Eco-phone: Analyse and solve

The issue



ecophones analyse and solve

What to do

Answer the research questions you wrote in the ‘what I want to know’ column of the grid below.

1. Look at the sources below to see which ones are relevant. List these in the ‘how I will find out’ column.

2. Use the sources of information to answer them and complete the ‘what I have learnt’ column.

KWHL ecophone

3. You are now ready to communicate your findings:

ecophones communicate




Use your scientific skills to decide which sources are relevant and to extract the important information. The ‘thinking guides’ below can help you. Real sources come from websites. Adapted sources have been edited to make them easier to read.

Real sources


Grass-resin casing 

Video and news article An engineer talks about how his company build smartphone casings out of grass.

Scientific paper An investigation into the properties of a resin and grass composite material. You can read the abstract at the start which is a summary of the whole paper. An adapted version is also available that contains simpler language.

Tree fibre circuit board 

Scientific paper This was written by expert scientists so contains some technical language. You can use the adapted version instead.

Press release This was written by the university where the research mentioned above was carried out. There is an adapted version if you prefer.

Sugar battery

Scientific paper This was written by scientists who are developing sugar batteries. There is an adapted version for you to read.

Web article This contains useful information about sugar batteries. You can also read the adapted version.

Video Scientists developing sugar batteries discuss how they work and the advantages of them over conventional lithium batteries.

Adapted sources

These have been edited to make them easier to read:

Grass-resin casing

Data sheet

Size: 438.34 KB

Scientific paper

Size: 204.59 KB




Tree fibre circuit board

Press release

Size: 230.06 KB

Scientific paper

Size: 332.81 KB




Sugar battery

Web article

Size: 405.55 KB

Scientific paper

Size: 266.41 KB

Thinking guides

Thinking guides

Size: 653.41 KB




These sheets help you think through the skills you need to extract information and to make decisions:

Interrogate sources thinking guide: This will help you to decide how reliable sources such as news articles, press releases and scientific papers are. Use it with the sugar batteries information.

Analyse patterns thinking guide: Use this to help you work out what the data in the tree fibre circuit boards sources mean. If you need more guidance, ask your teacher for a different version of the guide.

Critique claims thinking guide: Use this with the grass-resin casing sources to help you to decide if the claims made by the manufacturers are believable. If you need more guidance, ask your teacher for a different version of the guide.

Big Stuff Blog:

An inspiring conference, say science educators.

The second International conference on Engaging Science for teachers coordinated by Dr. Ale Okada, at the Open University on March 23rd of 2019, presented evidence that the project is sustainable. Some of the key topics discussed by Science teachers were practices and strategies developed to address the key issues raised by the ENGAGE community in the previous conference:

  • What are the benefits and challenges  to promote open schooling through Engaging Science?   
  • How can  science curriculum be more inclusive and unbiased about gender?
  • How can the Science Education curriculum be reshaped so that it’s more fit for purpose?
  • How can an approach focussed on examination success still lead to an enlightened science education?


Funded by the the engaging science network, this annual event brought together more than 80 Science teachers from ...


Open Education Global Award !

The Open App to foster inquiry skill for Responsible Research and Innovation developed by the ENGAGE project received a special Award by the Board of Directors and Awards Committee of the Open Education Consortium

The Open App Award for Excellence is presented to an exceptional instrument proven to be an essential tool for professionals, trainers and teachers for building, and delivering open education.

This award is selected by the OE Awards Committee to recognize truly exceptional work in Open Education.

The OU’s new interdisciplinary RUMPUS research group is based in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education, and Language Studies but has members from across the university and outside it. We examine the role of fun in learning and life, for both children and adults, and from both children’s and adults’ perspectives with new educational approaches including open schooling. 

The Open App project is an initiative of Rumpus Centre led by Dr. Alexandra Okada with a group of partners in the UK (David Wortley) and Brazil (Sangar Zucchi, Simone Fuchtler and Karine, Rocha). It focuses on Open Educational Resources (OER) to be designed by youth based on ‘open schooling’ approach to foster skills for Responsible Research and Innovation underpinned by the ENGAGE project (Okada & Sherborne, 2018) . It is funded by Brazil government and supported by 360 in 360 Immersive Experiences (2018-2019). These OER for mobile devices about topical socio-scientific issues can be used, openly and freely, in formal and non-formal settings to enhance students and citizens’ immersive learning with fun and engagement. Our studies suggest that Virtual Reality (VR) can transform the way educational content is delivered making it easy to immerse learners in time and space with real-life settings relevant for society.

The Open App project team will be applauded for their dedication to ...