Television: pick of the week

The Technology Programme:Joinedupdesignforschools C4 Mondays, September 23 and 30, 11.25-11.50am

Part of a national design project to improve life in schools, this design and technology series for 14 to 16-year-olds, with its trendy, alloneword title, takes a problem in the school environment, makes a small group of pupils into the clients and appoints a design expert to help them reach a solution. First of all, the problem has to be defined. The pupils in the final programme, for example, start with an enquiry to discover what their schoolmates think is wrong with their classrooms, before getting architect Keith Priest to help redesign them. When the students loosely describe their post-war school as "Victorian", Priest points out that the place is arguably not even as good as a 19th-century schoolroom. This week, interior designer Ben Kelly takes on the seemingly impossible task of re-designing a school dining hall to accommodate all the pupils with the minimum of queuing. The result, involving an extension inspired by a plastic cup, impresses the group: "he got over the problems - it's amazing," one of them exclaims. However, as the end caption reveals, there is one problem they didn't crack: the governors can't find the money for the improvements. But the students and viewers have learned something about planning, communicating, product analysis and understanding materials - so the effort was not wasted.

Watch: Barnaby Bear BBC2 Monday, September 23, 10.40am

A new programme in a slot for five to seven-year-olds featuring the much-travelled Barnaby and his mum. They're off to Edinburgh, to stay in a youth hostel and do some sightseeing. At the castle, a soldier tells Barnaby about the history of the place; he also learns about kilts and bagpipes and takes a ride down the Royal Mile in a carriage. Finally, the view from Arthur's Seat provides the opportunity for a lesson in geology and the region's volcanic past. Scots for tots.

Pod's Mission: Food Chains BBC2 Friday, September 27, 11.35am

Pod goes down on the farm to find out (and inform us) what "mookle" is, and in the process he and we learn all about food chains. Pod meets Mildred, a Ganoopian creature who lives on the mysterious "mookle". It all adds up to biology for eight to nine-year-olds.

Copenhagen (pictured) BBC4 Wednesday, September 25

In 1941, two renowned scientists met in Copenhagen: they were the Danish physicist, Nils Bohr, and his German colleague, Werner Heisenberg. The two had been close friends, as well as scientists whose work was paving the way for the harnessing of nuclear energy, but now they found themselves divided by the outbreak of war. Michael Frayn's play, adapted for television by the author and directed by Howard Davies, dramatises the moral problems confronting the two men. Frayn contributes a special introduction to this production, which is accompanied by a documentary, Copenhagen Falls Out, giving the historical background to the play; the package should provide valuable material for older students of 20th-century history and stimulate discussion on science, politics and morality.

For full schedules: swhatsontvindex.shtml

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