It is a tool for schools and teachers who are interested to encourage parents and families to get involved.

Science4Families is for anyone working in an education setting including preschool, nursery and primary school setting. It may also be useful for groups working with primary aged children, e.g. the Guiding and Scouting groups - Rainbows, Brownies, Beavers etc.

  • To inspire and engage children, their families and you!
  • To raise the profile of science with families and within the school.
  • To encourage families to talk with their children about science learning.
  • To raise the science capital in the community around you school.

The Science4Families site gives details of many family science learning opportunities with a detailed outline of each. Each opportunity has learning outcomes, age and curriculum links as well as guidance including how to do set up and do the activities.

The learning opportunities outlined could be used or adapted for any time of the year. A great time to get started would be National Science & Engineering Week in March if not before!

The learning opportunities have been organised according to the level of parental engagement moving from:

  • Step 1: Taking Root activities
  • In these, families join in with a school-initiated activity. The parents have no key role in planning or preparing the activity.
  • Step 2: Growing Tall activities
    In these, families are involved in one or more stages of the preparation or delivery of the activity.
  • Step 3: Reaching High activities
  • In these, families are involved in designing, creating, planning and delivering the activities

The activities can be adapted to meet the needs of the school or curriculum. For example a ‘science picnic’ focused on learning about plants could be adapted to other areas of the curriculum, such as materials or forces.

We are always excited to hear about family science learning opportunities. If you have any ideas that you would like to share please contact us on fascinate@manchester.ac.uk including ‘Science4Families’ in the subject line.

This website is the work of a group of schools who collaborated with The University of Manchester’s Science & Engineering Education Research and Innovation Hub. The cluster of primary teachers were from six schools in Stockport and Manchester

Louise Bousfield and Matt Willis - Bradshaw Hall Primary School, Stockport

Sarah Dakin – Vernon Park Primary School, Stockport

Sarah Nuttall and Laurence Gibault - St Augustine’s Primary School, Manchester

Louise Thompson and Rob Street - Vale View Primary School, Stockport

Michelle Chorlton and Shaun Sterling - Norris Bank Primary School, Stockport

Leanne Clegg and Kathy Thomason - St Anne’s Crumpsall  

With the support of

Dr Lynne Bianchi - SEERIH Director, The University of Manchester