Global challenges

Age Range: Primary and Secondary Type: Teacher Resource

In 2017, the Royal Society produced four resources, in collaboration with the British Council, for the Commonwealth Science Class project. These resources are particularly relevant to the teaching of climate science and sustainability and can be found below. 

Each resource features a stimulus video which can be shown in the classroom, and some suggested project ideas, with activity sheets, which could be developed for a Partnership Grant application as well as cross-curricular activities. These resources can be adapted for students of varying age groups across KS2 to KS5.

Classroom resources - global challenges

Rising Sea Levels - How do we stay safe as sea levels rise?

This resource focuses on the topic of rising sea levels.

  • Video (2:30mins) Mr Anote Tong served as President of Kiribati from 2003 to 2016 and is well known for his efforts to raise global awareness on the threat posed by climate change. Two small Kiribati islets are reported to have disappeared underwater in 1999 and the predicted sea level rise of 50cm by 2100 suggests that within a century much of the land will be submerged.
  • Project ideas (PDF) including: how much flooding occurs near you? What happens when water temperature rises? Defend your town from the sea.

Renewable Energy - How can we keep the lights on?

This resource focuses on the topic of renewable energy.

  • Video (2:25mins) Sarah Mander from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research discusses ideas for renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions with school students.
  • Project ideas (PDF) including: what keeps your lights on? Windmill energy challenge. Solar heating.

Emerging Infectious Diseases - How do we stop new diseases spreading?

This resource is centred on how to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

  • Video (2:26mins) The video covers the topic of emerging infectious disease and shows how a class in Nigeria is learning how they can help stop them from spreading. The video also features Professor O. Tomori, the President of the Nigerian Academy of Science.
  • Project ideas (PDF) including: when is influenza most common? Coughs and sneezes spread diseases. How effectively do you wash your hands?

Global Food Security: How can we feed a growing population?

This resource investigates the topic of global food security. 

  • Video (2:26mins) Dr Salina Parvin Banu is Chief Scientist for the research wing of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute at Gazipur, Bangladesh. She visited Fulkuri Kindergarten School, Barisal and Boithakata Government Primary School, Pirojpur with Dr Alimur Rahman to talk to students about the floating gardens developed by the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute to help grow food on flooded land.
  • Project ideas (PDF) including: what types of farming are most common in your country? Salty seeds. Floating gardens.

If you use any of these resources with your class, please do email us with any feedback you have so we can review the impact these resources are having in schools across the UK.