Stop press! - Science news for next lesson

Up to the minute teaching ideas and activities to keep your lessons up to date and cutting edge!

See below for teaching activities based around current news stories, videos or articles.

by Teachit
21st November 2017



Students now have to learn and be able to apply a long set of physics equations for the new 9-1 GCSE. We have some resources that should help. Teaching ideas To help students get to grips with rearranging equations try Maths skills in Science –... read more

by Teachit
22nd June 2017



Biodiversity - stretch and challenge activity The proposed wall between the US/Mexico border has implications for wildlife. Students could research the habitat and the types of species that exist along the border. Ask students to think, pair,... read more

by Teachit
25th May 2017



Keywords

antibiotic resistance | disease | bacteria | viruses
Ask students to read the following article from the BBC  www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39947141 (The whole programme is available on iPlayer until 16/06/2017 www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08qkz77/michael-mosley-vs-the-superbugs ). The article has ... read more

by Teachit
6th April 2017



Graphene structure, properties and uses http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-environment-21031991 Watch the video and ask students to make notes about its structure and properties. Can they suggest any possible uses? Researchers are developing... read more

by Teachit
7th March 2017



This 3 minute video from the BBC is a fantastic introduction to Mars. We've prepared some questions that you could ask students to answer as they watch. 1. Why did the Romans name the planet Mars? 2. Where does the rusty red colour come from?... read more

by Teachit
28th January 2017



Keywords

particle theory | solids | gases
Solids, liquids and gases Ask students if it is possible to turn hydrogen gas into a solid?  If so what would they have to do to it?  Students could be given a particle diagram of a gas and a solid to help them explain.   Scientists have been... read more

by Teachit
28th January 2017



Keywords

resistance | bacteria | disease
Increasing strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria are potentially a very serious threat to the human population worldwide. This article provides an excellent starting point to highlight the problems associated with resistant bacteria. http://... read more

by Teachit
3rd November 2016



Keywords

cancer | lifestyle factors | lung disease | genetic mutations | carcinogens
Why smoking causes cancer Read the article from the BBC 'Smoking 'causes hundreds of DNA changes' Questions How many mutations are caused in every lung cell each year by smoking a packet of cigarettes a day? Why does this increase the risk... read more

by Teachit
15th September 2016



Starter questions Read the article on the BBC website. How far is a light year? Describe how the planet is formed from the dust cloud. How old is the 'young' star it has been formed from? What type of planet has been formed? How did... read more

by Teachit
8th September 2016



Read the article from the BBC 'DNA confirms cause of 1665 London's great plague' Which bacterium did they find the DNA  of? What were the symptoms of bubonic plague? How did Londoners at the time try to control the plague? What part of the... read more

by Teachit
16th July 2015



Keywords

energy | global warming | efficiency | electricity
1. What do you think is meant by the term 'energy positive' Read the article in the Guardian newspaper: Britain's first 'energy positive' house opens in Wales   Where is the energy positive house located? How long did the house take to... read more

by Teachit
2nd June 2015



Keywords

numeracy | maths skills | fossilisation | biology
Read the article from The Guardian, 'Britain's oldest dinosaur fossil found on North Yorkshire coast'. Suggested activities Ask students to find the following figures in the text a) length b) mass  c) age of the fossil d) length of time this type... read more

by Teachit
29th March 2015




by Teachit
26th March 2015



Keywords

biomimicry | physics | flight | forces

by Teachit
18th February 2015



Keywords

biomimicry | biology | chemistry | physics
Scientists are often inspired by the way nature seems so much better at certain things than man made materials. The most recent news report was the incredible strength of limpets teeth. Read Can your students think of any examples of how animals... read more

by Teachit
2nd February 2015



Keywords

ecology | water purification | biodiversity | flooding
Look at the map.  What does it show? Click here to visit the WWF website to find out more about wetlands. What can be classed as a wetland? List any wetlands that you have visited or that are near you. Why are wetlands inportant? How... read more

