Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre

Real-life Research Data

We've put together a directory of freely available datasets for you to use in the classroom. These range from open source public and Government material, to case study linked examples of real scientific data from researchers at the Easter Bush Campus.

How can I use data in the classroom?

The resources we've collected here can be used in as many ways as you can dream and range from simple to complex. Pupils are engaged and motivated when they are involved in planning their own science investigations, and datasets are a great way of challenging pupils to get creative in defining scientific questions and answering them using the data analysis skills they have learned. Skills you can use datasets to develop include:

  • Putting the scientific method into practice
  • Working with data and information handling
  • Working with tables, charts and graphs
  • Exploring patterns and relationships
  • Applying statistical skills to data representation and analysis

Pupils can also be asked to prepare oral or written reports based on what they have found working with data.


No bones about it - PHOSPHO1 and the skeleton

PHOSPHO1 is an enzyme which is important for the proper development of our skeleton in infancy. You can learn about the function of PHOSPHO1 in the case study which comes with this dataset. Here we've provided you with real-life data on how expression of the Phospho1 gene changes during development of the mouse skeleton, and how much bone is present at each age. Use these data to perform your own experiment and become bone biologists!


Curriculum themes: biological systems, cells, health & disease, genetics, topical science

Age: >15 years

Scottish course links to: Higher Biology, Higher Human Biology, Advanced Higher Biology, HNC & HND applied sciences

Download the "No bones about it" classroom resource

Publicly available datasets


Source Description Weblink
Edinburgh City Council

Edinburgh City Council have published over 230 freely available datasets online with everything from planning applications to a database of trees maintained by the Council! The data is in a range of formats depending on what you're interested in, but is all freely downloadable.

Scottish Government The Scottish Government as part of their Open Data Strategy have put together an interactive website with over 250 rich downloadable datasets concerning everything from transport to the environment. Data can be simply filtered and exported as an Excel file, or accessed through an API if you're feeling adventurous. They have provided a handy Getting Started guide here. https://statistics.gov.scot/home
UK Government Similarly the UK Government has made many datasets publicly available, mainly covering England and Wales. Datasets can usually be downloaded as Excel files, or accessed via an API. https://data.gov.uk/
Google trends Google Trends is a portal through which you can explore what people are using Google to search for online. You can compare the popularity of two or more search terms and look for relationships between trending searches. Data are easily downloadable as an Excel file and help can be found here. https://trends.google.com/trends/?geo=GB
British Geological Survey The British Geological Survey has put together a collection of open access maps with datasets concerning the UK's geology, soil chemistry and ground water, among others. https://www.bgs.ac.uk/opengeoscience/