Why one charity is sending free science kits to every school in the country

The Wellcome Trust is giving schools and FE colleges a free resources pack to support practical science lessons about food

Free science equipment is being sent to every school in the country this week as part of an initiative called called the Crunch.

The Wellcome Trust project aims to connect people with the science of food and to increase awareness of how what we eat affects our health and our planet.

The charitable foundation, which is dedicated to improving health, will deliver a resources kit to every school and further education college in the country. The kits will contain equipment to carry out practical experiments as well as resources to help plan lessons.

Experiments ‘on a shoestring’

Writing in 20 May edition of TES, Kulvinder Kaur Johal, assistant headteacher and science coordinator at Northbury Primary School in Essex, will explain that funding for science can be as little as 25p per pupil in primary schools. She also outlines several experiments that can be carried out “on a shoestring”, using everyday materials or kit that comes free in the Crunch packs.

“In the current educational climate, the focus on literacy and numeracy can make the rest of the curriculum feel very squeezed,” Johal says. “Teachers are feeling the pressure as the timetable seems to be swallowed up by these subjects at the cost of the rest of the curriculum. Science is a subject that can often get pushed to the bottom of the list. Yet scientific skills like investigation, inquisitiveness and analysing evidence are among the most valuable life skills a pupil can learn.”

Two different kits have been designed by the Wellcome Trust, one for 4- to 11-year-olds and one for 11-to 19-year-olds. A range of online material will be available to use alongside the kits, including videos and specially commissioned short plays to help pupils understand the relevance of the Crunch experiments.

Schools do not need to sign up or register to receive a kit. The materials will be sent automatically to science leaders and heads of biology before the end of May.

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