Taking Maths and Science into the great outdoors

Taking Maths and Science into the great outdoors
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With the theme of ‘connections’, there’s no better way to celebrate this year’s British Science Week than by connecting with the environment and taking lessons outdoors.
Some lessons seem to lend themselves to outdoor environments more naturally, such as art and PE.
But combining natural resources with other tools and equipment, such as playground equipment from Hand Made Places, can turn any outdoor space into a learning zone.

British Science Week

British Science Week is a 10-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths.
It encourages all types of organisations to stage events which spark enthusiasm for STEM subjects and raise awareness of the careers available and the role science plays in everyday life.
The event runs from March 10th until March 19th 2023 with a programme of activities taking place across the UK, aimed at every age range, and covering a diverse selection of topics.
There’s loads of fantastic resources on the British Science Week website.

Maths and numeracy

Of course, British Science Week is just the catalyst for a whole timetable of inspiring maths and numeracy lessons.
Our team at Hand Made Places considers a wide range of ideas and ways of marrying the curriculum and the interests and abilities of all students with the wellbeing benefits of learning outdoors.
This has resulted in a collection of playground equipment that not only offers added value thanks to the longevity and durability of its construction, but also flexibility with the ability to utilise it in many different lessons and activities.
Exploring the natural environment is a great way for students to connect with their surroundings, enjoy physical activity and promote mental wellbeing.
Activities may focus on patterns, sequences and sorting. Equipment such as the Tuff Tray Table or the Discovery Table with Tray (or with Bowls), is perfect for examining finds such as leaves and twigs.
The Dry Wipe Board, Chalk Board and Tracing Board - or our Easel formats – make a brilliant alternative to paper and pen for keeping count, and are much more effective when the weather turns breezy or damp.
Themes can also include weighing, measuring and mass. The Mud Kitchen is a really fun way to compare objects while our sand and water tables, such as the Atlantic 1 and Sand Pits, can be used to incorporate ideas such as capacity and volume too.
Telling time is another lesson that can be linked to outdoor learning, especially with the change in seasons.
Our Totems, as well as our Finger Mazes, incorporate symbols, textures and images which are designed to support children’s learning in these areas.

Science activities

Biodiversity and the eco challenges each generation has to face is an important part of STEM learning.
Encouraging different species into the playground can be helped along with the Minibeast HQ and our wide variety of planting and growing equipment.
Including engravings and sculptures in the playground, whether it be creating a wildlife trail or utilising fencing and playground furniture, can help pupils to identifying the plants and wildlife in the area.
Water and sand play tables come into use again to explore forces found in nature such as sinking and floating, while our Holey Poles are a fantastic base for den building, exploring why things stand up and how materials can be fixed together.
Sports science topics can also be explored outdoors, making use of Trim Trail equipment to time how long it take to complete the course or the biomechanics of running and jumping.
The weather might also be a theme to explore outdoors, bearing in mind safety messages with our waterproof and 100% UV filter fabric canopies offering outdoor classroom facilities all year round.

Among the benefits of all the playground equipment designed, manufactured and installed by Hand Made Places is that it supports the delivery of fun and exciting lesson plans.
In fact with activities that are so much fun, children will incorporate the equipment into their free play as well.

Get in touch today to discuss how we can deliver a playground project to connect and engage students in British Science Week and beyond.