Technician Tips for Science and Design Technology
CLEAPSS tips for science and DT departments
Here are some tips, directly from science advisory service CLEAPSS, for your school to consider in science and design technology departments.
Dr Zoe Schnepp and Rachel Chataway-Green, School of Chemistry, University of Birmingham have created a modified syringe so that visually impaired users can measure out volumes of liquid with more ease. They received very positive feedback from students, who said they appreciated being able to measure out volumes independently.
It works by having a notch cut into the plunger of the syringe which helps the user dispense the correct amount of liquid. Bumpons are stuck to the syringe barrel and used to indicate the volume of liquid that the modified syringe can dispense.
For full details on how to adapt the syringe, please have a look at Technician Tip TT018, Modified syringe for use by visually impaired students.
Jan Davies, Science Technician, University Academy Long Sutton, Lincs, has created a way of testing the thermal conducitivity of metal rods. This method is less messy than using Vaseline and drawing pins, and saves aluminium rods from being accidentally melted on a Bunsen burner.
It works by firstly dipping the ends of the metal rods into thermocromic paint (one that turns colourless on heating), allowed to dry and then coated with clear nail varnish. The rods of then placed through holes in a piece of corrugated plastic and then into a beaker of boiled water.
Full details can be found in Technician Tip TT019, Conductivity of metal rods.
Some repurposing tips:
Luke Hanson lead science technician, Thomas Rotherham College, South Yorkshire found that if a starch solution is required then some soluble starchbased packing material can be used if it is dissolved in water. Parcels and packages often contain this type of packaging rather than polystyrene shapes.
Matthew Tecklenberg, science technician, Chantry Academy, Ipswich repurposed transparent protective screens, previously used for COVID-19, into foldable safety screens. These are free-standing and stable, and can be folded up when in storage.
What is CLEAPSS?
CLEAPSS, or Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Services, is an advisory service providing support in science and technology for local authorities and their schools.
- Information for science teachers and technicians on all aspects of secondary science, including Bulletins, HazCards, Practical Procedures etc;
- Information for primary teachers of science, technology, art and design, including teaching ideas, doing things safely, primary competition and leadership guidance; and
- Information for teachers and managers of resistant materials, textiles, food, art and design and construction. Includes project ideas, model risk assessments, FutureMinds newsletter and management guidance.
Handsam highly recommends schools and academies to get a membership with CLEAPSS as the specialised information and resources they provide is extremely valuable, especially for the health and safety of pupils, staff and visitors.