Teaching Resources

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Browse teaching resources that explore the topics of our videos. All of these resources have been reviewed and approved by secondary science teachers.

Discovering Life-Changing Dementia Treatments
Monday 3rd Sep 2018, 12.00pm

Discovering life-changing dementia treatments

Your beautiful, complex brain is a network of microscopic cells that connect together to form your thoughts and personality, and control your body. The network is fragile and requires constant upkeep, like a garden. The brain has its own gardeners, specialised cells called microglia. In this...

Researchers at the Alzheimer’s Research UK Oxford Drug Discovery Institute (ARUK ODDI) at the University of Oxford are working collaboratively with other centres around the country to study the role of proteins and cells in the brain, and develop drugs to treat AD. In these resources, inspired by their research, students apply what they know to assess a new Alzheimer's drug (KS4, and use new information in KS5), assess evidence of Alzheimer's risk-factors using a science reliability checklist (KS4), and look at family trees to explore the genetics of Alzheimer's (KS5).
KS4 - Drug Discovery
KS4 - Mythbusting Alzheimer's
KS5 - Genetics of Alzheimer's
KS5 - Plaques and Tangles
This activity extends students’ understanding of the nervous and immune systems and monoclonal antibodies. It asks them to apply their knowledge to an unfamiliar situation – the mechanism of a new drug for AD.
In this activity students are presented with three different claims about possible risk factors for AD. They have to critique the evidence in order to decide which risk factors are more likely.
Many people who have relatives with AD are worried that they will also develop the disease – but is AD inherited? In this activity students will explore this question by studying family trees, drawing genetic crosses and interpreting information about genes and alleles.
In this activity students are presented with a possible idea for treatment. They study the mechanisms behind the development of AD in order to critique the idea, before developing their own.
Tuesday 17th Jul 2018, 11.30am

Ancient Mysteries in Marvellous Mud

It took over a billion years for life to transition from simple eukaryotic cells, like primitive algae, to simple animals like sponges or jellyfish. But, why did it take such a long time?

Researchers at the University of Oxford studying ancient Australian mudstone have found evidence that is helping entirely reshape our picture of evolution and how the Earth developed. In these resources students will undertake a range of practical activities to investigate properties of mud and how pH affects living things (KS3), look at geological timescales (KS4), and learn about how X Rays can be used to identify signs of life on other planets (KS4) and spotting the first signs of life here on Earth (KS5).
KS3 - Evolution Detectives
KS4 - A Geological Blink
KS4 - Fingerprinting Mars Mud
KS5 - Fingerprinting First Life
In this lesson, students will be making and studying the properties of their own mud using pH experiments. They will be thinking about how pH affects microbes, and the ways that mudstones form, erode and break down. They will look at water, earth and air as they explore the science of evolution and wonder about how to identify traces of early life on Mars.
In this lesson, students will be coming to grips with the geological timescale of the Earth, of life on Earth, and of human history. They will be exploring the colourful history that explains how scientists can detect the colours of creatures long dead, and identify hints of early microbial life interacting with the atmosphere and lithosphere.
In this lesson, students will be exploring x-ray diffraction, the analytical technique used by scientists to explore the underlying structures of muds and comparing them to their own observations. Their detective skills will come in useful when samples gathered by rovers on Mars are compared to samples from Earth’s history. Astrobiologists hope to detect traces of minerals that could be “fingerprints” of early life. This lesson is better suited to higher ability classes.
In this lesson, students will be exploring x-ray diffraction, the analytical technique used by scientists to explore the underlying atomic structures of minerals, isotopic dating, and using microscopes to image microstructure.