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 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.
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.