Department for Education
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Minister launches virtual science pack for secondary school starters
Vernon Coaker, Schools Minister, has today launched an innovative new science resource for children starting secondary school.
‘Scimorph’, a 3D animated computer character who responds to interaction from users, will be available to every child at home and in the classroom.
Developed in consultation with the Science Learning Centres, Scimorph reflects core components of the Key Stage 2 science curriculum, including:
- The Gravity Zone. Children can learn about the effects of gravity on different planets.
- The Sound Zone. Children can see the effects and movement of sound waves.
- The Bug Zone. Children can learn about the spread and effects of germs and infections
The online resource also contains supporting materials for parents and teachers to help them guide children around the site and support their learning.
More children than ever before will now be able to access Scimorph at home following the launch of the Government’s Home Access programme, giving 270,000 of the poorest families a free laptop and broadband access.
Vernon Coaker, Schools Minister, said:
“We want to keep children engaged in science to ensure that more young people chose to study it post-16. Science is important, it tells us about the world we live in and it is the bedrock of our economy. It is crucial that we encourage the next generation of technologists, engineers and mathematicians.
“Science should also be fun. Scimorph is an innovative and exciting new way to keep children interested in science and, alongside traditional classroom experiments, it will help to bring the curriculum alive from an early age. By harnessing new technology we are giving every child access to a new science resource in the classroom and at home.”
Kate Bellingham, The National STEM Careers Coordinator and former presenter of Tomorrow’s World, said:
“Scimorph is great innovative new way to keep children learning about science. Encouraging young people to stay engaged and interested in science is crucial to our future economy, with more and more jobs requiring maths and science skills. Scimorph will help children understand from an early age that science is fun, exciting and full of surprises.”
Encouraging children to take up science GCSEs is also central to the new pupil and parents guarantees. Schools must ensure that every pupil is encouraged to study at least two science GCSEs and that pupils who would benefit from a more stretching science curriculum have the opportunity to study triple science (physics, chemistry and biology) by September 2014.
View pictures from the launch on our Flickr channel
You can access the ‘Scimorph’ website here: www.direct.gov.uk/scimorph