Teaching overview

Learning points

  • A soft, flexible robot arm has been developed by scientists to help them research and handle sealife more carefully.
  • New research into giraffe coat patterns suggests that calves inherit their spots from their mothers, and that some patterns may make it easier to hide from predators.
  • Although concrete is traditionally a hard, rigid material, scientists have developed a bendable concrete that is flexible as well as strong.

Curriculum keywords

  • Robots
  • Animals
  • Reproduction
  • Materials
  • STEM

Video viewing guide

This graphic organiser supports your students to capture their thoughts and questions as they watch the news update.

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Spark a discussion

Robot arms

  • Why have submarine arms used in underwater research up until now been problematic?
  • How are the new submarine arms controlled?
  • Can you think of anything else that this soft robotic hand could be useful for handling?

Giraffe spots

  • Why do you think the more irregular-shaped spots provide better camouflage for the giraffes than the spots with the smooth edges?
  • Camouflage helps prey animals like giraffes hide from predators. Can you think of any predators with camouflage? Why might they need camouflage?
  • Can you think of any features that you have inherited from your parents? Dimples, ear shape, or perhaps hair colour?

Bendable concrete

  • Why do you think flexible material might provide more protection during an earthquake than non-flexible material?
  • The abalone inspired the engineers to create the flexible concrete. Can you think of an animal that might inspire you to create your own invention?
  • The new, flexible concrete self-repairs. Does this make the concrete a living thing? Why or why not?

Explore our resources

Complete your lesson with teaching resources from Tigtag.

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