Teacher notes

21st July 2000 at 01:00
Appropriate technology

Many of the world's poorest people earn their living from small-scale enterprises, using traditional technology, run from their homes, fields and workshops. The Intermediate Technology Development Group works with them to develop practical answers to poverty through appropriate, affordable, sustainable technology. Together, they have devised improved housing, more fuel-efficient stoves and better well-buckets - as well as the ideas in this project. Intermediate Technology's Education Officers have teaching resources available for schools. For details, contact the Intermediate Technology Development Group, The Scumacher Centre for Technology and Development Bourton Hall, Bourton-on-Dunsmore, Rugby, Warwickshire CV23 9QZ. Tel: 01788 661100 or e-mail itdg@itdg.org.uk.


An electric motor is a device that converts electrical energy to movement energy; a generator converts movement to electricity. Reversing an electric motor generates an electric current. Children should learn about electrical safety. Because electricity is a novel energy source for people in the villages of Nepal, a series of warning posters have been developed to protect the new electricity users. Because many people could not read and write, and those that could did not have a common language, the safety campaign depended upon visual messages - posters, flash cards and street theatre. Children could develop their own forms of these for UK use.

Pedal power

any children have bicycles, and have experienced their efficiency and adaptability. They will appreciate the development of a simple hitch (like those cars tow caravans with) that converts a bike into a load carrier.

The bicycle is a design classic and a great opportunity for work on forces, materials and electricity in science. Devising a purposeful trailer extends this study to technology.

Fast food For people in Bangladesh and in the UK, food processing generates income when:

* small amounts of food can be bought locally and cheaply;

* there is a local market offering a quick financial return;

* waste is kept to a minimum, without expensive packaging; The Madam Tasty education programme in Sri Lanka has developed the idea of fast-food production. A radio programme shares information on recipes, techniques and hygienic food preparation. Children could develop their own fast-food radio channel using a cassette recorder.



Infants should generate ideas drawing on other people's experiences, and design and make them using a range of materials, including food. Juniors should generate ideas for products after thinking about who will use them, and design and make them using a range of materials including electrical and mechanical components and food.

Many of the statements in the new PSHE and citizenship guidelines, and in the non-statutory statement of values, are achievable through these activities.

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