book reports for middle school

Gratnells is delighted that Tariq Phillips will be joining us next month to head up our UK operation. There are few people with such a huge experience of our sector and I am grateful he has chosen Gratnells as his next port of call. Our best wishes go out to his former parish, Kit for Kids, and their new management structure. Martin Wells, who many of you will have known as their Middle East honcho has become their MD and I wish them the best.

 

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Gratnells sponsors School Science Technician survey

We’re delighted to sponsor the UK School Science Technician survey conducted by PrepRoom.org

School Science Technicians are the unsung heroes of many a school science department and over the years their role has changed considerably. Preproom.org set out to survey Technicians in order to raise awareness of the role of a School Science Technician among school leaders, teachers and local and national government. The aim of the survey was to gauge opinion and gather job related data about the profession. The survery was completed by over 1,300 technicians currently working in UK school science departments.

At Gratnells we recognise the invaluable contribution that Science Technicians make to the smooth running and effectiveness of Science education in UK and overseas schools and we have been actively advocating the cause of technicians since we launched our annual Science Technician of the Year Award.

The results show that while there are many challenges to being a Technican today, not least with issues of pay, training and recognition, the vast majority enjoy their jobs. The full report can be read and downloaded below. Watch out on twitter for the hashtag #techognition

 

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A Gratnells Christmas tree

Today we decided to see if you could build a reasonable Christmas tree out of Gratnells trays.  After a few failed starts and enlisting the help of our resident consulting engineer we managed to build something resembling a tree from green Jumbo F3 trays.  With some tinsel and baubles you’d hardly know it wasn’t plucked from a forest!  Now it has pride of place outside our Director’s box in the factory. Pictures show me and Marketing Director Richard Picking next to the tree and Marketing Coordinator Emily adding some final touches.

 

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Winners of Gratnells Science Technician Award

We’re delighted to announce the winners of this Year’s Gratnells Science Technician of the Year Award. Third place goes to Julian Morel from Five Islands School, Isles of Scilly. Second place goes to Mark Robinson from St Peter’s, York. And the WINNER is Dr Elizabeth Carter of Warwick School, surrey. Congratulations to all!

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So who will be the winner?

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So who is going to be the brand new winner of the Gratnells Science Technician of the Year?  Well we can’t say yet as it is being officially announced at the ASE Science Technicians Conference in York tomorrow.  Check back here to find out!

A smashing time at the ASE Conference

Igniting the imagination

Gratnells was delighted to sponsor CBBC’s Fran Scott for a lively hour-long CPD presentation on the final day of the annual ASE (Association for Science Education) Conference held at Reading University on 10th January. Speaking to a capacity audience, Fran ‘ignited the imagination’ of over a hundred science teachers who had come along to translate her style of making science more engaging to students within the classroom setting.

A smashing time was had by all!
A smashing time was had by all!

After the presentation, Pete Robinson, immediate past Chair of the ASE said of Gratnells sponsorship of the event: “It is pleasing that there are companies like Gratnells … We’re looking for opportunities to work in partnership with our corporate partners such as Gratnells. And Gratnells went off and did this virtually completely on their own – with our support – and they came to us with the idea. And how lovely, what a great way to engage people with science teaching and learning. A really fantastic story, and what was so great about the story, was not the we got a ‘science show’ – we can go anywhere to get a science show – we got the thinking behind that science show.”

You will be able to see the full video on the Gratnells website in the next two weeks. You can also learn more about Fran Scott and her new roadshow ‘#Error404’ at: www.greatscottscienceshows.co.uk

 

 

A novel use for a shallow tray!

I was delighted to see this picture of a Gratnells F1 Shallow Tray being put to good use at one of our customer’s Christmas Party.  LeXsolar in Dresden who supply renewable energy experiment sets were happy to use a tray to serve up their party food. Always nice to see a bit of lateral thinking!

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A very Happy Christmas!

This year’s Gratnells Christmas card has our office team rendered beautiful through the medium of cartoon.  I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for a successful year in 2015.

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Our office is closed from 24th December through to Monday 5th January.

BBC’s Fran Scott to deliver the Gratnells keynote speech at the ASE annual conference

We’re delighted that we have managed to book BBC Science presenter Fran Scott to attend the ASE Annual Conference in January and present the Gratnells Keynote Speech on the Saturday of the Conference.

After completing her MSci in Neuroscience, Fran worked at the Science Museum in London where she discovered that enthusing young people about science was much more fun than sitting in a lab. She has since forged a successful career as a ‘science translator’ touring her live shows and appearing in several series for CBBC, BBC Learning and BBC Worldwide. As with all her work, expect an exciting, inspiring and colourful presentation!

Fran’s presentation is titled: Igniting the Imagination. In television you can have just 3 minutes of screen time to capture viewers’ imagination.  Having worked in children’s science TV for many years, Fran knows just how to do this, especially when it comes to Science. Here, she’ll share her top tips on making Science entertaining, whilst still remaining true to the subject, a skill that’s easily transferable back to the classroom.

We will also be showcasing our latest products. The recently-launched SmartCase is already proving a winner and is perfect for both primary and secondary school science kits. (Also for field work where datalogging materials and equipment are needed.) The SmartCase has been designed to fit into the same runners used on all Gratnells frames and trolleys. Also the new StopSafe runners will be unveiled. Drop by and take a look!

 

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The Association for Science Education Annual Conference 2015 runs from Wednesday 7 January  to Saturday 10 January at the University of Reading

Exceptional ideas and resources for science teaching at the flagship, four-day conference from ASE. Over 300 sessions dedicated to science education across all subject areas and phases, offering hands-on activities for the classroom and inspiring talks from the forefront of scientific research. Whatever stage you are at in your career, be inspired by world-class ideas for your professional development, with practical learning, sharing best practice and take-home resources. Certified CPD. Book now at www.ase.org.uk/conferences/annual-conference/

Gratnells’ sponsored keynote presentation will be Saturday 10th January @ 11.15am

 

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SmartCase Raspberry Pi sets in action

I was interested to read about a ‘Raspberry Jam’ in Southend last weekend. The event featured the recent Raspberry Pi kits made by ExploreStem using the Gratnells SmartCase. In the pictures you can clearly see the SmartCase kits being used by each visitor as they learned the basics of programming MineCraft using a Raspberry Pi kit.  These kits are used to demonstrate Raspberry Pi and introduce people to the beginning of coding. Each SmartCase contains a complete Raspberry kit including keyboard.  Also from the pictures they seem to double up as a useful monitor stand when empty. Who’d have thought!

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You can read in full about the Raspberry Jam event at lovesouthend.co.uk