Should we eat bugs?

What’s tasty, abundant and high in protein? Bugs! Although less common outside the tropics, entomophagy, the practice of eating bugs, was once extremely widespread throughout cultures. You may feel icky about munching on insects, but they feed about 2 billion people each day (Mmm, fried tarantulas). They also hold promise for food security and the environment.

Watch a video about the practice of eating bugs and choose the best answer for each question.

1. How many people eat bugs worldwide?

a) 2 billion

b) 500,000

c) 3 million

d) 75 million

2. The ___________ historically enjoyed beetle larvae.

a) Aboriginal Australians

b) Native Americans

c) The Ancient Greeks

d) The Romans

3. When did our attitude towards eating bugs begin to change?

a) In the last 100 years

b) Around 10,000 BC

c) 1700

d) 1250 AD

4. How many different insect species do people eat around the world?

a) 1,500

b) 2,000

c) 750

d) 1 million

5. Which part of the world currently eats insects the most?

a) Asia

b) The Americas

c) Countries in the tropics

d) The Polar Regions

6. Some insects are made of up to 80% protein.

a) True

b) False

7. List some creative ways for changing people’s perception of bugs as pests.




Lesson by Emma Bryce, Animation by Alicia Reece  & Julia Iverson

What really happens to the plastic you throw away

We’ve all been told that we should recycle plastic bottles and containers. But what actually happens to the plastic if we just throw it away?

Watch a video about the life cycles of three different plastic bottles and choose the best answer for each question.

1. The chains that ultimately form plastic are known as:

a) Monomers

b) Polymers

c) Oil and gas molecules

d) Plastic fibers

2. Leachate is produced as:

a) Rainwater absorbs water-soluble compounds in layers of trash

b) Plastic flows into ponds and streams

c) Toxic waste is emptied into ponds and streams

d) Metal comes into contact with water

3. Marine animals are impacted by ocean plastic because:

a) It is full of toxins

b) It traps them, and when they eat it can starve them

c) It takes up space in their natural habitat

d) It kills their food, meaning they’re left with nothing to eat

4. What’s one way we can reduce plastic’s impact on the environment?

a) By burying it

b) By burning it

c) By shredding it into pieces

d) By recycling it

5. Most plastics don’t biodegrade.

a) True

b) False

6. Make a list of some products you think recycled plastics could be turned into.




Lesson by Emma Bryce, animation by Peter Gosling & Sharon Colman Graham


What we know (and don’t know) about Ebola

The highly virulent Ebola virus has seen a few major outbreaks since it first appeared in 1976 — with the worst epidemic occurring in 2014. How does the virus spread, and what exactly does it do to the body?

Watch a video about Ebola and choose the best answer for each question.

1. What animals are thought to be the natural carriers of the Ebola virus?

a. Monkeys

b. Fruit bats

c. Elephants

d. Rats

2. What do Ebola victims usually die from?

a. Loss of vital organs

b. Opportunistic infections

c. Bleeding from immune system overload

d. Brain hemorrhage

3. What is the best treatment currently available for the Ebola virus?

a. Supportive care and rehydration therapy

b. Preventative Ebola vaccine

c. Amputation of infected areas

d. Leeches

4. Where does the Ebola virus get its name?

a. The doctor who discovered it

b. The river in the area where the first outbreak occurred

c. The first victim to die from it

d. Word for ‘death’ in the local language

5. Which diseases kill more people than Ebola?

a. Influenza

b. Measles

c. Malaria

d. All of the above


Lesson by Alex Gendler, animation by Andrew Foerster

Past simple or present perfect simple or continuous?

Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1.   A: (you / taste / ever) ____________sushi?
2.  B: Yes, I (eat) ________ sushi at least five times so far.
3.  A: When (you / eat)  _________ sushi for the first time?
4.  B: I (eat) _________ sushi for the first time on my dad’s 50th birthday. He (invite) _______ the whole family to a Japanese restaurant.
5.  A: (you / like) ________ it?
6.  B: Absolutely. In fact, it (be) _______ so good that we (be) ________ to that restaurant three times yet. And on my mum’s birthday, we (order) _______ some sushi and (have) _______ it at home.

Fill in the correct form (Present Perfect Simple or Present Perfect Continuous).

1.  You (eat / not) ______ up yet.
2.  He (speak / not) _______ on the phone for half an hour, just a couple of minutes.
3.  They (work / not) _______ since 5 o’clock. They just started an hour ago.
4.  We (know / not) _______ them for a long time.
5.  She (hang / not) _______ up all the pictures yet.

