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Topical Science Updates

Topical Science Updates are monthly newsletters for schools focusing on some of the big, quirky and interesting science stories in the news. 

Each month 3 or 4 stories are featured to help teachers embed topical science in their everyday teaching.

Each story has links to articles, video clips and...

Parents' guide to engineering careers

This easy to read Tomorrow’s Engineers guide helps parents and carers understand more about engineering careers and routes into engineering, providing tips on how to recognise and encourage their child’s engineering talent.

Plants

This issue of Big Picture provides lots of interesting information about flowering plants and their uses. 

The plant hormones animation explores the action of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and shows how scientists used experimental evidence to explain the role of auxins in a phototrophic response.

The...

Immune System

This resource looks at several aspects of the immune system including:

  • The non-specific immune response
  • Specific immune response and antigen recognition
  • T cells and B cells
  • Autoimmune disease and allergic responses •
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Long term immunity...

Proteins

These resources explore proteins by their different function, with examples of how they give structure to living things, carry messages and molecules around our bodies, support the immune system, catalyse chemical reactions, and their use in industry and medicine:

Structure and movement How...

Fat

Fat is a word that carries a lot of weight, conjuring up topics as diverse as obesity, hibernating animals, and what we eat and how we cook it. This issue of the Big Picture looks at the fats and lipids to find out what they do, not just inside us and other organisms but also in the world around us.  Curriculum...

Scientific investigations: Getting started

This resource supports students in carrying out independent investigations.  It helps them to choose, plan, carry out and write up an in-depth scientific investigation.

Extracting and purifying metals OCR Unit 12

This worksheet looks at electrolysis, its use in the extraction of sodium and aluminum and in the purification of copper. Having completed it, students are then asked to set up a simple electrolytic cell to obtain pure copper and calculate and measure the amount of product deposited at an electrode during...

Distribution and abundance of species

This is a modelling activity where students use sampling techniques to determine the distribution and abundance of organisms in a simulated habitat. Students will simulate the mark–release–recapture technique (Lincoln Index) for estimating population sizes of mobile species. 

Curriculum links include: ...

XMM-Newton

From the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), this brochure describes the leading role played by UK scientists and engineers at universities, observatories and research council establishments in X-ray Multi Mission-Newton (XXM-Newton). Using XMM-Newton, astronomers will be able to pinpoint and study in...

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