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6R's explained

These resources consist of a presentation and activity sheets to support design and technology students aged 14-16. It helps students to gain knowledge and understanding of sustainable development and the use of precious resources. The 6 R's are:

  • Rethink: what could be done differently?
  • Refuse...

Product pairs

Produced by Practical Action, this short activity introduces the various factors that influence the choice of consumers. Students consider different products and the reasons behind why they would or would not purchase them. The activity is a perfect introduction to sustainability and aims to help students think...

Product impacts: life cycle analysis

Produced by Practical Action, these materials help students to consider the impacts of a product through its whole life cycle. A presentation describes the concept of lifecycle analysis (LCA) and gives some examples. Students are then challenged to consider the life cycle of familiar products, from raw materials,...

Product analysis: impacts on people and the environment

This resource from Practical Action includes a presentation and worksheets which give Key Stage Three and Four students opportunities to understand more about the impact of existing and new products on people and the environment. The presentation is packed with useful activities to reinforce students' learning. The...

Line ups

In this activity students literally form a line to demonstrate their understanding of  the environmental, economic and social impact of everyday products, then discuss and debate.  The activity helps them understand the impact of everyday products throughout their life cycle from manufacturing to disposal.

Floating Garden STEM challenge

This challenge, from Practical Action, requires students to design and build a model structure that will enable farmers to grow crops even in an area that may become flooded. A floating garden, built on a base of aquatic weeds, is a cheap and sustainable way of allowing people to grow vegetables. The resource can...

Eco-design web

The Eco-design web is a useful tool to help students’ analyse an existing product or design. It can also be used to indicate areas of the product that can be redesigned to improve its environmental sustainability.

Design for a better world

Design for a better world is a design challenge for students aged 11-14 years. It offers students the opportunity to:

  • Learn about the global goals for sustainable development.
  • Access a range of global contexts including water and sanitation, food security and climate action in which to...

Squashed tomato STEM challenge

This Practical Action resource presents a fun hands-on and brains-on challenge for Key Stages Two to Five.

The problem: In Nepal many farmers living on the mountainside grow fruit and vegetables, including tomatoes. To earn a living they need to sell these at the local...

Beat the Flood STEM challenge

In this resource, students use their STEM skills to help them design and build a model of a flood- proof house. Activities to help them with their design include testing materials (for strength and absorbency) and structures. Set on a fictitious island coping with the devastating effects of flooding caused by...

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