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Designing the Mirror

In this activity, students will use memory metal wire to create a model of a deployable structure.  The James Webb Space Telescope has several structures that must be deployed in space, including parts of the primary mirror.  Students must create and evaluate a design to enable the primary mirror to fold inside the...

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....

Flight Test

This activity requires students to design and construct a payload fairing and vibration rig to test a protection system for a satellite (an egg).  Students are given limited materials (this can be differentiated accordingly) to produce their model, the success of the model is initially measured by the egg not being...

Surviving Space Temperatures

When the James Webb Space Telescope is deployed it will have one side which continually faces the Sun and is warmed by the Sun, and one side which does not face the sun. The cold side of JWST houses scientific instruments which work better if they are at a low temperature, so a sunshield is used to keep the...

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...

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.


This resource from Boxford facilitates the manufacture of a teaching aid for spur gears for use in the classroom. It includes CAD drawings of the gears and backing plate, which could be used to manufacture the device using a laser cutter. There is also a picture of the finished item.


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