Science KS2: Discovering the work of Joseph Bazalgette

Dick and Dom describe the life and work of Joseph Bazalgette.

He lived in a time before sewers, in which toilet waste was disposed of into the nearest river.

This caused the 'Great Stink’ in London in 1858, and many people became sick and died.

Dick and Dom visit a laboratory and look at a stool sample under the microscope to see the bacteria present.

They then visit the first sewer that Bazalgette designed. It took 10 years and 318 million bricks to build.

The key scientific points are made in a fun and student-friendly way.

This short film is from the CBBC series, Absolute Genius with Dick & Dom.

In this entertaining series Dick and Dom learn about the geniuses whose ideas, creations and discoveries have shaped our world.

Teacher Notes

This short film could be used as an introduction to Joseph Bazalgette and his achievement - the creation of the London sewerage system.

You could show this in your classroom and then invite pupils to make a timeline of 'human waste disposal' - allocating historical periods to the children, e.g. Ancient Egypt, Roman Empire, Middle Ages, Victorian England.

You could help your pupils to explore what happened to human waste.

This could also be used when learning about microorganisms as found in human waste and how good hygiene helps preventing the spreading of diseases.

Add to the fun by conducting an experiment with your pupils:

-Smear their hands with (easily wipeable) paint or chalk, pretending they haven't washed their hands after going to the toilet.

-Let them get on with their normal activities for 10 minutes and then have a look at where they can find traces or the paint.

-Invite them to evaluate the experiment.

Curriculum Notes

This short film is suitable for teaching science at Key Stage 2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and Second Level in Scotland.

More from Absolute Genius with Dick & Dom

Discovering the work of Archimedes
Discovering the work of Delia Derbyshire
Discovering the work of Elsie Widdowson
Discovering the work of Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Discovering the work of James Watt
Discovering the work of Leonardo da Vinci
Discovering the work of Michael Faraday
Discovering the work of Sir Isaac Newton
Discovering the work of Wernher von Braun