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An introduction to papers and boards

This presentation and student activity support the teaching of the properties, types and uses of papers and boards. The presentation looks at how papers and boards are made, providing a brief scientific explanation for their structure.

Where's the impact?

This resource looks at life-cycle analysis and how it is used to work out the environmental impact of different products.

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,...

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...

Design abacus

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

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...

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 manufacture of...

To make graphene

This video explores graphene and explains how it can be made simply using sellotape and graphite from a pencil.  It also mentions some of the applications of graphene.

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...

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...


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