Deployable structures

These resources link ideas from mathematics to applications in real world engineering. The resources cover the broad topic of deployable structures which are structures that open up (deploy) into something of use. An obvious example would be an umbrella. There are also case studies of two engineers involved with two different types of deployable structures.



This resource is designed as an introduction to deployable structures using flowers as an example from the natural world. It has activities associated with nets and density and discussion of a link to symmetry and transformations. There are also various practical suggestions (such as making a party blower).


Group umbrella

This resource is a set of instructions for groups of six students to make a working umbrella mechanism out of simple materials. It is a completely practical activity with no formal maths content but it is very useful for linking the students’ work on deployable structures to a real piece of engineering that they...

Maths beneath my feet

This resource gives a very practical use of basic mathematics that might be used by a tradesperson in his/her work. The activity is based around carpeting/flooring rooms. It involves the use of area and lots of calculations which resemble the functional skills questions in GCSE maths exams.

No specialist...

Mosquito nets

This resource is based around the subject of nets to protect people from mosquitos which spread malaria. It includes various mathematical, discussion and design based exercises. The maths topics covered include nets, area, angles and scale.

Equipment required for the main challenge includes plastic straws...


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