Exterminate: Analyse and solve

The dilemma

exterminate question

This is a big decision. Exterminating mosquitoes has benefits, but there are risks too.

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 exterminate


3. You are now ready to communicate your views:




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

Oxitec video Listen to real scientists explain their work and find out how GM mosquitoes can help exterminate dangerous ones.

GM mosquito diagram A diagram to show how the GM technology works.

Scientific paper This is a paper written by scientists and explains their research. It will help you decide if GM mosquitoes work. The language is difficult (there is an adapted version below).

Press release Oxitec wrote this. It is to help journalists write articles about some of their research. An adapted version is below.

News video Oxitec are planning to release GM mosquitoes in Florida, USA (mosquitoes living there spread both dengue fever and zika). This news story highlights some of the concerns residents have.

New York times article    Collective evolution website    These two websites contain lots of opinions on the risks and benefits of GM mosquitoes.

Adapted sources

These ones have been edited:

If you find searching the websites for opinions difficult, use the document ‘risks and benefits’ instead.

Scientific paper

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Press release

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Risks and benefits

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Ethical viewpoints wall Here are some ethical viewpoints for you to discuss using rights and duties thinking.


Thinking guides

Thinking guides

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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.

Estimate risks thinking guide: Use this to weigh up the benefits and risks of science applications and technologies.

Use ethics thinking guide: This explains rights and duties – one type of ethical thinking that will help you to make an ethical decision.

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 ...