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Bringing Tinkering to School: Ideas for Activities

Tinkering creates a bridging point between a learner’s personal interests and experiences and a broad range of possible learning outcomes. It offers valuable opportunities to engage all students in STEM and fosters a more inclusive STEM education. In this way, it is very much aligned with a Science Capital Teaching...

Martian Explorers: Design a New Mars Rover

Aimed at the 11-14 age group, this is a unit of six one-hour design and technology lessons to develop an understanding of how systems on exploration robots are combined and collect data. Students are given a design brief to build their own model rover, experientially, to function in simulated Martian conditions....

Modelling pulley systems

This resource investigates modelling and constructing pulley systems designed to lift loads.

Suggested learning outcomes include:

  • To be able to recognise and describe the main parts of a pulley system.
  • To understand how a pulley system can reduce the effort needed to lift a load.
  • ...

Testing a pulley system

In this resource students are asked to test the operation of pulley systems and calculating their mechanical advantage.

Suggested learning outcomes include:

  • To understand what is meant by mechanical advantage.
  • To be able to calculate the mechanical advantage of pulley systems.
  • ...

Modelling linkages

Investigating simple linkages using card models.

A mechanism is a device that changes movement in some way. Linkages are a type of mechanism. There are different types of linkage, each of which change movement in different ways.

This could be used in Key Stage 2 as a stand-alone activity or as an...

North Sea Rocks

The resource available consists of the following items:

RESINATED CORE SLABS (15m)

This is material that has been cut...

Bridges in a modern world

This design, make and evaluate activity asks students to create a bridge from a range of simple materials (I.e. pasta, card). A number of bridges from across the world are used as inspiration for the students designs.

Fusion 360: Create your own moving cam tutorial

This resource provides step-by-step instructions on how Fusion 360 can be used to create a cam and follower, including basic rendering and movement of the cam and follow components around an axle.

Design and make projects to teach mechanisms

Produced by the Technology Enhancement programme (TEP), these materials help students to understand, design and prototype mechanisms (including levers, gears and linkages). The resource also supports students to work through some of the mathematical concepts involved in calculating gear ratio.

Students are...

Levers and linkages, gears, pulleys and cams

This collection of classroom presentations, student worksheets and student revision activities support the teaching of:

  • types of motion (I.e. reciprocating, oscillating, linear, rotary)
  • gears (I.e. bevel, idler, gear trains
  • pulleys
  • levers (I.e. first order, second order, third...

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