Science: Brenda grapples with the properties ofamern Keith Ross
Brenda and Friends (West 1984) was published several years before the first science National Curriculum. It was an attempt to sketch out a 'minimum entitlement' for pupils who follow a course in science during the compulsory years at school. The discussion paper, part of the Secondary Science Curriculum Review, set out ways that an education in science could increase educational opportunity. It described the content of such a programme, with Brenda, and each of her friends, illustrating how the science they had experienced at school had changed and developed the way they thought about their world. This extract is from the section on energy and gives a flavour for those who are unfamiliar with this marvellous publication:
Rebecca appreciates that the sun is the ultimate source of nearly all the Earth's energy and when she visited relatives in Israel she saw that by means of solar cells ... the sun's radiant energy can be converted into electrical energy for domestic needs. By experimenting with different conditions in primary school when growing bean shoots in jam jars, Rebecca knows that sunlight is needed to make plants grow ... [and] that animals cannot make their own food but have to eat other animals or plants for this purpose.