BBC Channel

Supporting learning is at the heart of the BBC's mission. This channel provides accessible, engaging, inspiring and challenging content covering a wide range of unique documentaries and series. From space science, medicine, animal behaviour to international history and social justice, let the experts take you through a real journey of discovery.

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Ivy's Plant Shop Classifying and grouping plants

An entertaining overview of how plants can easily be arranged according to their common features and characteristics. For example: plants with seeds (e.g. flowering plants and conifers) or without seeds (e.g. ferns and mosses). Teacher notes: You could bring in different variations of plants and get students to catogorize them using the information highlighted in the video. They could then ...
  • 2018
  • 00:03:04
  • 5-8
  • Added on: 09/04/2019

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Teacher Guide(s)

  • How to Use Video Effectively in the Classroom [.pdf]

Wave World What do a solar-powered car and a green plant have in common?

Jon Chase joins engineering students at Cambridge University hoping to win a race across Australia in their solar-powered car. Today they are testing the 110 km/h car on an airfield. They need as much power as possible, so the team uses solar cells normally used in space to power satellites. Jon discovers how the cells use light to make electricity. ...
  • 2015
  • 00:04:08
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 09/04/2019

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Wave World The GB surfing team demonstrate different types of waves

Jon Chase is on Croyde Beach in Devon, headquarters of the junior GB surfing team. His mission is to find out what different types of waves there are and how they work. With Britain's best young surfers, Jon investigates sea waves. How come the waves travel towards the shore but the sea water does not? Using demonstrations on the beach ...
  • 2015
  • 00:03:33
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 09/04/2019

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The Code Fractal geometry in nature and digital animation

Marcus du Sautoy describes how fractal geometry can be used to describe natural objects, and how it is used in digital animation. Trees use the simple rule of trying to maximize surface area, and this is something that can be simulated mathematically to give a very realistic result. Mandelbrot explored this fractal property of infinite complexity in his work, which ...
  • 2011
  • 00:05:05
  • 15-17
  • Added on: 09/03/2019

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The Code Normal distribution in fish populations

Marcus du Sautoy examines a sample of dover sole from a day's catch, and by measuring the weight of this small number of fish, explores how the bell-curve of the Normal Distribution allows us to predict what the largest fish in the population is likely to weigh, even without catching it. The calculations are not shown in full detail, but ...
  • 2011
  • 00:04:09
  • 15-17
  • Added on: 09/03/2019

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The Code Using probability functions to help locate serial killers

Marcus du Sautoy meets a detective with a PhD in mathematics who has created a probability function that can help narrow down the area in which a serial killer is likely to live. The case of Jack the Ripper is outlined, and the probable street where he lives revealed. The function is then broken down and the different elements explained: ...
  • 2011
  • 00:04:33
  • 15-17
  • Added on: 09/03/2019

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The Code Hexagons in the natural world

Marcus du Sautoy visits a beekeeper and explores how bees create their honeycombs. If they are going to tessellate they have a limited number of regular polygons they could choose from, but the hexagon is the most efficient – giving the maximum storage area for the least amount of wax. In fact, the bees do not create hexagons, but circular ...
  • 2011
  • 00:05:13
  • 15-17
  • Added on: 09/03/2019

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The Code Imaginary numbers at use in the real world

Starting with the logical roots of arithmetic with negative numbers, Marcus du Sautoy explains how mathematicians created imaginary numbers by ‘imagining’ the square root of -1. Though imaginary in nature, he then explores how this abstract mathematical idea has become vital to air traffic control systems. Teacher notes: Use as an enrichment and extension clip during a series of lessons ...
  • 2011
  • 00:04:33
  • 15-17
  • Added on: 09/03/2019

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The Code Using patterns in Google searches to predict flu outbreaks

Marcus du Sautoy explores how internet searches are building up a huge database of linked information which can then be mined for patterns. Visiting Google’s offices, he sees this at work and reveals just how closely Google can predict flu outbreaks, even before hospitals have begun to need to respond to them. Flu kills hundreds of thousands each year, but ...
  • 2011
  • 00:04:02
  • 15-17
  • Added on: 09/03/2019

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Andrew Marr's History of the World The Atomic bomb

Andrew Marr explores the development and deployment of the first atomic bomb. He describes the moral dilemma faced by the scientists of the Manhattan Project, and the fallout from the detonation of the bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Warning: Contains some upsetting and disturbing scenes. Teacher notes: Students could write a series of haiku poems (5-7-5 syllables) justifying ...
  • 2012
  • 00:08:49
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 09/03/2019

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