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Boost maths skills with computer games

“How do we know the earth is a sphere?” and “how do we know the person next to us is alive?”

 

Researchers say it is the ‘bigger’ and more ‘creative’ questions that can actually improve a nine or 10-year-old’s knowledge and understanding of science.

Findings from the report ‘Thinking, Doing, Talking Science’, have been published by the Education Endowment Foundation.

The study looked at 1,500 Year 5 pupils across 42 schools in the UK.

Half of the those involved in the trial reported finding science lessons more interesting, compared with 37 per cent of those who were not involved.

Chief Executive Dr Kevan Collins, said: “It’s great to see that our trial of Thinking, Doing, Talking Science had a positive impact on results and attitudes by getting pupils to think more creatively.

“This approach looks to be particularly effective for disadvantaged pupils too and could be a low-cost way for schools to boost their pupils’ science results.”

A separate study has found that playing computer games in maths lessons can help to boost pupils’ numeracy skills.

It shows that giving youngsters a series of games designed to engage them in the subject improves their abilities over a three month period.

Results from the maths study showed that the project had a positive impact on pupils’ numeracy skills, but there was no evidence that the literacy section had an impact on children’s abilities in the subject.

Report authors said: “There was an association between greater use of the accompanying computer games and greater impact in the numeracy intervention, suggesting the computer games were important to successful implementation.”

Educators and parents are constantly thinking of ways to encourage girls to become more interested in STEM subjects, which include, science, technology, engineering and maths.

Project Scientist claims that at the moment 78 per cent of school-aged girls have an interest the topics, yet women only make up 25 percent of the STEM workforce.

Perhaps looking at different ways to encourage children will help them choose a career path they enjoy.

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