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How Does Nature Convert Energy?

In this video Janine Benyus, co-founder of The Biomimicry 3.8 Institute, describes a surprising adaptation of the pistol shrimp. The pistol shrimp has a very large claw and uses this to fire a bubble and stun its prey. The shrimp can close its claw so quickly that a vacuum is created behind the bubble. The vacuum...

How Does Nature Cool?

In this video from The Biomimicry 3.8 Institute, Sherry Ritter describes how the red kangaroo stays cool in temperatures of up to 45°C. The kangaroo licks its wrists, where there are a large number of blood vessels close to the surface, and this cools through evaporation. Sherry asks whether we could learn from...

How Does Nature Sense?

Adelheid Fischer, Biomimicry Fellow and Coordinator of InnovationSpace at Arizona State University, explains how she finds inspiration in the star-nosed mole. The mole does not use its unusual nose for smell, but as a touch sensing organ. The mole can also smell under water by sending out bubbles to catch odour...

Subject Choice in STEM: Factors Influencing Young People (Aged 14-19) in Education

The Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordinating Centre (EPPICentre) was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust to undertake this systematic review of research about subject choice. The main aim of the review was to examine the factors that influence the STEM subject choices of young people (14-19...

Improving Young People's Engagement with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

This paper, published to coincide with Science and Engineering Week 2013, presents evidence from research carried out by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) to explore how to encourage further engagement in, and take-up of, STEM subjects. It discusses why STEM education is important and looks at...

Engineers Can Save Lives

This activity provides a quick introduction to a lesson focusing on the link between water and health. It encourages students to think about the role of engineers in providing us with healthy water supplies and waste-water disposal systems.

This activity, from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (...

Killer Water

This starter activity focuses on the link between water and health. It encourages students to think about the role of engineers in providing us with healthy water supplies and waste-water disposal systems by thinking about the different ways in which water can be hazardous to human health.

This...

Spreading Disease

This teamwork-based activity provides a quick introduction to a teacher-led discussion focusing on the spread of disease and the importance of water treatment in preventing epidemics. Students use post-it notes to sort diseases into those that are water-borne and those transmitted by other methods.

...

Tap Supply

This activity challenges students to work in small teams to design a water supply system for a small town of 5,000 inhabitants. They have to work within a budget, including giving themselves a profit margin.

The activity offers strong opportunities for cross-curricular work with Enterprise.

The...

Water Treatment Systems

In this practical activity, students investigate the salinity of three different water samples using a multimeter. Students first calibrate their salination probe and test the salinity of their solutions. Students can be asked to suggest how errors might have appeared in their results and what could be done to...

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