Sunflower for Science is a suite of programmes designed to help teachers tackle tricky topics in secondary biology, chemistry and physics. I’ve known about Sunflower Science for a long time, but can’t believe I’ve only written about them on this blog just the once, back in 2009!

I was reminded about them with a mailshot I received announcing some brand new modules that will be featured within the latest edition of Sunflower for Science, incuding; DNA, Natural Selection, the Electromagnetic Spectrum, Chemical Reactions and Heat Transfer.

Sunflower Science features a large collection of animations, models and simulations to help teachers tackle abstract ideas and to give students a solid understanding that will serve them well through GCSE and beyond.  Each unit is designed to enhance the teaching of the topic and has been individually tailored to meet a specific teaching need.  All online, using shockwave player, it is easy to share ideas and lessons to access at school and home. All content is tagged so finding suitable content for lessons is simple using the programme’s new user interface.

The DNA module, for example, features seven mini-programmes focussing on DNA as a nucleic acid which contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. Using the slider tool at the base of screen, the student is taken on a journey through DNA, starting off with a cell, moving into its nucleus, into the chromosomes, the double helix and base pairs, then onto interactive animations of the structure of DNA and how it replicates. Students can relate the science to the real world, with an investigation of DNA profiling.

Sunflower DNA

Other modules, such as Dissolving and changes of state, can be used as simulations, demonstrating scientific concepts that are hard to visualise.

Each module can be purchased separately for around £90, enabling schools with limited budgets to build up their collection as and when funds are available.  Alternatively the full 30 module suite can be purchased for £1995.  An annual service charge of £9 per programme applies after the first year. The newer modules, Heat Transfer, Plate Tectonics, Natural Selection will be available after their launch at the ASE Conference in January.

For further information take a look at www.sunflowerlearning.com

Take a look and let me know what you think!