Communicating STEM for Life Sciences

Module code: 899S3
Level 6
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Portfolio, Presentation

This module aims to develop the skills and understanding required for explaining scientific concepts to a range of audiences, with a particular focus on school aged pupils (5-18). This module has been designed to encourage more Life Sciences undergraduates to think about a career in teaching following their University studies. It has received funding from the NCTL and is viewed by the NCTL as a good way to bridge the gap between University and a profession in teaching.

The module begins with an exploration of the features, and types of scientific explanations. This is then applied to the types of learner from primary and secondary school and to those who have special needs. The skills of good scientific explanations are then developed through engaging with common misconceptions, progression of scientific ideas and those concepts that are particularly troublesome to grasp. This will be underpinned by engaging with two key learning theories.

Module learning outcomes

  • Apply knowledge and understanding of how concepts in a STEM subject can be communicated to a specific audience.
  • Draw upon a range of sources to inform the development of effective explanations in science education.
  • Demonstrate ability to critically evaluate learning theories and teaching models used in explaining STEM to a specific audience.
  • Apply problem solving skills to develop explanations or teaching models that challenge a specific misconception.