Chemistry KS3/GCSE: How was metal discovered?

Scientist Mark Miodownik visits the earliest known copper mines in Israel's Timna Valley to explain the discovery of the first metal - copper.

Mark shows how copper ore can be heated on an open fire to extract the metal. He describes this as the moment man left the Stone Age and entered the age of metals.

This clip is from Materials: How They Work.

Teacher Notes

The clip could be uses as a general introduction to the history of metals and their use by man.

Following the clip, students could extract copper from copper oxide using carbon.

Compare the extraction of copper shown in the clip with the extraction and refining of metals through electrolysis.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Chemistry at KS3 and GCSE Level. This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4 and 5 in Scotland.

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