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The Kid Should See This, Nsikan Akpan Matt Ehrichs


5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Videos, 5 minutes, 45 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus


Seashell Inspiration: Growing Cement Bricks With Bacteria

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  • This video is about an ingenious solution to reduce the carbon footprint of making cement, highlighting the individual who invented this process and her inspiration from nature.
  • The video outlines where the idea came from, how it is helpful for reducing carbon emissions, and the process by which the company (bioMASON) makes its bricks.
  • The summary below the video provides a number of links to additional resources for further exploration.
Teaching Tips


  • The video and article explain the complex concept of biocement in a way that is easy for students to understand.
  • The video does an excellent job of explaining the impact of regular cement production on carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Both the article and the video stress the fact that perfecting this biocement took many failed tests, so it is a great example of the importance of a growth-mindset and perseverance.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students may need the terms biotech, emissions, microorganisms, and microbes to be front-loaded in order to better comprehend the article and video.
  • Students will need to be familiar with the concept of the greenhouse effect. 
  • The link in the article attached to "Ginger Krieg Dosier" is a broken link. 


  • Economics classes can use this video to look at biocement as an example of an innovative product to address a critical need, and can compare the costs and benefits of it to that of regular cement. 
  • English language learners can use the subtitles to translate the video or a Google Chrome extension to translate the article.
  • Students who struggle with auditory processing can either read the accompanying article or can use the closed captioning function for the video.
  • Science classes can use this resource as an example of applying science to solve big problems or to inspire students to think outside-of-the-box.
  • Social studies classes can discuss the female founder of the company that came up with the idea and relate it to the need for gender equality to solve global issues like climate change.
  • Biology classes can use this as a hook for lessons about ocean acidification, microbial ecology, or substrates and products in biological reactions.
Scientist Notes
This website provides a brief synopsis of a ~6 minute video that follows the CEO and founder of a biotech startup that uses bacteria to grow cement. This video would be a great addition to a classroom discussing sustainability and different ways to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
      • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
    • PS1: Matter and Its Interactions
      • 5-PS1-3. Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.
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