In the ESTABLISH model, Industrial Content Knowledge (ICK) is deemed to be a critical element of Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE). ICK can be defined as knowledge of the relationship between the scientific topic under discussion (e,g electrolysis) and the industrial application of such knowledge (e.g. electroplating). The application of a science would be generally referred to as ‘technology’. An  important outcome of exposing students to industrial activities is the raising of awareness about work and the science/technology arena.

It should be noted that the term industry is not confined to heavy industrial processes per se but to any commercial or public organisation where science is applied and where people may be employed (e.g. market gardens, pharmacies, public services.)

The Relevance of Context in Teaching and Learning versus Science ‘The entire context of science as it is used in daily practice by men and women from every social, cultural, national, ethnic, and racial group, for all the purposes for which it is used and practiced in our society is missing from conventional science education in schools’ (J.L. Lemke 1993). Many commentators claim that science education is most effective if it is delivered ‘in context’. Such contexts include cultural, economic, political and social contexts. (e.g. and the ‘history and philosophy of science’ (HPS) (Matthews 1994). The phrase ‘real life context’ is frequently used in such debates. These contextual settings are claimed to engage students more effectively and to make science accessible, meaningful and relevant for them. It is also deemed to produce informed and active citizens, as well the scientists and technologists necessary to the wellbeing of modern societies (e.g. Osborne, 2000; Aikenhead, 2003; Fensham, 1985; Solomon, 1993; Hodson 1998).  Hence, it is claimed that academics need to see the relationship of teaching and learning ‘within a context wider than their individual specialisations.’ (Hall and Kidman, 2004)

These arguments are related to the theme of scientific literacy which has been defined as ‘the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity’ (