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Biomimicry - lessons from nature

Biomimicry involves looking at nature for inspiration to solve engineering problems and to develop innovative new designs for products and architecture. This activity, from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, investigates what is meant by linear and closed loops systems and explores products that have been developed by...

Activity 4: In the Loop

This design-and-make project, from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, provides hands on experience of working with materials, using CAD/CAM for design, and an opportunity for students to manufacture interesting products while addressing many circular economy concepts. The activity explores the use of materials, the...

Activity 3: Rethinking the System

This activity, from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, follows the format of a ‘Dragon’s Den’ competition. It aims develop student’s understanding of responsible product development and how the principles of the circular economy can be applied to current business practice. Case studies of existing products are...

Design and Technology for a Circular Economy: Teachers' Guide

This teacher's guide, from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, introduces six design and technology teaching activities and explains how they can be used and adapted. It includes an overview of design in the circular economy, including an exploration of how pioneers have rethought design and why it has needed...

Activity 2: Waste = Food

This activity, from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, introduces aspects of the circular economy through design-and-make tasks, focusing on food packaging for festivals. It addresses the circular economy principle that waste equals food. The activity provides students with the opportunity to consider mass food...

Exploring the circular economy

The following lesson plans provide a good introduction to the circular economy, and can be taught in sequence or as stand-alone lessons.

The lessons plans include:

  • (1/5) Challenging common conceptions
  • (2/5) Exploring the circular economy
  • (3/5)...

Activity 1: The Circular Economy in the Built Environment

This activity, from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, concentrates on the design of buildings, their use and eco- effectiveness. Students will explore how, through applying circular economy principles, new buildings can be created that have a positive impact – buildings that do good rather than less harm. The...

Robots and artificial intelligence AI: lessons in the ethics of robots

This resource supports students to research and discuss the field of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). The resource provides a series of student tasks that explore the topic of whether robots are a threat to humanity. This resource would work well as a research topic for students undertaking projects in...

What is CAD and CAM?

This resource supports students to understand the terms Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) manufacture. It provides an overview of manufacturing methods such as CNC vinyl cutting, CNC router, laser cutting.

Revision and mock assessment materials for this resource are...

3D Printing, a new and emerging technology

This lesson resource provides teacher notes for delivering a lesson that places 3D Printing as a new and emerging technology. It looks at how 3D printers work and provides a student assessment.

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