by Teachit
20th November 2014



Keywords

antibiotics | working scientifically | disease
Play the short clip to the class from BBC Radio 4 in four. Ask students to describe the relationship between the leaf cutter ants and the fungus. describe the relationship between the leaf cutter ants and the bacteria. what do the ants use... read more

by Teachit
11th November 2014



Teaching ideas The infographic provides a wealth of information about the diets of many different countries over the last 50 years. If in a computer suite or with access to tablets students could explore the infographics.  They could find out the... read more

by Teachit
6th November 2014



Keywords

numeracy | maths | space
Testing out the new ALMA telescope astronomers have found a solar system in the process of formation. Read the article from the BBC here. Quick questions How old is the young star? What do the dark rings show being formed? Where in the sky... read more

by Teachit
4th November 2014



Keywords

forces | gravity | air resistance
Watch the BBC video of Brian Cox's visit to the vacuum chamber. Teaching ideas Ask students to predict what will happen in air when the ball and feathers are dropped at the same time.  The ask students to predict what will happen when they are dropped... read more

by Teachit
14th October 2014



Keywords

disease | viruses
Read the article from the BBC. Teaching ideas Ask students to describe how Ebola virus can be transmitted. Students could write a list of 5-10 precautions that health care workers should take before treating a patient suffering from Ebola.... read more

by Teachit
9th October 2014



Keywords

energy efficiency | light | working scientifically
Read the article from the BBC. Questions 1. Why was the scientists discovery awarded the Nobel Prize? 2. Red and green LEDs had already been invented, why was a blue LED important? 3.  Do you have a device with a blue LED, if so what is it?... read more

by Teachit
7th October 2014



Keywords

working scientifically | women in STEM
Read the OpenLearn article 'Influential women scientists in chemistry' Teaching ideas Ask students to work in pairs. They could read the article and take it in turns to underline the names of the women scientists in green. the scientists... read more

by Teachit
23rd September 2014



Keywords

disease | bacteria | viruses
  Read the article from the BBC 'Five bugs you can catch in the changing room' Teaching ideas Ask students to read the article and underline the disease causing organisms in red, symptoms in blue and treatment in green. They could summarise... read more

by Teachit
1st September 2014



Keywords

cells | genetics | reproduction
Cells, genetics and reproduction (KS5)   Teaching ideas Put students into pairs. Ask one student from each pair  to read the first 6 paragraphs from the BBC article. Then ask them to describe to their partner where DNA is found in a cell.... read more

by Teachit
1st September 2014



Keywords

electricity | power | energy transfer
EU to ban high-energy appliances Currently very topical with the recent ban on selling 1600 Watt vacuum cleaners. Bans on other high powered appliances are being considered.   Teaching ideas As a topical introduction to a lesson on the power... read more

by Teachit
23rd June 2014



Keywords

ecology | competition | food chains | adaptation
    Read the article from the Telegraph. Teaching ideas Provide students with a copy of the article and ask them to describe the ways in which the Harlequin ladybird is a threat to our native ladybirds. Maths skills – Using the information... read more

by Teachit
23rd June 2014



Keywords

composition of atmosphere | hydrocarbons | benzene | aromatics
Teaching ideas See the article from www.cnet.com KS3 - Ask students to read the article and compare the atmosphere of Titan with that of the earth. (See our resource 'Earth's atmosphere – spot the difference' to compare the Earth's early atmosphere... read more

by Teachit
15th May 2014



Keywords

nanotechnology | nanoparticles
Teaching ideas Ask students to read the article from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27425217 ). It's often difficult to explain scientific concepts to an audience of non-scientists. Ask them to highlight any words that have... read more

by Teachit
8th May 2014



Keywords

DNA
Task Draw a diagram to show the structure of a short section of DNA. Read the Telegraph article about changes to DNA structure. Draw another diagram to show the unique DNA that scientists have produced. Discuss what implications this might... read more

