Young people using a magnifying glass to look at a leaf

Research in a Box

An amazing array of equipment, resources and activity plans, Research in a Box allows you to bring university style learning and research to life in your classroom.

Aiming to inspire the next generation of researchers, these free resources give your students the opportunity to learn through engaging activities or experience using research equipment through interactive practical sessions. Designed by our academics, these resources will also enable your students to discover the long-reaching impact of our world-leading research. The equipment and activities have been designed with the GCSE and A-level curriculum in mind, enabling you to teach the syllabus in a fun, exciting and innovative way.

To request any of the boxes below, please complete our request form and a member of the team will be in touch. If you have any other queries please contact us on outreach@lancaster.ac.uk

STEM Boxes

Accordion

  • Colorimetric Analysis in a Box

    This resource gives students the use of five Pasco visible spectrometers that turn any laptop, tablet or phone into a fantastic, fully-fledged STEM resource. All it takes is some free software and they’re ready for scanning and single wavelength observations. From there, students can perform kinetic manipulations of the data, or export their findings as a CSV file for analysis in Excel. The box is sufficient to resource a class of up to 24 students.

    Key Information

    Suitable for: KS5 Chemistry
    Typical loan length: Two weeks
    Loan area: This resource can only be loaned to schools nationwide
  • Chromatography in a Box

    This resource introduces your students to chromatographic theory, particularly thin layer chromatography (TLC). Containing sample analytes (analgesic tablets), TLC plates and mini tanks (4ml), along with a battery-powered UV light, it can be used as an indtroduction activity, or to complement students' current work.  Please note, due to postage restrictions, schools must supply their own solvents. 

    Available from September 2020.

    Key Information

    Suitable for: 

    KS5 Chemistry 

    Typical loan length: 

    Up to two weeks

    Loan area: 

    This resource can be loaned to schools nationwide

  • DNA in a Box

    Turn the classroom into a laboratory as you unbox all the equipment you’ll need to carry out simple molecular biology experiments. We’ll equip you with the resources and instructions to carry out DNA amplification and restriction digestion in the comfort of your classroom to get your students actively involved in molecular biology.

    Key Information

    Suitable for: 

    KS4/KS5 Biology

    Typical loan length: 

    Up to two weeks

    Loan area: 

    This resource can only be loaned to schools in the North West

  • Eye Tracker in a Box

    When we look around the world, our eyes do extraordinary things. Our intuitions about where our eyes are looking are generally poor, and sometimes completely wrong. When you look at someone's face, where do you look exactly? When you read text in a book, what are your eyes actually doing? The answers to these questions might be surprising. Where we are looking tells us a lot about the processing - conscious and subconscious - that our mind is performing when we interact with the world, and eye trackers enable us to monitor every few milliseconds what our eyes are doing. Designed for A-Level Psychology students, Eye Tracker in a Box explores how eye movements are linked to psychological processes.

    Key Information

    Suitable for: 

    KS5 Psychology 

    Typical loan length: 

    One week or more

    Loan area: 

    This resource can only be loaned to schools in the North West 

  • Fingerprint Analysis in a Box

    With an introduction to the physical and chemical nature of forensic science, this is a resource that truly leaves a lasting impression. Your students will discover how to visualise latent fingerprints - understanding the residues our fingers leave behind, and how commercial powders can make them visible. The session delves into the polymerisation reaction of the fingerprint residue, with super glue, looking at the initiation, propagation and termination steps. The box is sufficient to resource a class of up to 24 students. 

    Key Information

    Suitable for: 

    KS5 Chemistry 

    Typical loan length: 

    Up to two weeks

    Loan area: 

    This resource can be loaned to schools nationwide

  • Parasites in a Box

    Show your students the science behind our self-defence system by studying how white blood cells fight infection and diseases by using our helpful resources and tactile representation of unicellular and live parasites. Our visual learning approach aims to help students understand what a parasite is, how it causes diseases, and the ways it can be treated. 

    Key Information

    Suitable for: 

    KS4/KS5 Biology and Citizenship 

    Typical loan length: 

    One day – one week 

    Loan area: 

    This resource can only be loaned to schools in the North West

  • PCR in a Box

    This popular resource contains all the equipment needed to perform a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and gel electrophoresis, enabling students to extract DNA molecules through an electrical field. They will develop practical skills, such as the use of a micropipette, whilst also learning key methods and research techniques used in forensic science, genetic cloning and 'designer' medicines tailored to each individual's genetic make-up. This resource is designed so that your students can perform the whole process, starting with growing plants from seed, or, alternatively, we can provide you with DBA samples prepared at the University. 

