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Core award: measuring the properties of climbing ropes

In this project, students compare the properties of different kinds of climbing and safety rope.  They design tests to measure properties such as breaking strength and Young’s Modulus, and conduct some research into the uses of ropes by both recreational climbers and in industrial safety, the properties that are...

Gold award: what effects do treatments have on hair?

In this project students investigate hair to gain both qualitative and quantitative data, look at the appearance of hair and measuring its strength before and after different treatments. Students will need to link up with mentors from industry or local further/higher education colleges for a couple of reasons to...

Gold award: are fruit juices healthier than fizzy drinks?

Students test and compare a range of fizzy drinks and fruit juices to detrmine:

  • perception of sweetness.
  • reducing sugars concentration using colorimetry
  • the amino acids present by chromatography
  • effect on tooth decay
  • antimicrobial effects of caffeine

Gold award: how quick are your reactions?

In this project, students design, make and test a device to test people’s reaction times.   They will need to consider the electronic circuitry involved, the power supply, input device, processor and output device. They draw a circuit diagram and make the circuitry, and could try making a printed circuit board (PCB...

Gold award: design and make your own skateboard

To begin the project, students:

• Carry out some research into skateboard design and how they vary.

• Find out about the different components - how are they manufactured and designed?

• What different shapes and sizes are skateboards available in?

• Research the science behind...

Gold award: what effect do additives have on bread?

In this project, students investigate the role of different additives used to preserve and enhance the quality of bread and determine how effective different additives are.   This could include:

• Preservatives

• Emulsifying agents

• Added vitamins and minerals

• Processing aids, such...

Gold award: design the ultimate toothbrush

In this project, students design a series of tests to find the best toothbrush and obtain quantitative data.  Some examples of the properties ytheymay wish to test include:

• The shape of the toothbrush head and the area and density of bristles on the head

• Flexibility of the handle – measure how...

Gold award: build your own pinhole camera

Pinhole cameras can be made very simply, and they take reasonable pictures. But it’s a little more complicated to make a pinhole camera that takes a good picture, has an automatic shutter, has a mechanism to wind on photographic film and looks like a real camera.

In this project, students investigate...

Gold awards: aerodynamics of sails

In this project students carry out some research about how sails ‘work’ - what are the aerodynamic principles of a sail, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of sail? They are encouraged to make contact with a yacht builder, sail-maker or University department with an interest in the...

Gold award: Investigating crash damage

In this project, students investigate how velocity and other factors affect the extent of bodywork damage in head-on collisions between model vehicles.

A family car travelling at 30 mph has about 90 kJ of kinetic energy. In a crash, this reduces to zero almost instantly. Vehicle designers aim to ensure that...


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