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07 April 2022

Ready-to-use Engaging Technology and Science Lessons

A number of ready-to-use, engaging technology and science lessons have been made available on the CAS website, created by Elizabeth Sparrow, former President of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. Elizabeth has worked in the IT industry for thirty years and held a number of senior roles including IT Director at the Home Office. Today she is a Court Assistant and Charity Trustee at the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and a member of the WaterAid Speaker Network. Elizabeth can be found on Twitter as @easparrow and on LinkedIn.

The lessons created by Elizabeth, which were originally made available on the TES website, are suitable for pupils in Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 4. They cover a range of topics from the world of computing, physics, and design, engineering and technology. Each lesson pack contains a set of fully illustrated teaching slides, teacher notes, activities and worksheets for a lesson lasting around one hour.

Available for KS2 are three topics:

  • computer people and their stories
  • earth and space
  • robots

Computer people and their stories (KS2) features a series of short, inspiring stories about people from the past and present world of computing, carefully chosen to illustrate the diversity of those who work in computing such as Dorothy Monekosso, Chieko Asakawa, Guido van Rossum, Mark E Dean and Tim Berners-Lee. It also describes various jobs carried out by computing professionals today including computer scientists, cyber security experts, software engineers, and video games makers. It encourages pupils to see the possibilities that a career in computing can offer them.

Earth and space (KS2) provides an interesting and engaging introduction to Earth and space, including the solar system, geocentric and heliocentric theories and how to tell the time using the Sun. Also featured are some of the astronauts who have travelled into space, the International Space Station and the current Mars missions.

Introducing robots (KS2) introduces pupils to robotics and covers the evolution of robots from ancient automatons to the latest Mars Rover. It describes the various components that make up robots today and looks ahead to future developments. The lesson also highlights the diversity of individuals working in robotics.

Available for KS3 and KS4 are six topics:

  • robots
  • mobile phones
  • satellites
  • the Internet
  • the World Wide Web
  • women in computing

Exploring Robots (KS3) introduces pupils to robotics, the components that make up robots today, concerns about the development of robotics and the Laws of Robotics written by Isaac Asimov, and gives many examples from ancient automatons to the latest Mars Rover. It also highlights the diversity of individuals working in robotics.

Exploring mobile phones (KS3/4) looks at the invention of the mobile phone; how mobile networks work and what we can do with our mobile phones today. The lesson also explores accessibility for mobile phone users with a disability or impairment.

Exploring satellites (KS3/4) looks at the development of the first satellites and the Space Race, the components that make up a satellite, how they orbit and how we use satellites today. It also features the International Space Station. The diversity of individuals working in the space sector is illustrated by featuring four people who work in this field.

Exploring the Internet (KS3/4) covers a range of topics including Internet infrastructure, protocols, who is in charge of the Internet and Internet security. Topics covered in the activities include undersea Internet cables, junk emails, modern satellite Internet developments (Starlink and OneWeb) and the interplanetary Internet.

Exploring the World Wide Web (KS3/4) begins at the point that the World Wide Web was invented and then explores its many elements, including hypertext, HTTP, HTML, web browsers, cookies, servers and search engines. Students then explore issues created by the digital divide and the importance of safe surfing.

Women in Computing (KS3/4) introduces a diverse range of women from the past and present in computing careers and helps challenge any misconceptions about those who choose this career path. Pupils are encouraged to think through for themselves the contribution that women can bring to computing and the reasons why less than 20% of the people working in computing in the UK today are women.

Computing at School are very pleased to be able to feature these Sparrow Lessons on the CAS website. The lessons can be downloaded here.