Tuesday, 9 August 2016

National Science Week

The 13th-21st August marks National Science Week in Australia! The theme of the event is drones, droids and robots - and there will be a big focus on the T of STEM, Technology!

For a free poster with lots of ideas on how to get involved - whether you are in Australia or not - click here. There are lots more things you can get on the website too, such as a ‘teacher resource book’!

Be sure to join in on social media - mention us @refthinking if you get involved plus @Aus_ScienceWeek and #natsciwk too.

To celebrate the occasion, we have made one of our most popular Digital Mysteries apps (usually a paid app on the App Store) into a FREE activity. It’s an interactive, collaborative task for pairs or small groups to work on together and helps 8-11 year olds learn about animal habitats and food chains in a fun way.

Here’s a screenshot of the activity in action. This is after a dedicated Reading Stage and the point where students can use fun things like sticky tapes, groups and notes to start sorting the information cards out:

As you can see, students must read all of the clues, make connections between them then put forward an argument as to where the mysterious character, Pebbles, may live. Students are not specifically told what type of animal Pebbles is either, so they must work together to investigate.

To download the free task, simply:
  1. Search ‘Thinking Kit App’ on the App Store or click here then download the FREE app.
  2. Go to Educator or Learner then New Session then Download, and enter the code 1789.
If you have any questions at all or want to give us feedback, please email info@reflectivethinking.com.

More information on the Thinking Kit activity ‘1789’, Pebbles:

This activity has been designed to support the Science and English curriculum. It can also be used to foster the development of generic higher order thinking skills.


This task can be used to support the following areas of study:
  • ‘Evolution and inheritance’ – exploring how animals, such as the Arctic Fox, have adapted to their environment.  The mystery could be used as a precursor to further research. The learners will, of course, be keen to work out who Pebbles is exactly, which could lead to an exploration of a range of different adaptations across different habitats and analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of specific adaptations.
  • ‘Animals, including humans’ – revising the concept of food chains by identifying the food chain embedded in the mystery, prior to constructing a variety of other chains, identifying producers, predators and prey.


The mystery could also be used to support the development of group discussion and interaction.

Learning objectives might include:
  • To take turns in speaking
  • To relate their contributions to what has gone on before
 - building on the ideas of others.
  • To take different views into account.
  • To extend their ideas in the light of discussion.


Learning objectives relating to these might include:
  • To justify ideas with reasons.
  • To form a well-structured explanation.
  • To speculate and draw inferences from information.

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