- Researchers in China have invented a wooden sponge that could help to clean up after oil spills.
- Scientists in the UK have trained dogs to recognise the smell of people who have malaria. The dogs could help identify infected people more quickly.
- A team of scientists in South Africa has created "bio-bricks" using urine. Unlike regular bricks, they do not need to be baked at high temperatures.
- Oil spills
Video viewing guide
This graphic organiser supports your students to capture their thoughts and questions as they watch the news update.
Spark a discussion
- Why is it necessary to try to clean up after oil spills?
- What are the advantages of using wood to create the sponge, rather than a human-made material?
- How could the scientists change their sponge design so it works on a large scale – for example, after a real-life oil spill?
Sniffing out malaria
- Why is it important to identify and treat people with malaria quickly?
- Do you think the dogs can identify for certain whether someone has malaria by sniffing their socks? Why, or why not?
- What other ways do dogs work with humans to help them tackle challenges?
- Unlike regular bricks, bio-bricks don’t need to be baked. Why is this an advantage?
- To make lots of bio-bricks, lots of urine would have to be collected! Why might this be challenging?
- Can you think of another way a waste product could be used to make something new?