Clean Silent Trains

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This resource, aimed at primary learners, looks at how science, technology and engineering has shaped the way we live. It is divided into four activities which link to aspects of technology, science and mathematics.

The power of steam

The first part of this activity introduces examples of transport from the late 19th century, evaluating steam and electric powered trains and looking at the similarities and differences between them.

The impact of electric motors

The range of applications of electric motors is introduced and children identify devices which contain motors and how they produce movement. Finding examples of motors in cars and houses they then think about the applications of motors in a ‘house of the future’.

Operating the railway

In this activity children apply ideas about distance, time and speed to the context of a railway. They explore how information and estimation can be used to solve problems and devise alternative solutions and evaluate them. Using the Volks Electric Railway they find the information needed to calculate the speed of the train.

The railway timetable

This activity aimed at primary learners looks at train timetables in the context of an electric railway. The four part problem solving activity asks them to apply mathematical skills and logical reasoning to produce a timetable for a railway, whilst maximising the use of resources. First children create a timetable for a single track line, then are given different scenarios for the line and asked to produce further timetables and comment on their effectiveness. These include: using sidings, a passing loop and investigating the differences between running one train with more coaches or two trains and how this impacts the number of passengers, staff needed and the frequency of trains. Provided by Siemens, it includes a presentation illustrating the teaching points, notes on running the activities and related worksheets.

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