Using smart and modern materials to create a future facing design and technology curriculum TY239

Prepare your students for the modern world by making the most of smart and modern materials in your lessons.


Discover how to develop an exciting, modern design and technology curriculum, using smart and modern materials from engineering, product design and textiles. Session content will specifically focus on the smart and modern materials elements of the new design and technology GCSE, with support for those teachers wishing to develop this area at key stage 3.

"This course motivated me to bring my D&T textiles project into the 21st century. Every minute of the course was worthwhile and all textiles teachers should do it!"

Course participant, 2015

Content will include:

  • explore key elements of the smart and modern materials content of the design and technology GCSE specifications, including technical textiles, new technologies in smart and modern materials, composites, nano-technology and biopolymers
  • discover how smart and modern materials are changing the way we design and make products
  • investigate the science behind modern and smart materials and see examples of how this can be taught in a creative way
  • Visit the University of Leeds Design School to find out more about high-tech medical textiles
  • visit the Nonwovens Institute of Research and Innovation (NIRI) to see how non-wovens are changing the world around us
  • consider ways of embedding science into your design and technology curriculum, through a range of practical activities
  • resources to take away that help embed smart and modern materials into the curriculum

Where possible, sessions will be hands-on and each participant will receive a free materials handling kit.

Please note, this course will cover the general content for modern and smart material in the design and technology GCSE specifications. However, it may not cover all of the specific examples listed in all of the specifications.

To find out more about the two visits in this course, take a look at this post written about the medical textiles and new product development work that the university is involved in

This is a residential course, fees include meals and accommodation for the duration of the course.
Course fees vary for participants outside the UK. Please contact for more information


You will:

  • gain hands-on experience of smart materials, modern materials and technical textiles
  • develop confidence and ideas for delivering the smart and modern materials elements of design and technology GCSE
  • investigate how smart materials, modern materials and technical textiles can be used at key stage 3 to create a future facing design and technology curriculum

Scheduled dates

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