Online Learning Secondary


Bring museum learning alive in your classroom

 

We've created a series of live-streamed, online workshops which bring the wonder of museum learning direct to your classroom.

Ranging from 30-60 minutes, these live, interactive sessions are tailored to the needs of your students and slot in alongside National Curriculum topics. 
Chris Parkin, our Learning Producer, facilitates each session, using objects and stories from the Museum to bring the topic to life onscreen.

 

renaissance globe project schools 120620
 

 

"Very well presented and prepared. It got students to think about the whole process of an investigation and some of the great scientists' experiments and theories."

Teacher commenting on Observing the Universe (Key Stage 3)

Want to book a session?

Take a look at the sessions and get in touch with Chris Parkin, our Learning Producer, to discuss your needs and book a workshop.

Key Stage 3

Observing the Universe: Ideas and Evidence

Key Stages: KS3 (Science)
Length: 45-50 minutes
Maximum group size: No limit (facilitated online delivery)
Cost: Rates for virtual and in-person learning

This interactive session gives students an opportunity to explore ideas about the Universe and solar system from Ptolemy to Galileo.

We look at how scientists work, exploring how the evidence gathered by astronomers like Ptolemy and Galileo led to two contrasting models of the Universe.

We will also explore the scientific revolution brought about by Galileo in the early 17th century using the newly invented telescope.

Students will get involved in breakout activities and discover more about objects from the Museum’s collection.

"The students enjoyed the session. They were very engaged and the activities were well organised and at the students’ level"
Science teacher

Teachers' Notes

https://www.hsm.ox.ac.uk/files/teachersnotesks3observingtheuniversepdf

 

Science and Islam

Key Stages: KS3 (Science and RE)
Length: 45-50 minutes
Maximum group size: No limit (facilitated online delivery)
Cost: Rates for virtual and in-person learning

This interactive session introduces students to the extraordinary advances made in science and mathematics during the so-called ‘golden age’ of medieval Islam when science was interwoven with religious practice.

Students will encounter beautiful objects from the Museum’s renowned collection of early scientific instruments from the Islamic world, including:

  • celestial globes
  • astrolabes, and
  • the qibla indicator.

You will discover how Muslim scientists used science in the service of religion as well as for practical purposes like time-telling and navigation.

The session includes breakout activities.

"The session was fantastic and the students enjoyed the session throughout the time available. The headteacher ... was impressed."
Science teacher​​​​​

Teachers' Notes

https://www.hsm.ox.ac.uk/files/teachersnotesks3scienceandislampdf

Front of an Islamic astrolabe, with dagger pointers on the rete

Astrolabe, by Khafif, Syro-Egyptian, Late 9th Century? Inventory number: 47632

 

Ingenious Calculators

Key Stages: KS3 (Maths)
Length: 45-50 minutes
Maximum group size: No limit (facilitated online delivery)
Cost: Rates for virtual and in-person learning

This interactive session reveals how:

  • number systems have evolved to support calculation
     
  • changes in society have led to the invention of novel calculating devices from the abacus to mechanical calculating machines.

We introduce Charles Babbage who, inspired by the Industrial Revolution, invented the first large-scale calculating machines and collaborated with the mathematician Ada Lovelace in designing the first large-scale mechanical computer.

Students will get involved in breakout activities and discover more about objects from the Museum’s collection.


Teachers' Notes

https://www.hsm.ox.ac.uk/files/teachersnotesks3ingeniouscalculatorspdf

 


 

Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5

Alice in Typhoidland

Key Stage: KS4 (History of Medicine)
Length: 40-50 minutes
Maximum group size: No limit (facilitated online delivery)
Cost: Rates for virtual and in-person learning

This interactive session explores the development of germ theory and management of diseases such as typhoid and cholera in the 19th century.

Students will:

  • analyse an epidemiological case study of typhoid in Oxford during the latter half of the 19th century
     
  • learn about novel medical instruments from the Museum’s collection and trace the early history of vaccination and public health initiatives
     
  • explore historical reasons for public resistance to vaccination and compare these with our contemporary experience of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Teachers' Notes

https://www.hsm.ox.ac.uk/files/teachersnotesks4aliceintyphoidlandpdf

    Frankenstein and Science
     

    Key Stages: KS4 and KS5 (English Literature)
    Length: 45-50 minutes
    Maximum group size: No limit (facilitated online delivery)
    Cost: Rates for virtual and in-person learning

    This participative, online workshop will enable students to explore the scientific background and inspiration behind Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein.

    Setting the novel in the context of science and the Enlightenment, we will investigate how Shelley harnesses Frankenstein's fascination with old forms of knowledge, like the occult, along with new discoveries in scientific fields such as chemistry and electricity in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

    Students will discover more about objects and images from the Museum's collection.


    Teachers' Notes

    https://www.hsm.ox.ac.uk/files/teachersnotesks4frankensteinandsciencepdf

    Oil painting in History of Science Museum collection believed to be of chemist Humphrey Davy, inventor of the Davy Lamp, with his assistant (dated 1827). Inventory no 56577

    Oil painting in HSM collection, believed to be of chemist Humphrey Davy (inventor of the Davy Lamp) with his assistant. Dated 1827. Inventory no. 56577

     

    More learning resources

    Expand All

     

    Chris Parkin, Secondary Learning Officer at the History of Science Museum, explores early electrical investigations and the power of lightning

    Watch time: 7 minutes

     

    Are you teaching Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein at GCSE or A Level?

     

    Our friends at the Bodleian Library have created more resources to support you including: 
     

    • 30-minute talk by Dr Will Bower on Situating Frankenstein
       
    • Mary Shelley timeline and further reading list to download or print

     

    Explore the Bodleian's Frankenstein Revisited resources