World Teach In 2014 is billed as a "pop-up science school for primary teachers". The weekend includes assemblies with leading science experts; classes with teachers demonstrating their best science lessons and sharing resources; and playtimes with amazing science comedians, kitchen scientists and even buskers.
The line-up of presenters is healthy reassurance to those concerned about the gender imbalance in students taking up the sciences. It's an extremely well balanced selection, with an impressive selection of women scientists and educators at its core.
They range from Professor Maggie Dallman through Dr Anna Zecharia, director of grassroots science organisation ScienceGrrl, to SEN teacher, ‘GlamChem blogger’ and ambassador for STEMNET Amy King (pictured above). She encourages young women and disadvantaged young men into science and says: "Young minds have a sense of imagination and wonder, and studying science can give children the tools they need to see their wonders come alive."
The most important job in our society – 'it has to be teaching'
You get the measure of how Imperial College London views the importance of primary science from the remarks Professor Robert Winston made about its involvement in Reach Out CPD. “If you’re going to single out the most important job in our society, it has to be teaching. Whenever I stand in front of a primary school class it’s a bit terrifying because they will ask the most difficult questions about science.
"It’s often harder to teach an 8-year-old than an 18-year-old, but the rewards are massive because of the enthusiasm you gain. If we want a better society, we have to invest in these younger children.
"Primary science isn’t just about nurturing the scientists of the future. It’s about ensuring every child develops a natural curiosity about the world around them and starts to think analytically about situations. Why should I eat this food or that food? Why is this product better than that? Why should I vote for this energy policy? Science is behind so many of today’s decisions, let alone tomorrow’s."