How do dogs “see” with their noses?

You may have heard the expression that dogs ‘see with their noses.’ But these creature’s amazing nasal architecture actually reveals a whole world beyond what we can see.

Watch a video about how dogs smell and choose the best answer for each question.

1. What does a vomeronasal organ do for dogs? Choose the answer(s) from the following list:

A. Allows them to detect direction of smell
B. Alerts them to various emotional states
C. Lets them identify potential mates
D. Detects hormones of other organisms

a) A only

b) D only

c) A, B, and C

d) B, C, and D

2. Dogs have how many specialized olfactory receptor cells?

a) 5 million

b) 300 million

c) 7 million

d) less than 100

3. Dogs can smell separately with each nostril. This is an advantage. Why? Choose the answers from the following list:

A. They can exhale out one nostril and inhale in the other
B. They can determine what is out there
C. It allows them to keep their nose moist and spongy
D. They can determine the location of the smell

a) All of the above

b) B only

c) A and C

d) B and D

4. Olfaction bypasses the thalamus and goes directly to the brain, making the dog’s senses _____

a) Visceral and more immediate

b) Slower and more time consuming

c) Unable to detect certain odors

d) Only able to detect food sources

5. The slits in the side of the dog’s nose are essential because _____.

a) They keep the nose moist

b) They inhale through them

c) They are directly connected to the vomeronasal organ

d) They help create swirls of air that draw in more odor molecules

6. Dogs are said to be a man’s (or woman’s) best friend. Give four examples of how dogs assist humans. Based on what you learned about canine olfactory senses, predict how dogs may continue to aid humans in the future. How do you feel about using dogs in service to humans?





Lesson by Alexandra Horowitz, Guilherme Araujo, Iuri Araújo, and Alex Gendler

How we conquered the deadly smallpox virus

For 10,000 years, humanity suffered from the scourge of smallpox. The virus killed almost a third of its victims within two weeks and left survivors horribly scarred. Thanks to a Buddhist nun, a boy, a cow, a dairymaid and physician Edward Jenner — who first stopped the spread of this disastrous disease, to make us smallpox-free today.

Watch a video about the deadly smallpox virus and choose the best answer for each question.

1. How did the smallpox virus infection spread most frequently?

a. Through the air

b. Through the soil

c. Through blood

d. Through feces

2. What percentage of infected people would die after smallpox virus infection?

a. 13%

b. 30%

c. 33%

d. 3%

3. What percentage of people would die after variolation?

a. 13%

b. 30%

c. 33%

d. 3%

4. What did they use in the 1700s to inoculate healthy people for variolation?

a. Pus from the utters of a cow

b. Pus from a lymphnode of an infected patient

c. Pus from scabs of an infected patient

d. Pus from the fresh sores of an infected patient

5. How intense were the clinical symptoms of cowpox as compared to smallpox in humans?

a. More intense

b. Less intense

c. Same intensity

d. We cannot compare them as they are caused by two different viruses


Lesson by Simona Zompi, animation by Augenblick Studios.

How do vaccines work?

Watch a video about a vaccine and choose the best answer for each question.

1. Edward Jenner succeeded in creating a vaccine against smallpox by injecting patients with material of which disease?

a) Smallpox

b) Cowpox

c) Cattle virus

d) Measles virus

2. What is the function of innate immune response?

a) Act very rapid as a first line of defense to eliminate the infection

b) Trap microbes so they cannot spread in our body freely

c) Coordinate and support adaptive immunity

d) All of the above

3. What is the main advantage of live attenuated vaccine?

a) It provides more durable immunity; boosters may be required, though less frequently than would otherwise be necessary

b) It is safer than other kinds of vaccines

c) It does not cause any severe side effects or complications

d) It is suitable for people with any type of health

4. Which is not true about subunit vaccines?

a) They can be designed using molecular biology technique

b) They are less harmful than live attenuated vaccine

c) They generally are made of polypeptide or oligopeptide

d) They provide lifetime protection

5. Since we have our immune system to protect us from disease, why do we still need a vaccine?

a) Because some diseases are too severe for our immune system

b) Because adaptive immunity takes days to weeks to initiate a response and sometimes it is too late

c) Because some people are immune deficient or have weak immune systems

d) All of the above