Practical Science for home-education

Practical science in Devon & the south west to support your child’s learning

We offer:

1) Online

Online, practical & fun science clubs delivered by a real life scientist and qualified teacher.

2) In-person Clubs for ages 5-11

see below

3) Practical courses for ages 13+

see below

Science Clubs for ages 5-11

We run fortnightly science clubs for ages 5-12ish, younger siblings are welcome to come.

They are in 4 session blocks costing £40 per child (one session/fortnight).

You have the option to register for the British Science Association’s CREST Awards (+£5) when you book.

Our current term (Sept 2021 – Dec 2021) of fortnightly clubs:

Tiverton – Mondays 12.15-1.30 on Sept 13th, 27th, Oct 11th, 25th, Nov 8th, 22nd, Dec 6th & 20th

Okehampton – Tuesdays 10-11.15 on Sept 14th, 28th, Oct 12th, 26th, Nov 9th, 23rd, Dec 7th & 21st

Bude – Tuesdays 2.45-4 on Sept 14th, 28th, Oct 12th, 26th, Nov 9th, 23rd, Dec 7th & 21st

Barnstaple – Saturday mornings. This is a FUNDED club and is NOT exclusively home-ed, but due to funding support from Barnstaple Davie Trust, we can make this open to all and very affordable.

Book a session

1st block of 4 sessions (Sept to Oct) = HORRIBLE HUMANS  – SOLD OUT

Explore Human Biology and all of it’s grossness!! Find out about your microscopic friends and culture microbes on stinky agar plates; discuss your immune system whilst making green snot slime; know the difference between your blood cells with edible blood; follow your food down your digestive tract and make floating fizzing poop for your bath (a bath bomb!).


2nd block of 4 sessions (Nov -Dec) = CRAZY CHEMISTRY

Get excited about chemistry with liquids turning to solids & gasses, make messy bubbling reactions; learn about density & immiscible liquids; create lava lamps; carry out pH tests and inflate balloons with chemistry. Each session you’ll make something to take home as always!

Our home-ed 5-11s clubs key features:
  • Each session is 75 mins long, very hands-on and interactive, each session covers different topics in biology, chemistry & physics.
  • Lots of hands-on exciting activities and experiments, with things to make & take home.
  • Private FB group for sharing of additional resources linked to the topics and support.
  • Suitable for primary aged children aged 5-12 approx.
  • Topics are planned in advance.
  • Costs £40 per block of 4 sessions.
  • Children can be dropped off or parents/carers can stay.
  • Option to register for the British Science Association’s Crest Awards (£5 one-off fee). Certificate received after completing 8 sessions. You can register here.
  • Sessions are also valid for Children’s University Passports.
  • Join our private Facebook groupKEY 

Science for ages 13+

Classes being held in Okehampton, Tiverton & Barnstaple

Invisible Worlds

in Barnstaple & Tiverton

Invisible Worlds is an exciting laboratory based microbiology short course for teens taught by a microbiologist, at Petroc College in Barnstaple & Tiverton.

These courses have been partly funded by the Microbiology Society.

Tiverton 5.30-7.00pm on Mondays in November   £50 (home-ed price)

Barnstaple 5.30-7pm on Tuesdays in November   £50  (home-ed price)

In this lab-based course, students will learn many aspects of microbiology with an emphasis on practical work. They will learn new lab skills to carry out the laboratory activities, such as microscopy, streak plating, aseptic technique, gram staining, bacterial identification tests, plus their own investigation to test alternative antibiotics.

 Scroll down for details of the microbiology topics that will be covered in each session.

Each session is 90 minute long and will have relevant theory followed by a range of microbiology science activities and laboratory investigations to enhance learning.

An informative Course Activity Booklet and a Certificate of Participation will be given to students

Invisible Worlds Course Content

Week 1: What are cells?

