideas for scientific experiments in the classroom. Some institutes even develop computer games for an interactive learning process. Sabrina Graß from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory reviews some online materials to help you to enliven your lessons and excite students about science.


Kitchen Chemistry, By Ted Lister and Heston Blumenthal

Why do some people find that their urine smells horribly after eating asparagus? Should green beans be cooked with the lid on or off? How hot are chilli peppers? What affects the colour and texture of cooked vegetables? These are a few of the questions that the Kitchen Chemistry book and CD-ROM aim to answer with a range of experiments and other activities.

Clockwork Genes: Discoveries in Biological Time and Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads

These two DVD sets, produced by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as part of its Holiday Lectures on Science programme, address two highly interesting subjects which directly or indirectly affect our everyday lives: biological clocks and evolution.

Darwin’s ‘The Origin of Species’, By Janet Browne

This short book describes the development of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species and examines its wider impact.

Science education projects

Learning through research: a Serbian tradition

Srdjan Verbic tells the story of the Petnica Science Center, which brings enthusiastic students (and teachers) from across Europe to a village in Serbia, where together they discover the joy and fascination of science.

Students Catch a Star: researching and observing a solar eclipse

Students Jan Měšťan and Jan Kotek and teacher Marek Tyle from the Gymnázium Písek in the Czech Republic won the 2007 Catch a Star competition. Sai Pathmanathan describes their prize-winning project.

Classroom@Sea: bringing real marine science into the classroom

Bringing marine science into the classroom can be challenging work for teachers. So why not take the classroom – and the teachers – to sea? Vikki Gunn’s Classroom@Sea project does just that.

Science topics

What do we know about climate? The evidence for climate change

In the first of two articles, climate researcher Rasmus Benestad from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute examines the evidence for climate change.

Fusion in the Universe: gamma-ray bursts

Henri Boffin from ESOw1 in Garching, Germany, follows the mystery of gamma-ray bursts from their first discovery to the most recent research on these dramatic astronomical explosions.

Scientist profiles

Chemistry: a career catalyst

Gemma Guilera tells Montserrat Capellas about the joys of her rollercoaster approach to life. Fearlessly, she has started a new life more than once, making her home in very different European cities in the pursuit of a scientific career. Today, she faces a new challenge: motherhood.

Teacher profiles

Teaching in the Ukraine: Halyna Yagenska

Halyna Yagenska tells Sai Pathmanathan about teaching in the Ukraine.

Teaching activities

What happens next? A teaching strategy to get students of all ages talking

David Featonby, from the UK, presents some simple demonstrations to get your students thinking about scientific principles.

Primary circuses of experiments

Catch them young! Alex Griffin, Tim Harrison and Dudley Shallcross from the University of Bristol, UK, show how important it is to interest young children in science – and how much fun it can be!


Published and funded by EIROforum