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Printing in Three Dimensions

This Catalyst article looks at 3D printing, a new technology which is rapidly finding applications. Although probably too slow for mass production it is useful for producing prototypes and tailor-made items. In a 3D printer, layers of polymer beads are printed one on top of the other. Heat melts the polymer beads...

Publication date:
2010 to date

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Fusion 360: Create your own moving cam tutorial

This resource provides step-by-step instructions on how Fusion 360 can be used to create a cam and follower, including basic rendering and movement of the cam and follow components around an axle.

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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,...

Publication date:
2010 to date

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Six R's

This resource from Practical Action helps students look at the 6Rs, their definitions and products which illustrate the 6Rs in action. These are: rethink, reuse, recycle, repair, reduce and refuse. Students look at the definitions carefully again and rank each of the Rs in terms of which contributes most and which...

Publication date:
2000 - 2009

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Design abacus

From Practical Action, this resource is an eco-tool used to compare the sustainability of two products or design ideas.

Publication date:
2000 - 2009

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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...

Publication date:
2010 to date

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Stephanie Kwolek - Polymer Chemist

Stephanie Kwolek invented the tough polymer Kevlar, used in protective clothing and developed a method for demonstrating the production of nylon in the classroom which is still used today.

The article is from Catalyst: Secondary Science Review 2014, Volume 25, Issue 1.

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Publication date:
2010 to date

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QTC - Making the Most of a Novel Material

A Catalyst article about Quantum Tunnelling Composite, a material discovered in 1997 and whose resistance decreases dramatically under pressure. How does it work and what uses will it have? The material has been carefully characterised (to understand its composition and how it works), and its first applications...

Publication date:
2000 - 2009

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Using shape memory alloys

A Catalyst article describing the use of smart materials to help people with disabilities. Many more people with physical and mental disabilities are leading independent lives at home, thanks in part to recent technological developments. The article focuses on one project which makes use of smart materials to help...

Publication date:
2000 - 2009

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Gold award: compare the properties of different fabrics

In this project, students compare the properties of a range of fabrics made from different fibres. The fabrics could be woven or knitted and they could be made from natural fibres such as cotton and wool or synthetic fibres such as nylon. Students should investigate physical properties, such as strength,  tear...

Publication date:
2010 to date

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