Enabling students to understand and analyse contemporary issues in science and technology

Activities for transport issues

Here are activities to help with the teaching of this topic.

Transport attitudes

This short introductory activity encourages students to think about how different groups in society have different transport needs and a diverse range of views on transport policies.
Teacher notes and student sheets (477 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (59 KB)

Lss 50 PixLSS: Skim reading a series of articles

In this activity, a series of brief articles is presented to the students who complete individual and / or group exercises to explore and develop their approach to reading text. The skills developed in this activity will be useful for the Media watch activity.
Teacher notes and student sheets (791 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (152 KB)

Media Watch

This activity encourages students to investigate how transport issues are portrayed in (mainly) printed media and what these reports show us about how science works. They collect newspaper and magazine articles, adverts and flyers which are concerned with transport issues.
Teacher notes and student sheets (575 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (61 KB)

Measurement errors

Some ideas for a quick activity to demonstrate the inherent error in any measurement, using thermometers, watches or rulers. It shows how even a simple measurement is subject to both random and systematic error. It should take about 15 minutes.
Teacher notes and student sheets (261 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (34 KB)

Exam style question on ozone pollution

This activity is very similar to the sort of questions students will meet in the final exam, though longer. It includes questions on science explanations, on data interpretation and on how science works, reviewing in a new context the causal links ideas met in 1.1 and 1.2.
Teacher notes and student sheets (1.5 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (350 KB)

Air pollution and regulation

This activity reviews the main evidence used in debates on air pollution regulation. It is one of several written to improve students’ argument skills. These skills are important for Unit 2 and for the longer answers in the Unit 1 exam paper.
Teacher notes and student sheets (549 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (57 KB)

Mumbai

Air quality is poor in many cities, especially in the less economically developed nations. Now many city authorities are using regulation and new technology to improve the situation. This exercise uses a news item about a policy change in Mumbai (Bombay) as a lead into a discussion about the quality of that decision and the way in which evidence can be used or abused in making a critique of the decision.
Teacher notes and student sheets (1.4 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (469 KB)

The car of the future - which fuel

This activity encourages students to use their understanding of energy and of some of the factors that are involved in making decisions. They consider the advantages and disadvantages of using biofuels, hydrogen or lithium batteries to replace fossil fuels.
Teacher notes and student sheets (566 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (94 KB)

Lss 50 PixLSS: Preparing a short presentation

This activity aims to help students develop the skill of acquiring information from presentations and knowledge of how good presentations are structured and presented. Students then do their own presentation, based on one of four articles about alternative fuels, which will reinforce learning about this topic.
Teacher notes and student sheets (0.9 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (197 KB)
Powerpoint presentation (496 KB)

Transport trends
In this activity students practice using graphs to obtain information. They consider changes in transport in the UK over the past 25 years, and some possible future trends. They can then select evidence from the data to argue a case either for or against motorway building.
Teacher notes and student sheets (479 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (96 KB)

Lss 50 PixLSS: Interpreting graphs

Using a graph to ‘tell a story’ is a challenging task but provides insights into methods of data collection as well as scientific understanding of phenomena. It can help students to recognise limitations in experimental methods. This activity offers an alternative approach to the same graphs as in the Transport Trends activity.
Teacher notes and student sheets (0.8 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (137 KB)

Lss 50 PixLSS: Processing and representing data

Scientists often have to interpret large amounts of complex data. In order to do so, they need to be able to process the raw data into a form that is easy to understand. In this activity, students are given a set of raw data and are asked to convert it into a data table, then to select an appropriate visual presentation.
Teacher notes and student sheets (746 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (99 KB)

Particle collection practical

This activity gives students direct practical experience of some of the issues involved in collecting and analysing data on air pollution. It is designed to be run over two sessions. In the first session students will make their dust collectors and decide where to place them, and in the second session they will collect and analyse their data.
Teacher notes and student sheets (0.9 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (141 KB)
Particle collection graph paper (11 KB)

Biofuels - Exam style question

This activity tests science explanations and asks students to consider some of the advantages and disadvantages of biofuels.
Teacher notes and student sheets (2.3 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (84 KB)