Paul Wood reviews this text for Key Stage 4 chemistry teachers

Sam Holyman
London: Gatsby SEP 2009 | Pp52 | £6.99 | ISBN 978 1 901351 82 8
Reviewed by Paul Wood

Cover of Biofuels

Biofuels is aimed primarily at Key Stage 4 chemistry teachers. The emphasis is on creating opportunities for students to engage with and learn about this relevant topic through practical work.  

The book provides detailed information about biofuels, which would be valuable to non-specialist and specialist chemistry teachers alike. Holyman includes helpful, concise details about the student activities along with teacher notes, learning objectives, lists of resources and points to note. 

There is a section on the underpinning science, including a consideration of fossil fuels, the energy crisis and the role that biofuels may play in the future. This information gives a balanced and scientific appraisal of the situation as well as some historical notes. Although aimed at teachers, the ideas would also provide a sound stimulus for developing students' critical thinking skills.  

The text is clearly illustrated with colour photographs. Additionally, there are photocopiable worksheets, which may be used directly or downloaded from the SEP website where you can edit and tailor the content to suit your own students' needs. A glossary of technical terms for students is also included.  

Although some tasks may be familiar to teachers, they are presented here, usefully, as a series of possible lessons. The SEP is in partnership with Middlesex University Teaching Resources, from whom supporting practical materials may be bought. 

This book provides the reader with a good insight into the world of biofuels, which I would recommend you read before you next teach the topic.