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.

Tuesday 18th Apr 2017, 11.00am

What can Chemists learn from nature?

Nature is full of chemicals – flavours, fragrances, medicines. Living systems have been making these useful chemicals for billions of years, but usually only tiny quantities, because that’s all they need! In this animation we find out how chemists are learning from nature to create these...

In these resources, students explore the popular flavour vanilla from the various sources that make it, to the economic and environmental impacts. Students will evaluate different pathways (KS3); how to evaluate 'green' chemical methods (KS4); find out more about how vanillin is made from benzene and discuss its impacts (KS5); and find out more about the technology that is being developed by researchers at the University of Oxford (KS5).
KS3 - Flavour Saver
KS4 - Green Vanilla
KS5 - Organic Pathways
KS5 - Biology to Technology
In this activity students find out about the chemical that gives vanilla its popular flavour - vanillin. They evaluate three different ways of producing vanillin artificially and learn about how to use Earth's resources sustainably.
In this activity students find out about the chemical that gives vanilla its popular flavour - vanillin. They evaluate three different ways of producing vanillin artificially and learn about how to evaluate how 'green' chemical processes are using the principles of green chemistry.
In this activity students find out about the chemical that gives vanilla its popular flavour - vanillin. They analyse the chemical pathway used to make vanillin from benzene and discuss the economic and environmental impacts of its manufacture.
In this biochemistry-based activity students consider why many industrial chemical reactions are being catalysed by enzymes. They find out about an important coenzyme, NADH and act in role as industrial chemists by evaluating the different ways of recycling it. The activity gives them an insight into research being carried out at the University of Oxford which brings together concepts from biology and chemistry.
Monday 12th Oct 2015, 10.00am

Shedding Light on the Situation

Light is more than just light bulbs and sunshine! Researchers at the University of Oxford use different types of light to learn more about all sorts of interesting things. To celebrate the International Year of Light we’ve taken a...

These teaching resources take the research using light featured in the animation as its cue to help students explore clinical trials (KS4), supernovae (KS4 and KS5) and evolution (KS3).
KS3 - Fossil Findings
KS4 - Drug Trials
KS4 - Explosive Energy
KS5 - Table top Supernova
Students classify animals and use evolutionary trees to see how palaeontologists are using x-rays to study fossils in order to collect evidence about how living things evolved.
This lesson is suitable for extending the more able KS4 students when teaching about drug trialling. They will first find out about how drug trials are carried out before applying this knowledge to write a grant application to a research council in order to fund a project. Students will also work in groups as members of a review panel and review applications based on criteria.
Students will carry out the double ball drop experiment, being careful to gather accurate and repeatable data. They apply their knowledge of energy transfer to explain their results and find out how this is analogous to a supernovae.
Students will act as science journalists and use a range of sources to find out more about the research and its aims before writing an article for a science news website. In doing so they will learn about the art of good science communication as well as the science of supernovae and magnetic field generation.