Life Cycle Assessment

All | Chemistry | Design & Technology | Science | 11-16

Learning Objectives

  1. Know the difference between a finite and nonfinite resource. 
  2. Describe what is meant by a life cycle assessment (LCA).
  3. Carry out a LCA for different products when data is supplied.
  4. Know the difference between objective and subjective judgements.
  5. Describe the problems with life cycle assessments and how they can be misused.

Lesson Description

The resources will cover the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) requirements for KS3 & GCSE Science (Chemistry) and DT.

The America’s Cup, known as the F1 of sailing features LCA as part of the Protocol (rules) for the Cup. Using the real life and engaging context of the British America’s Cup Team, students will learn that all products are likely to have some negative impact on the environment and it is important we consider the four key areas of;  

·        Extracting and processing raw materials 

·        Manufacturing and packaging 

·        Use and operation during its lifetime 

·        Disposal at the end of its useful life. 

The video introduces the four key areas of a Life Cycle Assessment, identifying the difference between objective and subjective judgements.



For immediate access to all of our free Key stage 3 and 4 STEM teaching resources.

2.Life Cycle Assessment Presentation Editable presentation using the context of INEOS TEAM UK to cover the LCA curriculum.
3.Life Cycle Assessment Student Information Sheets Information sheets to be used alongside the LCA presentation.
4.INEOS TEAM UK - Closing the Loop

ELG collaborate with INEOS TEAM UK to recycle over 1.2 tonnes of the teams waste materials to produce two cradles for AC75 ‘Britannia’.

5.Teach with confidence


KS 3 Chemistry – Earth and atmosphere 

  • Earth as a source of limited resources and the efficacy of recycling 
  • the composition of the atmosphere 
  • the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the impact on climate 

KS4 Chemistry – Chemical and allied industries 

  • life cycle assessment and recycling to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product’s life 
  • the viability of recycling of certain materials 
  • carbon compounds, both as fuels and feedstock, and the competing demands for limited resources 
  • fractional distillation of crude oil and cracking to make more useful materials 



Curriculum for Wales 2022  

Science – Wider Skills  

Critical thinking and problem-solving 

Critical thinking and problemsolving are at the heart of Science and Technology when analysing problems to develop models, solutions and innovations. It helps learners to develop a deeper understanding of the concepts and competencies required to progress. Science and Technology provides rich contexts for learners to engage in making reasoned judgements, decisions and conclusions, and to develop their ideas, including in the field of computation. Learners will be able to develop their problem-solving skills and personal resilience by learning through failure and feedback from others. 

Linking the area of learning and experience to careers and work-related experiences 

Learners should be encouraged to undertake research and explore the links between Science and Technology and their related career paths. Both science and technology equip learners with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue careers related to these disciplines. More importantly, the transferable skills which sit at the heart of scientific and technological understanding contribute to learners’ preparation for professions and jobs that do not yet exist. 

Work-related experiences 

Learners develop interests, strengths, knowledge, skills and aspirations through their educational experiences within and beyond school. Opportunities such as visits, guest speakers and practical activities can help to enhance and contextualise learning. 

Enrichment and experiences 

Exploration and experience of the world through inquiry are crucial for all learners. Learners will enhance their understanding of different environmental issues and learn to demonstrate care, responsibility, concern and respect for all living things and the environment in which they live. 


Science – Earth’s materials 

Learners develop their knowledge and understanding of substances that make up the Earth’s surface. Properties, uses and methods of extraction of such materials are explored. Opportunities exist to discuss the importance of carbon compounds derived from crude oil to our lives. 


All, Chemistry, Design & Technology, Science

Key Stage


Resource For

Students, Teachers


Film, Presentation, Teachers' notes


LCA, Life Cycle Assessment
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