Schoolchildren in England are being let down when it comes to science, according to Ofsted.
In a report entitled Successful Science, the education watchdog said many students are "merely following the instructions" and doing dull experiments, the Daily Telegraph reports.
"This report highlights what the best schools are doing to ensure science courses prepare pupils for continuing education, training and living in a technological society," said Ofsted chief inspector Christine Gilbert.
"This should be a stimulus to better practice and improvement."
The report suggested that some primary school children are being held back because their teachers lack science expertise.
Where this is the case, teachers should be provided with more training, Ms Gilbert added.
Speaking last year, Libby Steele, head of education at the Royal society, said exciting practical experiments help to make science more interesting.
"In primary school, if you go outside and find a mini beast then you'll watch the way it walks, what it's doing and you will remember far more than reading about it in a book," she commented.