by Teachit
4th April 2014



Keywords

air quality | pollution | atmosphere | biology | health
Click here to see an article from the BBC about the recent high levels of pollution in the UK. What is air pollution? What has caused the high levels in this recent case? How does it affect health? How could air pollution be reduced? Do you... read more

by Teachit
18th March 2014



Keywords

camouflage | adaptations | citizen science
Starter activity - click on the picture to see the Telegraph article - can you spot the bird in the video? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/good-to-share/10703943/Animal-camouflage-can-you-spot-the-bird.html What is the advantage of being well... read more

by Teachit
18th March 2014



Keywords

space | origins of the universe | big bang theory
How old do you think the Universe is thought to be?               Click on the picture for an explanation of the discovery about the Big Bang. What do scientists think has caused the oldest light (we can detect ) to twist?... read more

by Teachit
14th March 2014



Keywords

physics | biomechanics | bones | skeleton | movement | literacy in science
Ironman - the 'rise of the human exoskeletons' What do you think 'exoskeleton' means? Which organisms have an exoskeleton? What is the opposite of an exoskeleton? What could an artificial exoskeleton be used for? Read the article from the... read more

by Teachit
14th March 2014



Keywords

space | solar system | literacy in science
Write down all the different types of training that astronauts need to go through before going on the International Space Station (you could watch the video with the sound turned off to give you some clues). Watch the video and listen to Tim Peake... read more

by Teachit
26th February 2014



Keywords

KS4 | KS5 | protein structure | circulation | anticoagulant | conservation | how science works | literacy in science
Listen to the podcast from Chemistry World. 1.  How were leeches collected in the middle ages? 2. Why were leeches a popular medical treatment? 3. Why did leech smuggling become common? 4. Why did bloodletting using leeches go out of favour?... read more

by Teachit
18th February 2014



Keywords

KS3 | adaptations
Ask students to draw a robot. Does it look like the robot below? Show the BBC clip about the robots being developed now. Which animals are inspiring robot builders? Think of a problem or situation that is difficult for humans to work... read more

by Teachit
28th January 2014



Keywords

numeracy
  Click here to watch the BBC clip about pumping water from the Somerset levels. Ten tonnes of water are being pumped every second from the Somerset levels. A. Calculate how many tonnes of water are being pumped a) per minute b) per hour... read more

by Teachit
21st January 2014



Keywords

diversity | conservation | ecology
KS4 Biology - diversity, conservation, ecology Before watching the film answer the following questions. - How many freshwater fish species are in the UK? - Name as many you can. Click here to watch a film by wildlife photographer Jack Perks... read more

by Teachit
21st January 2014



Keywords

genetics | inheritance | gene therapy
  Watch the clip from the BBC. Take notes as you watch and listen. Questions What condition is Jonathan Wyatt suffering from? How did Professor Maclaren treat the condition? a) Describe the procedure. b) Explain how the therapy... read more

by Teachit
10th December 2013



Keywords

KS4 | fighting disease
Show students the picture - take care to hide the caption. Click here to  view the photo from The Scientist website Task Look at the picture - what do you think it shows? Compose a tweet to describe what you can see (remember to use just 140... read more

by Teachit
21st November 2013



Keywords

materials
US engineers have used nature for inspiration to develop the most waterproof material yet. Click here to read the article from the BBC. Task i) Which living organisms inspired the scientists with their waterproof properties? ii)What feature... read more

by Teachit
18th November 2013



Keywords

chemistry | elements | periodic table
Find out how the 115 elements in the periodic table got their names, click here to read an article from the BBC. Click here to view our resource 'Periodic tables - for colouring or cut and paste!' Task Find the elements mentioned in the article... read more

by Teachit
4th November 2013



Look at the winning scrabble board from this years National Scrabble Competition. Click here to view the winning scrabble board   Task Can you find the three scientific terms that have been used? Clues A fungal fruiting body Common newt ... read more

