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Ditch the dirt

This challenge enables pupils to model and test filters as a way of making dirty water cleaner. It can also be used to explore ways of making water safe to drink.  Curriculum links include separation techniques and pure substances.

The challenge can provide a focus for National Science and Engineering Week,...

Plastic challenge

This resource contains a series of lessons which are designed to extend students’ knowledge and understanding of plastics and plastic waste on a global scale. Linking to materials and their properties, the environment, recycling and design and technology, they contain investigations and activities aimed at both...

Floating Garden STEM challenge

This challenge, from Practical Action, requires students to design and build a model structure that will enable farmers to grow crops even in an area that may become flooded. A floating garden, built on a base of aquatic weeds, is a cheap and sustainable way of allowing people to grow vegetables. The resource can...

Design for a better world

Design for a better world is a design challenge for students aged 11-14 years. It offers students the opportunity to:

  • Learn about the global goals for sustainable development.
  • Access a range of global contexts including water and sanitation, food security and climate action in which to...

Squashed tomato STEM challenge

This Practical Action resource presents a fun hands-on and brains-on challenge for Key Stages Two to Five.

The problem: In Nepal many farmers living on the mountainside grow fruit and vegetables, including tomatoes. To earn a living they need to sell these at the local...

Beat the Flood STEM challenge

In this resource, students use their STEM skills to help them design and build a model of a flood- proof house. Activities to help them with their design include testing materials (for strength and absorbency) and structures. Set on a fictitious island coping with the devastating effects of flooding caused by...

Stop the spread STEM challenge

Stop the spread is a new STEM challenge for students aged 7 to 16. Highlighting the global issue of infectious disease students design, build and test a model of a hand washing device and produce educational materials for children in Kenya to encourage hand washing. It is accredited for the British Science...

The James Dyson Foundation: Ideas Box

This resource aims to get students excited about engineering. Students begin by considering “What is a design engineer” and then embark on a design hunt in the classroom to find an everyday object that can be improved and redesigned.

GENIE jumping genes

The aim of this activity is for students to use tiddlywinks to represent sections of jumping genes, which they then flick onto a poster which is representative of a section of the human genome. Where their "gene" lands either will or will not disrupt the gene and may then cause disease. An accompanying PowerPoint...

The Battle for Fortress Plants

The poster ‘The Never-Ending Battle for Fortress Plant’ illustrates ideas about plant defences against pathogens. It depicts the plant as a fortress which is defended against invading pathogens. The poster is accompanied by a presentation, which can be used as a step-by-step walk-through of the ideas in the poster...

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