Enabling students to understand and analyse contemporary issues in science and technology

A2 topic resources

A2 Book Cover 200 Dpi

The A2 course builds on and extends the skills and the ideas about how science works developed at AS, but in new contexts. These contexts have been chosen because of their topical relevance to students themselves and to society at large. All the six topics represent ‘science in the making’. Some new science explanations are introduced to support understanding of these issues, at the level required by an informed member of the public. The emphasis, as at AS level, is on how science works.

A complete set of activities, schemes of work and other information are available under the Resource topics heading on the right, and these, together with the textbook, provide enough support for science teachers to deliver the course.

Students are introduced to problem based learning through one activity in each of the six topics. This develops skills that are valuable in Higher Education and for engaging with science issues in their lives.

More detailed case studies of new research findings are another feature of the A2 course which keep it up to date and help students to apply their understanding of how science works. Skills required are developed throughout the course in preparation for Unit 4.

The textbook

The A2 textbook contains a chapter on each topic, attractive illustrations and up-to date data. How science works ideas are fully covered and there are questions to test understanding and to raise interesting issues.

The six topics are covered in greater depth than the more numerous AS topics. More space is given to setting out the science explanations because the specification includes new science that students are unlikely to have met before.

A feature of all the topics in the A2 course is that they focus on ‘science in the making’. To bring this to life our authors have included descriptions of the work of active research scientists, based on interviews with them. This not only helps to make the topics relevant but demonstrates how varied the life of a scientist can be. These examples of scientists at work have been carefully chosen to illustrate the reality of how science works and the issues it raises.

Answers to all the textbook questions can be found in the document below.

A2 SIS Answers to textbook questions