    Key Information

    Suitable for: 

    KS5 Biology  

    Typical loan length: 

    Two weeks 

    Loan area: 

    This resource can only be loaned to schools in the North West

  • Physiology in a Box

    Physiology aims to understand the mechanism of living things from the basis of cell function to the integrated behaviour of the whole body. This series of amazing resources will give your students the opportunity to delve into the body and discover the workings of the heart, muscles and respatory systems.

    Available from September 2020.

  • Turning Points in Physics in a Box

    Supporting the Turning Points in Physics A-level option, this resource consists of five experiments that enable you to illustrate the key discoveries in the study of physics.

    Electron Diffraction

    The wave-particle duality concept is central to understanding quantum physics. The A-level Physics specification introduced the DeBroglie equation, and this experiment uses it along with the diffraction equation to find spacing between carbon atoms in graphite.

    Online Resources

     

    Measuring the specific charge of an electron (or the e/m ratio)

    The measuring of the e/m ration of an electron was very important at the beginning of the 1900’s so that physicists could gain a better understanding of this newly discovered particle. The experiment uses equations from circular motion and forces on electrons in magnetic fields, which is part of the A-level Physics specification. Please note that this experiment needs a fully darkened space.

    Online Resources

     

    Microwave Interferometer

    One of the most important turning points in physics was the Mitchelson Morely experiment, which implied that light did not need a medium to propagate. The microwave interferometer instructs your students on the basics and the Box also contains support materials that discuss the famous experiment and double slit apparatus that can be used to find the wavelength of the microwaves using Young’s Slits equation.

    Online Resources

     

    Millikan’s Oil Drop Experiment

    In physics, it has always been important to measure the charge of an electron and with Millikan’s ingenious experiment it is possible for your students to do so themselves. They must first find a drop and then find a voltage that will cause it to hover, before measuring the terminal velocity of when the drop falls freely. 

    Online Resources

     

    Planck's Constant

    Planck’s Constant is probably one of the most used in modern physics! This experiment uses the photoelectric effect and Einstein’s equation to measure the constant h. The Box also contains a class set of LED boxes, where the constant can be measured using a voltmeter and an ammeter using the equation E=hf.

    Online Resources

     

    Key Information

    Suitable for:  KS5 Physics 
    Typical loan length:  Three weeks or more 
    Loan area:  This resource can only be loaned to schools in the North West 
    Additional notes: Schools may loan individual experiments or all five if they wish

Business & Humanities Boxes

Accordion

  • Business in the Real World in a Box

    This video series is designed to assist in the delivery of entrepreneurship in GCSE Business Studies and enables your students to understand the role for the entrepreneur.

  • China in a Box

    China in a Box looks at the big challenges facing the world today, from global warming to poverty and world peace. If we want to address these challenges then we must consider China as a key part of the picture.

    Intended to be used in Politics as well as Language and Geography classes, this box is designed to help teachersintegrate China into the curriculum or in enrichment activities. Most of the resources are digital, so teachers can deliver classes on their own, but you’re welcome to get in touch if you would like an in-house visit.

    China is now the world's largest economy; the world’s fastest-growing large economy, and one of Britain's biggest trading partners. School students are likely to work in or with China in their future careers. China in a Box was developed to help teachers and to support student engagement with China by integrating China in the curriculum or in enrichment activities.

    The box has several optional components, including:

    • A set of three classes designed to fit the Geography GCSE Global Cities element, including a comparison of Shanghai and Liverpool
    • A ten-minute film which explores how China impacts British students’ lives, which can form the starting point for a lively debate, creative activities, or other interactive exercises
    • Materials for a role-play of the Paris Environment talks that took place in 2015, that can be used in class, or on a larger scale between classes or schools
    • We can also provide materials for schools that want to try out Chinese arts like calligraphy and paper cutting

    Key Information

    Suitable for:

    KS4 Geography, Language and Politics

    Typical loan length:

    This is a virtual resource and can be accessed for as long as required

    Loan area:

    This resource can be used by schools located nationwide

  • Design in a Box

    A virtual and web-based resource to engage students in exploring their material world and the meaning, values and intents embedded in designed products, services and their interactions.

