Learning for a more just
and sustainable world

Developing the key skills of scientific enquiry through exploring global topical issues is now an integral part of science teaching in Scotland. Global Citizenship methodologies encourage discussion and debate, supporting young people to examine their own and each other’s perspectives on the many controversial and ethical issues which accompany scientific developments in the 21st century.

How are these issues connected to our lives?  How can science contribute to the achievement of Human Rights for all?  How can science help protect our planet and the increasing demands on our limited resources?

TGA Units

Developed by Gemma McGinlay, St Margaret Mary’s Secondary, Glasgow
Although these units have been developed for use within Chemistry teaching, the concepts and key skills developed can be easily adapted for general science teaching.

Fuels are running out – what can we do?

This unit explores how dependent we are on crude oil for so many products in our modern lives.  Young people investigate what these products are, how they are produced,why not everyone in the world has equal access to them and how we can reduce our carbon footprint.

I’m Starving!

This unit explores what we choose to eat and where our food comes from. What do we mean by a good diet and is this possible for everyone in the world? Young people examine how fair and sustainable our current global food system is.


Teaching the science outcomes related to fertilisers and the nitrogen cycle can be dry! Adding in the social and global elements to this unit makes it more engaging for the pupils while also highlighting the use of synthetic fertilisers in our world.  Most importantly, it encourage us all to take some action for a more sustainable world.

Science resources

Practical Action worked closely with one of our TGA teachers to identify areas within the BGE and National Courses curriculum where global contexts can be used can be used as the starting point or focus of a lesson. Read the document (pdf)

Practical Action has a wealth of resources including STEM challenges, briefings, cartoons, pictures and video clips. The materials use examples from their projects around the world to learn the scientific principles and skills required by the curriculum, while also learning about some of the challenges and solutions faced by those living in poverty. 

I’m a Scientist Get Me Out of Here! This resource contains ‘Science Debate Kits’ which develop students’ discussion skills around scientific issues, exploring the limitations of science and the potential ethical questions surrounding it.

How We Make Stuff – Where do our clothes come from? What's the link between gorillas and mobile phones? Does chocolate grow on trees? Answering these questions and many more, How We Make Stuff is an engaging exploration of the way we use Earth's natural resources. This resource explores the stories of stuff with this online resource based on the popular book by Christiane Dorion.


Discovering Galapagos is a new interactive resource which explores concepts of biodiversity and sustainability in the Galapagos Islands.  Young people in Scotland can also use the unique online bilingual blog to communicate their learning and ask questions of young people living in the Galapagos.


Robots in War – Human soldiers have emotions. Robots don't. Robots are never affected by anger or revenge, frustration or fatigue. They don't need food or water. They can be destroyed. But they don't leave bereaved families. This resource from the British Red Cross explores whether the use of robots makes armed conflict more humane.


It Makes You Think – This resource explores a variety of topical science issues such as metals in jewellery worldwide, conflict minerals in mobile phones, malaria, clinical trials, world fisheries, biofuels, stem cells and GM crops.

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