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Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction's EUPRB Resources

Our EUPRB resources are freely available for use by any teacher, not just those involved in Chain Reaction - but if you do use them, please contact us and let us know how you get on!

The resources used in the Chain Reaction project are based on Pupil Research Briefs (PRBs) which are problem solving and inquiry based classroom resources developed in the successful UK project Pupil Researcher Initiative. The Chain Reaction project utilises 11 of the original PRBs which are based around "The Earth and the Universe" areas covering topics from space science to environmental education for developing countries, to the impacts of climate change. The PRBs have been rebranded EUPRBs to fit with the European Union arena in which the Chain Reaction project takes place.

The EUPRBs have been updated and modified as necessary to bring them in line with the most current research outputs, curriculum developments and local contexts. These contexts and tasks, alongside the interactive and “hands on” approach of the EUPRBs, aim to appeal to both a broad range of abilities and to both genders. The range of EUPRBs offers varied teaching and learning approaches, promoting the development of diverse skills, including problem solving, team working, communication, organisational and investigative capabilities, all with a specific focus on the development of Inquiry Based Science Education in the classroom.

The following video has interviews with teachers whose schools have been involved in Chain Reaction and who attended our first National Student Conference in 2014. To see the video interviews from the third and final National Student Conference in 2016, please click here.

Download the General Teacher's Notes for EUPRBs (PDF, 0.5mb)

Collision Course

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Students learn that the Earth has been hit several times in the distant past by massive objects from space. They are asked to assess the risk of such an event occurring again and conduct experiments to estimate physical damage. They are also required to make recommendations to give early warning of an imminent collision.

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Cosmic Web Site

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Students create a website to explain the theory of the origin of the Universe known as the Big Bang. They are provided with the basic text and are asked to provide illustrations and identify words and phrases in a glossary page. The exercise provides a comprehensive explanation of the theory and how research is currently being conducted.

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ET Phone Earth

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Students are placed in the position of a group of space scientists asked to write an article for a science journal about the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial life. They are asked to use a number of background articles and papers as a basis for their article and also to suggest activities that the readers could carry out.

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Feed The World

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Students take on the roles of researchers in a university chemistry department research team working on the development of fertilisers. The research team has been asked to produce two educational leaflets covering the same topic aimed at different audiences - farmers and teachers. The researchers read a series of background papers and carry out experiments and investigations.

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Green Heating

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Students carry out simple investigations into the properties of materials that can be used in a solar panel. They are given background information and are provided with information about how a scientific investigation is conducted. They should submit their plans for approval, carry out the investigation and follow up with a written report.

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Green Light

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The aim for students to learn more about Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). Students are take the role of members of the Energy Trust Energy Efficiency Lighting Committee. They are given briefing notes and work through a meeting agenda, giving short presentations. Their ultimate task is to produce a newspaper advertisement to encourage more use of CFLs.

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The teacher and students take on the roles of research director and scientists at the Institute of Planetary Research, which is putting together a proposal to submit to NASA. NASA is planning further exploration of Mars and has requested ideas from researchers around the world about what any new missions could investigate.

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Out Of Site, Out Of Mind

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Students take on the role of new researchers in a university environmental chemistry department, that has been asked by a waste disposal company to make recommendations concerning the most suitable natural materials, to act as a liner for a landfill site. They read background papers, report back to their team and then plan and carry out the investigations.

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Ozone Conference

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Students attend a conference on the causes, monitoring and consequences of ozone formation in the troposphere and ozone layer depletion in the stratosphere. They attend two sessions, the first about ground-level ozone and the second about the ozone layer. In groups, they discuss the papers presented and report back to a plenary session.

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Students take on the role of researchers in a university engineering department, who conduct research into the design of a Portable Hydroelectric Power Plant (PHEPP). They have to investigate factors affecting the EMF produced by the generator and look at the turbine blades to find the most efficient design is achieved.

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Plants In Space

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Students take on the role of research scientists in a university department of bio-astronomy. They do some preliminary work to design a life-sustaining unit for use in a crewed flight to Mars, carry out investigations into what plants could best be used in the life-support system, and into human physiology for the oxygen and food needs of the crew.

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Other Chain Reaction Resources

Chain Reaction Teachers' Forum:

Share our promotional page for Chain Reaction 2015-16 with your students

Download our poster to promote Chain Reaction 2015-16 to your students (PDF, 2.5mb)