    Designed to be used in Design and Technology as well as PSHE and Citizenship classes, Design in a Box is about the values that lie behind the choices that designers make every day in their work. Our world is made up of millions of designed objects and systems; from houses, to cars, to mobile phones, to road networks and cities. Designers have great freedom to decide how these things should be, and so the values and beliefs they hold have a huge effect on the world.

    We believe that in the future, designers will need to work in new ways and think about more than how a product looks or works. As a result, we’ve created this box to help students from KS4 onwards think about the values behind designed things.

    In the box website, you’ll find a short animated film, accompanied by adaptable lesson plans and teaching resources. The film and the materials in the box introduce a framework called the Quadruple Bottom Line. Educators and students can use this framework to explore the values behind designed things. These resources have been designed to complement existing curricula and design teaching in secondary education, preparing students for the demands and complexity of designing in the future.

    Key Information

    Suitable for:

    KS4 Design and Technology, PSHE and Citizenship

    Typical loan length:

    This is a virtual resource and can be accessed for as long as required

    Loan area:

    This resource can be used by schools located nationwide

  • GIS in a Box: exploring the UK's land use

    In our Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in a Box you will find a number of activities designed to explore the UK’s land cover and land use in fun and interactive ways, whilst introducing your students to the concept of GIS.

    Activities are based on the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology’s National Land Cover Map. Your students will gain an overview of the main characteristics of the UK ecosystem by playing a Top-Trumps style card game to compare selected counties and land use categories. As well as playing our card game, students can learn how to explore and analyse spatial data using the GIS worksheet activities. These might also have applications for independent project ideas.

    This resource is a collaboration between Lancaster University and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.

    Suitable for:

    KS4 and KS5 Geography

    Typical loan length:

    Up to two weeks, but 

    Loan area:

    This resource can be used by schools located nationwide

  • Human Geography in a Box

    From raising your students’ awareness of health inequalities to exploring the human impacts of natural disasters like flooding, Human Geography in a Box is a flexible resource consisting of five different activities enabling you to introduce a variety of human geography topics in your classroom.

    Build a Burger

    How good, or how bad, can a burger really be?! Get your students thinking critically about how much carbon and water is required for them to enjoy their favourite burger. This interactive game allows students to design their own burger from our list of ingredients and to work in teams to work out the carbon and water footprint of their designer burgers. The team will share their outcomes with the rest of the class to discuss and explore the environmental impacts associated with the food we eat.

    Designing Diets

    Playing a top trumps-style game, your students will learn the importance of having a nutritionally balanced and environmentally sustainable diet by looking at the associated social, cultural, economic and political concerns surrounding food production and consumption. The challenge is then to design a diet, based on the UK Reference Intake, which is both nutritionally balanced and environmentally sustainable.

    Flooding Snakes and Ladders

    Flood Snakes and Ladders is a training tool that is designed to provide an insight into the difficulties that residents can encounter during the long-term recovery process that follows a disaster. It was developed by Lancaster University using the results of research which explored people's recovery from the floods of June 2007 in Hull.

    Within the disaster management field, much research and planning is devoted to dealing with the disaster event itself. However, our research shows that the longer-term recovery process that follows a disaster can be equally difficult for residents to deal with. This game was developed to provide players with a personal experience of this disaster recovery process. It uses anonymised quotes from real people who took part in our research in Hull to showcase the highs and lows of recovery and how these are linked to the ways in which the recovery process is managed.

    Health Inequalities

    This free resource allows your students to raise their awareness of health inequalities and discover what life is like in someone else’s shoes.

    Health is affected by many factors beyond personal lifestyles including the environment in which we live, whether we are living in poverty and if we have access to stable employment. However, unfair and avoidable differences in how healthy different groups of people still remain.

    Our researchers, who are involved in understanding and tackling health inequalities, have developed this snakes and ladders style game. Suitable for use in PSHE, citizenship and careers classes, your students will discover the different factors that affect health and explore a range of different scenarios that can have either positive or negative impacts upon health.

