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Teaching maths in science

Read about what teachers think about having to teach maths in their science lessons and how do they go about doing it.
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© Royal Observatory Greenwich

The nature of science is such that maths is interwoven within it. That often means that science teachers end up teaching or reinforcing mathematical concepts in their lessons. We asked some secondary school science teachers to share their thoughts about it and here’s what they said:

I enjoy teaching mathematics within my Science lessons. I enjoy showing that maths helps us to calculate, define and discover scientific principles. Maths should not be seen as a barrier to students’ learning, we should develop and enthuse across Science lessons and not just rely on our Maths department to teach these skills. If maths is developed it can lead to an increase in confidence, ability and aspiration of our students.Stewart Crowdell, science teacher at South Wigston High School, Leicester
There are many aspects of maths that I teach before students have covered it in maths and I think students find it difficult to transfer their skills across. As a [biology] teacher I am fairly confident teaching a lot of maths but this does get more complicated at A-level for students without a good maths background.Anonymous, science teacher
As a Physics teacher I have to teach lots of Maths. It is really useful if they have already learnt that skill in a previous maths lesson, however students do struggle to link something they have done in another subject to different one. When teaching maths I do lots of modelling with worked examples. I follow the ‘I do, we do, you do’ approach with lots of practice.Amy, science teacher

Do you agree? What are your own experiences of teaching maths in science?

© Royal Observatory Greenwich
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Physics, Astronomy, and Space: Teaching Secondary Science

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