These resources have been reviewed and selected by STEM Learning’s team of education specialists for factual accuracy and relevance to teaching STEM subjects in UK schools.

There will be rain

This activity introduces the idea that climate change is leading to a greater risk of flooding due to higher levels of rainfall in a short period of time. The main part of the activity is a design challenge for the pupils highlighting how the Environment Agency solve flooding problems. It is designed to be delivered either by a teacher alone or an Environment Agency STEM ambassador (if one is available) together with a teacher.

The activity enables Environment Agency STEM Ambassadors to introduce their work to pupils and link it to elements of the national curriculum. The challenge asks pupils to design a system to slow the rate of flow of water down a hillside using a model with marbles representing water. Pupils work in groups using their problem solving, communication and team work skills to see who can get the marbles to the bottom of the hillside in the longest amount of time, using a series of obstacles created from easily accessible materials.

The activity includes these resources which can be found below:

  • Activity guidance for a teacher 
  • Activity guidance for an Environment Agency STEM Ambassador 
  • Presentation with supporting notes
  • Certificates to award to pupil participants and/or challenge winners

To support the activity there are 2 Environment Agency videos:

  • Holding back the flood (3 mins 20 secs) explains the effect of climate change on flooding and how the Environment Agency are working to mitigate the effects of flooding.
  • Natural flood management  (6 mins) explains how natural flood management systems work and includes an excellent model showing the effect of water run off and how different environments can reduce the amount of water that travels down a hillside. 

Holding back the flood

Natural flood management

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