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Teachers can use the supporting teacher notes to pose questions about technological advances and changes and provoke discussion. Download Teacher’s notes
Life Without Stem uses five scenarios exploring how ideas, developments and discoveries have changed and improved the way we live; helping us to stay healthy, to keep ourselves entertained, stay in touch with each other and to travel in comfort and safety. Each scenario has four animated scenes, to move through them click on the arrows and see the technology disappear.
Vanessa has had an endoscope inserted down her throat so the doctor can see inside her stomach. What kind of things might he be looking for? How might this help? Why is it used on hollow organs?
Vanessa is ill and the doctor is gathering information but is only using basic equipment. How could he investigate her heart rate?Her breathing? Her temperature? Why might he record the measurements? How well can he tell what might be causing a problem with her condition?
Vanessa is having an MRI scan, which will show images of the inside of her body. What might it feel like to be inside a machine like that? Why might the doctors want images of the inside of her body? How will this help the treatment?
Vanessa has been connected to an ECG machine to show how well her heart is working. Why might the doctor be interested in this? Why is this better than measuring someone’s pulse manually? What might be affecting the way her heart is beating?
Anita has an electric fire instead of central heating. Why might she not like this so much? Because she can only get live TV broadcasts she has to be ready to catch the programme. Why might this be a problem? What’s different about the picture on the TV?
Anita is finding it difficult to keep warm. What might she have had to do to get a fire going? What does the fire offer as well as heat? With no radio or TV, what can she do for entertainment?
Anita is watching her favourite film on TV again. Why can she watch it whenever she wants to? She’s also using a mobile device at the same time? Why might she be doing this? Why is ‘second screening’ increasingly common?
Anita has a coal fire in her house. It’s nice to look at but why is it not always convenient? She’s listening to the radio. How does this compare with watching TV? The radio is rather large and heavy - why might this limit its usefulness?
Alan doesn’t have his own computer to use but goes along to use a terminal on a big computer called a mainframe, which has its own room. Why is this not very convenient for him? It’s good at calculations but won’t really handle images. How does this affect what it’s used for?
Alan’s computer is a desktop machine and it takes up quite a lot of the desk. Why does he find it useful to use a computer? How does it compare with a laptop machine? Why does he not use it in meetings?
Alan is pleased with his tablet device. What might he be using it for? Why might he find it a useful piece of equipment? What is he dependent upon for it working well? Why might he think it is better than his previous equipment?
Alan is working on his laptop on the train. What might he be doing with it? Why does he find it an effective way of working? How does this compare with using a tablet device? How does this compare with a desktop computer?
Perhaps Lucy would be better off in a car built the way they were many years ago - nice and solid. It will get her there, eventually, and maybe not as smoothly. It’s slower - but is it safer? And why does it use more fuel and cause more pollution?
Lucy likes her car. She feels safe in it, it’s comfortable and it seems quite economical. Can it really be safe though, with a top speed over 100 mies an hour and with all that plastic? And is it that economical with all those gadgets?
Perhaps she’s better off on a bicycle then. After all, before cars were common these were widely used to get around on. Will she be safe and kept warm and dry? Is any fuel being used?
So is a horse a better idea then? Before roads had good surfaces they were widely used to get around on - and they feed themselves. Why is Lucy looking fed up? What disadvantages might she have found?
Sakiya’s Uncle needed to get an urgent message to her. Without telephones or e-mail he used a telegram, which was printed out at the Post Office and delivered by hand. Why was it quicker than post? Why was it not immediate? Why were telegrams only used for important communications?
Sakiya is talking to her uncle; they are using mobile phones. Sakiya has lots of friends she likes to keep in touch with and her Uncle is a busy man. Why might they both use mobile phones a lot? What else might they use them for as well as voice calls? Why are they sometimes not be able to use their phones?
Sakiya’s Uncle has had to use the post to reach her. Why is post sometimes referred to now as ‘snail mail’? Why is it still used for certain important communications? What else is the mail system used for, as well as personal letters?
Sakiya has managed to catch up with her Uncle using a landline as they both happened to be in. Why is this a less useful system? What else can they use it for? Why might they still use it?