    Key Information

    Suitable for:

    KS4/KS5 Geography and Citizenship

    Typical loan length:

    Up to two weeks

    Loan area:

    These resources can be loaned nationwide

     

  • Moot Court in a Box

    All the gowns and props needed to run your own moot (House of Lords/Appeal Court mock trial). With broad scope to cover many different areas of the curriculum, Moot Court in a Box can be used in PSHE, General Studies or EPQ classes, as well as English and History.

    Mooting and the running of a mock trial allows students to examine legal issues, historical issues and current affairs through the lens of a courtroom argument. Students are encouraged to structure their arguments and to prepare counter-arguments for the opposition. There is an emphasis on clear reasoning and the presentation of accurate evidence to support a claim. In a moot argument, a range of evidence could be included. This might be an academic debate, historical evidence or contemporary opinions. Possible uses might be:

    • To examine the career of a historical figure by arguing whether or not they should be charged with a crime.
    • To argue whether a new technology should be unleashed on society.
    • To structure debate around a moral dilemma.

    Key Information

    Suitable for: 

    KS4/KS5 PSHE, General Studies, English, History and EPQ

    Typical loan length: 

    This can vary depending on the intended use and year group

    Loan area: 

    This resource can be loaned nationwide

  • Radicalisation Engagement in a Box

    Radicalisation is one of the most significant threats to face young people today.

    While many assume that only disadvantaged members of ethnic minorities are at risk, the evidence suggests that people from all backgrounds can be drawn to violent extremist movements. Radicalisation Engagement in a Box contains teaching resources developed by the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion and by the work of The Richardson Institute, Britain’s oldest Peace and Conflict research centre. It uses the case of conflict involving ISIS in the Middle East to enable students to engage with the international issue of radicalisation, before considering local responses to extremism in a range of contexts.

    Key Information

    Suitable for:

    KS4/KS5 Criminology, Politics, Sociology, PSHE and Citizenship

    Typical loan length:

    This is a virtual resource and can be accessed for as long as required

    Loan area:

    This resource can be used by schools located nationwide

  • Rethinking Disadvantage in a Box

    Rethinking Disadvantage in a Box tackles one of society’s major problems. The radical inequalities, which prevents young people from accessing and taking advantage of opportunities to further their interests.

    Rethinking Disadvantage in a Box contains a series of electronic resources, including PowerPoint decks, associated videos and a PDF reading stimulus, intended to enable teachers to run a university-style four-week module on the subject.

    These workshops stimulate students to examine the part played by social, political and economic processes in the shaping of their family’s circumstances. This reflexive process is intended to assist students to understand the ways in which they may be disadvantaged by historical events and to consider means of dealing with disadvantage, particularly through participation in Higher Education.

    Key Information

    Suitable for:  KS4/KS5 Politics, Criminology, Sociology, Geography, Media Studies, PSHE and Citizenship
    Typical loan length:  This is a virtual resource and can be accessed for as long as required
    Loan area:  This resource can be used by schools located nationwide
  • Shakespeare in a Box

    This virtual resource gives you the opportunity to explore the different ways to engage film in teaching Shakespeare in the classroom, using Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet as a case study.

    Available from September 2020.

  • Teaching Asian Religions in a Box

    With increasing tensions between different religious groups around the world and growing religious diversity within Britain, never has it been more important to learn about different religions.

    Recent changes within the Religious Studies specifications at GCSE and A-Level have required students to link their knowledge of religious teachings more directly to the primary source material. This box contains teaching resources for the teaching of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam at GCSE and A-Level with a particular emphasis on contextualising core concepts of the specifications with primary sources. The box contains two types of resources:

    • PowerPoint presentations: these give an overview and textual references for the main themes and terms on the specifications. The slides are based on the presentations used at our annual teachers' conferences and can be used directly with your students or as a teachers' aid to give some structure to difficult topics.
    • Worksheets: these are exercises that have been developed through working with students with GCSE and A-level students. Students should feel free to use these worksheets as they are, as models for making their own worksheets, or for models for you to make your own worksheets. The box of resources for the teaching of Hinduism also has three videos on the topics of brahman, dharma, and moksha.

    Key Information

    Suitable for: 

    KS4/KS5 Religious Studies, Philosophy and Sociology

    Typical loan length: 

    This is a virtual resource and can be accessed for as long as required

    Loan area: 

    This resource can be used by schools located nationwide