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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.Catalyst is a science magazine for students...
Publication date:
2010 to date

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Using carbon fibre to create a Boeing 787

This video from Boeing looks at the use of carbon fibre to create the Boeing 787 fuselage. It shows the layup of carbon fibre tape on the curve of the aircraft, the heating of the fuselage in an industrial oven and a brief overview of the difference that composites like carbon fibre are making to the...
Publication date:
2010 to date

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To make graphene

Publication date:
2010 to date

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Smart Materials and Metal Foams

This is a set of resources that can be used to introduce Smart Materials and Metal Foams.It contains an overview of shape memory alloys / polymers, electrochromic glass, piezoelectric transducers and actuators - with questions at the end.
Publication date:
14 February 2019

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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 have...
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, ...
Publication date:
2010 to date

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System Reset: Design and Technology for a Circular Economy

The activities in this collection, from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, are all designed to introduce the principles of the circular economy to students in secondary school. Before teaching the activities, it is recommended that teachers firstly introduce the concept of the circular economy using the introductory...
Publication date:
2010 to date

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