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#TVforTeachers – Pick of the Festive Season – Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

As a part of ERA’s commitment to helping licence holders make the best use of material available to them, we have decided to start highlighting our ‘top pick’ each week. We’re hoping to reveal multiple educational uses for a single episode, series, or film with enough time to act as a ‘heads up’ for teachers to be able to record or access the material.

For science lovers, the festive period always has one particular television highlight – The Royal Institution Christmas Lecture. This year marks the 80th birthday of this broadcast institution, and as such is drawing inspiration from the very first lecture by revisiting the topic of energy.

From the BBC about the first lecture:

In his first lecture, Saiful investigates how to generate energy without destroying the planet in the process. Saiful begins his lecture by being plunged into darkness. Armed initially with nothing but a single candle, his challenge is to go back to first principles and bring back the power in the energy-hungry lecture theatre. Along the way he explains what energy is, how we can transform it from one form to another, and how we harness it to power the modern world. A fascinating and stimulating celebration of the stuff that quite literally makes the universe tick – the weird and wonderful world of energy.

And the second…

In his second lecture, chemist Saiful Islam continues his exploration of one of the most important questions facing humankind – how to generate and use energy. He investigates how humans as living pulsing machines actually use energy, asking whether it’s possible to ‘supercharge’ the human body and increase its performance.

And the third…

In this year’s final Royal Institution Christmas Lecture, chemist Saiful Islam explores one of the most important issues facing the modern world – how to store energy. Over the course of the lecture, he tackles his toughest challenge yet – trying to work out how to store enough energy to power a mobile phone for a whole year and still fit it in his pocket! With the UK generating nearly twenty times as much energy today as it did 80 years ago, finding better ways to store it is vital for all of our futures.

The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures will air on BBC Four at 8pm on the 26th, 27th and 28th of December.   

Follow the hashtag #TVforTeachers or @EraResources for more lesson ideas.

You can also access curated clips through our new learning platform.To use the platform, you just need to email your request to era@era.org.uk and we will set-up a login so that you can access the site freely.