  • Prepare & observe wet preps of plant / animal cells
  • Make comparisons between plant & animal cells
  • Identify live unicellular organisms
  • Sample the lab for bacteria
  • UV germs

Week 2: Prokaryotes

  • Your microbial flora & symbiosis
  • Learn how to culture bacteria (part 1)
  • The tools of a microbiologist
  • Aseptic technique

Week 3: Bacteria

  • Culturing bacteria (part 2)
  • Colony morphology
  • Staining bacteria using the Gram stain
  • Observe bacteria at 1000X magnification using oil immersion
  • Differentiate bacteria according to their shape and arrangement

Week 4: Pathogens

  • Nature’s antibiotics – the disk diffusion method (part 1)
  • Identifying bacteria in a hospital lab setting
  • Good microbes – The Microbiology Discovery Box

Week 5: 

  • Nature’s antibiotics – the disk diffusion method (part 2)
  • Zones of inhibition
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Microbes in food

The last week is usually a tour and talk of Perrigo Pharmaceuticals in Wrafton or a tour of Pathology but this year we can’t offer this sadly.

Antibiotic Hunters

in Okehampton

(short course for home-ed teens)

This is a one-off project based mini-course designed around the British Science Association’s Discovery Award. 

The project’s title is “Antibiotics are becoming less effective due to antibiotic resistance. Your challenge is to find alternative antimicrobial compounds”
During the 4 sessions you’ll learn microbiology lab techniques, such as how to culture microbes and how we test antibiotic action on bacteria. You’ll learn about prokaryotes, and antibiotic action, plus the problem we face with antibiotic resistance.
The focus of the course if for you to test alternative antibiotics of your choice using the disc diffusion method.
Held at The Ockment Centre, Okehampton. 10-11.15 fortnightly on Tuesdays: Nov 9th, 27th, Dec 7th & 21st.
£50 per child, all materials and equipment supplied (apart from your alternative antibiotics that you choose to test)
The project “Antibiotics are becoming less effective due to antibiotic resistance. Your challenge is to find alternative antimicrobial compounds”
Introducing prokaryotes – what are bacteria and what is antibiotic resistance? Practise sampling, spreading & culturing bacteria. The disc diffusion technique.
RESEARCH TO DO AT HOME: explore alternative antimicrobial compounds that we can test our bacteria against next week, so make sure they are products that are not harmful to you, but could potentially be used to quell an infection. Bring them next week.
Discuss results of our cultures from last time. Practise the disc diffusion technique, then prepare cultures using our own antimicrobial compounds.
RESEARCH AT HOME: explore how your alternative antimicrobial compounds work. How could it be used in an infection/given to patient? Is it safe to the host? Up-scaled?
First round of results for discussion, measuring zones of inhibition, recording results. Carry out further test as required. Microscopy of bacteria.
RESEARCH AT HOME: have a think about the key point you’d lie to share with us about what you tested and how in theory t could be used in helping an infection. Is there evidence that bacteria could become resistant to your alternative antibiotic?
Final results and discussion, with presentations of what you found out. Certificates (if they have arrived, if not they’ll be posted)
Only 15 spaces. £50 per child. Book using the button below


  • Katie, North Devon
    Thank you for a fantastic week of science!! Jack has really enjoyed himself and will deffo be recommending. See you in March for the next club.
    Katie, North Devon
  • Ellie, Mid Devon
    Ruth’s science sessions have been wonderful for my children recently and they have all got so much from them. It really brings the fun of science to life for them and makes them enthusiastic about it. So much so that when my daughter had a day at school recently where they had to dress as what they would like to do when they are older she went as a scientist!!
    Actually we have been so impressed with the sessions that we booked Ruth for my daughters birthday party and the kids all had a ball. Ruth’s enthusiasm for the subject is infectious. I would highly recommend her sessions as well as the birthday parties! They are also amazing value for money.
    Ellie, Mid Devon
  • Melanie, South Devon
    Lots of fun, engaging activities and enough repetition of the sciency bit to make it stick. Thanks Ruth, we will be doing more of your classes for sure!
    Melanie, South Devon
  • Angela, Plymouth
    Each session had three really fun and engaging activities, well taught and explained. None of the activities were “duds” or time fillers and my daughter was inspired to follow up each session with further investigation. The sessions were well priced and we are sad they have come to an end
    Angela, Plymouth
  • Beth, Home-ed online clubs
    Love that home educators are deliberately catered for with daytime classes available, and Ruth is great at engaging with the children
    Beth, Home-ed online clubs
  • Zoe Graham
    My two sons have completed their first Crest Award and I can’t recommend Ruth highly enough! They have learnt so much, had incredible fun and blossomed! We LOVE LOVE LOVE Sciencedipity
    Zoe Graham
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