by Teachit
4th November 2013



Keywords

forces | gravity
Watch the trailer for the film 'Gravity'. Click here to view the film trailer. Discuss with your partner what conditions are like in space for the astronauts. Further activities Try the Gravity spacewalk on the official film website. Click... read more

by Teachit
4th November 2013



Task 1. Read the first sentence from the BBC article European forests near 'carbon saturation point'. Click here to view the article from the BBC. 2. Discuss with your partner what you think is meant by the terms  'carbon sink' and 'saturation point'.... read more

by Teachit
17th October 2013



Keywords

how science works | ecology | environment | classification
Scientists are concerned about the invasion of the Spanish slug, Arion vulgaris and are asking for the publics help to find out how widespread they are. Click here to see an article from the BBC Task Read the article. How is the Spanish slug... read more

by Teachit
8th October 2013



Keywords

how science works | subatomic particles | mass | atomic structure
Two scientists have been awarded the Nobel prize for physics for their work on the Higgs Boson. Click here to see a report from the BBC Task Read the article about the theory and discovery of the Higgs boson. 1) Discuss how scientists worked... read more

by Teachit
30th September 2013



Task 1. Look at the pictures of the Tom Tato and the apple tree. Click here to view the Tom Tato Click here to view the apple tree  2. What is unusual about these plants? 3. How do you think they were produced? 4. Read the articles -... read more

by Teachit
23rd September 2013



Keywords

genetics | disease | conservation | citizen science
Click here to read the article from BBC News 'Scientists UK ash tree genome'. Task    Read the article and answer the following questions.   1) What is Ash dieback caused by? 2) Scientists have sequenced the genome of a UK Ash tree.  What... read more

by Teachit
17th September 2013



Keywords

predators | evolution | genetics | biodiversity | conservation
Scientists have sequenced the genome of several big cat species. What is the importance of this?  Q How much DNA do you think a tiger shares with a domestic cat? Click here to read about the story from the BBC.  Task 1. Which cats have had... read more

by Teachit
12th September 2013



Voyager probe has now left the solar system and entered interstellar space. Read the BBC Newsround article by clicking here. Read the BBC news article by clicking here.   Task Calculate the average speed that Voyager is travelling at. ... read more

by Teachit
12th September 2013



Read the article from New Scientist 'Predators learn to see through camouflage' Task 1. Which animal is easier to see the nightjar or the mantis? 2. Describe the two types of camouflage mentioned in the article.  3. Can you think of any other... read more

by Teachit
4th September 2013



A fascinating story about a London skyscraper starting fires and melting cars!   Click here to see the BBC report.    Task 1. Watch the report and list the problems that have been caused by the building.   2. a) Investigate - use... read more

by Teachit
3rd September 2013



The elements are traditionally arranged in the periodic table but can be arranged in other ways for example Mark Lorch has merged the elements with the iconic underground map. Click here to see the map and read the article. Task Show students... read more

by Teachit
2nd September 2013



Keywords

KS4 | inheritance | genetics
A new study tracks the average height of men since 1870. Quick class discussion   1. Do you think that the average height of men has changed since the 1870's? if so how? 2. Is height the result of a persons genes or the environment? 3.... read more

by Teachit
28th August 2013



Keywords

magnets | recycling
Quick class discussion How would you separate steel cans from aluminium?   Article A machine that can sort your recyclables. Click the link for a diagram and explanation about the science behind how it works.   http://www.popsci... read more

by Teachit
28th August 2013



Keywords

radioactivity | atomic structure
News story  New evidence from a Swedish team of scientists for element with atomic number 115. Click the following link for the BBC news story.   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23849334   Task   1.  When was the existence... read more

by Teachit
13th August 2013



Keywords

KS3 space
KS3 space Click here for pictures and a BBC news story about the recent meteor shower.   Task Answer the following questions What is a shooting star? What is a meteor caused by? What is the difference between a meteor and an asteroid?... read more

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