Key Stage 4 teacher notes

KS4: A Day in the Life of a Scientist
Teacher’s notes
A Day in the Life of a Scientist is an enrichment activity that gives students an opportunity to develop
scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of biology, to increase awareness of how scientists
are working scientifically at the Natural History Museum, and to increase their awareness of the
relevance and application of scientific research.
This activity is designed to give context for students to discover more about careers in science, with the
specific example of taxonomic research at the Natural History Museum.
• use the Natural History Museum’s resources to explore how scientists collect, share and interpret
evidence, visiting Cocoon in the Darwin Centre
• carry out a mock interview for a post as a Natural History Museum researcher, in the role of either an
interviewer or interviewee
Learning objectives
• to develop knowledge and understanding of variation and classification
• to understand how scientists share, interpret and collect evidence
• to select and identify relevant information to use in an interview activity
• to analyse data for use in a communication activity
• to increase understanding of the relevance and application of scientific knowledge, skills and research
Online resource list
• the job description
• guidelines for interviewers
• guidelines for interviewees
Suggested ICT support
• interactive whiteboard to do an introduction to the whole class
• computer suite if you wish students to work independently in school
• video recorder would be advantageous for filming and evaluating the interviews
Students need to prepare either:
a) interview questions to work out if another student has understood the skills and tasks involved in
being a scientist.
b) examples to show they have understood the skills and tasks involved in being a scientist, and can
explain them.
KS4: A Day in the Life of a Scientist
Teacher’s notes
Curriculum links
Working scientifically
2. Experimental skills and strategies
Students will see real life contexts in which scientists:
• apply a knowledge of a range of techniques, apparatus, and materials to select those appropriate
both for fieldwork and for experiments
3. Analysis and evaluation
Students will gain insights into how scientists:
• apply the cycle of collecting, presenting and analysing data
Subject content – Biology
Students should be taught about:
Health, disease and the development of medicines
• bacteria, viruses and fungi as pathogens in animals and plants
• reducing and preventing the spread of infectious diseases in animals and plants
• the importance of biodiversity
Evolution, inheritance and variation
• genetic variation in populations of a species
• developments in biology affecting classification
• the uses of modern biotechnology including gene technology; some of the practical and ethical
considerations of modern biotechnology