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Senior composites engineer

This video introduces Paul, a senior composites engineer for Lola Cars International. Paul explains his role in designing the structures that are made of carbon fibre for race cars such as the one featured in the video. He discusses the love of engineering he had when he was younger and how his maths, physics...

Composites: Designing Materials for the Future

This booklet is part of the ‘Innovations in Practical Work’ series published by the Gatsby Science Enhancement Programme (SEP). Composites are made by physically combining two or more materials. Many composite materials are used to provide strength and rigidity while using thinner, lighter components. However, they...

Invention of Nylon

This film, from Twig World, looks at what makes the polymer Nylon so durable. The key points made in the film are: •In the past, clothes were all made from natural sources, such as silk, wool and cotton. •Then Wallace Carothers discovered nylon in 1939. •It was discovered through experimentation with polymers,...

Design a sports glove

In this resource, students design a new glove for use in a sport of their choice. Students may find it helpful to talk with local people who partake in their chosen sport. The P.E. Department may be able to suggest suitable contacts.

A selection of tests, activities and factsheets are available for the...

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...

Metals and Smart Alloys

This booklet is part of the ‘Innovations in Practical Work’ series published by the Gatsby Science Enhancement Programme (SEP).

Metals have been used for many thousands of years, but it was only in the 20th century that an understanding developed of how their properties could be explained in terms of their...

Watching the brain at work

This activity introduces students to an exciting technique at the forefront of brain research, functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI. Researchers use this powerful imaging technique to pinpoint precisely which areas of the brain are associated with different activities.

The activity guides students...

Aluminium

A Catalyst article about aluminium, a shiny silvery metal, which is extracted from its ore by electrolysis. Further addition of other metallic elements results in an alloy, which can be cast into various shapes using moulds. The article looks at the processes of extraction, casting, patterns, moulds and finishing...

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...

Astronauts Leaping on the Moon

This footage, from Footagevault, documents the locomotion of humans on the moon under reduced gravity conditions. It can be used with Key Stage Three and Four students to start discussions about forces. This clip shows Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan leaping towards the camera with great big kangaroo hops.

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