Induction days are an important part of the academic timetable for science teachers. They provide an opportunity for science teachers to weigh up the scientific ability of prospective students (and to map it to teacher assessed levels if these have been provided in advance). Our new intake recently spent the morning with us and the ensuing practical work gave me a very good indication of their science skills. I saw students manipulating equipment, working in new groups, recording results and interpreting their results.
Induction days are also a good opportunity to excite students about science and to have them looking forward to starting science lessons in September.
My favourite induction activity involves using red cabbage juice as an indicator to classify unknown chemicals as acid, alkaline or neutral. We also made fridge magnets (laminating student drawings and sticking magnetic tape on the back) which gave me a good idea of each student’s skill with a pencil (handy in a special school!).
Red cabbage indicator.