TEMI: Engaging in Primary Science

Anne O’ Dwyer and Peter Childs developed and offered a workshop for primary (elementary) teachers in Limerick on 18th April 2016. This two-hour after school workshop shared many of the ideas from the TEMI project and ideas for teaching Science in a suitable and accessible manner for the primary school teachers. In the workshop, the teachers were introduced to the TEMI project and website. A workbook of activities suitable for primary pupils was compiled for the participants. This resource contained a detailed description of the engaging activities, the following possible steps to scaffold the learners’ exploration and investigation as well as some explanatory support material for the teachers.

The two-hour workshop was interactive and hands-on. Teachers were given the opportunity to participate in the engaging mysteries. They worked together in pairs and in small groups to experience the science lesson as learners.  The topics that were explored included gravity, air as force, the existence of atmospheric pressure, sinking and floating and mixing liquids.

The four pillars of the TEMI WAY of teaching are transferable and applicable to the primary classroom: the use of mysteries, the 5E structure of the lesson, teaching using showmanship and the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR). The aims of the primary Science curriculum in Ireland merit the values of TEMI project “…to foster the child’s natural curiosity, so encouraging independent enquiry and creative action” (Department of Education and Science, 1999)

Department of Education and Science (1999), Primary School Curriculum- Science: Social, Environmental and Scientific Education, Dublin, Government of Ireland.