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Tiny Tinkering Tasks



Looking for short tasks to get your pupils hands-on and minds-on with engineering in primary schools? Look no further.

These 12 Tiny Tinkering Tasks provide innovative and creative STEM lessons that embed the Engineering Habits of Mind and real-world engineering contexts. They are linked to the Tinkering for Learning research and development project run by SEERIH that you can find out more about at www.seerih-innovations.org/tinkering4learning/ 

Author: Mrs Julie Wiskow, SEERIH Teacher Champion



Download the 12 Tiny Tinkering Tasks

We are very happy that you download and try these tasks out. We'd love to hear from you to gather your feedback on the benefits to children's learning. Email us at fascinate@manchester.ac.uk

Building Bridges - How does shape affect strength? Using the Engineering Habit of Mind - Adapting - to understand how the shape of a material can make it stronger

Materials Engineering - Can you make your own concrete? Using the Engineering Habit of Mind of Systems Thinking to understand that materials have different properties which makes them  suitable for different jobs

Gears - How does a spirograph work? Using the Engineering Habits of Mind of Systems Thinking - Adapting and Improving to understand how simple machines such as gears make work easier. 

Structural Engineering Building a Geodesic Dome - Which shapes make the strongest structures? Using the Engineering Habit of Mind of Systems thinking to explore the relationship between triangles and other 2D shapes.

Roman Engineering - How did the Romans make their roads so straight? Using the Engineering Habits of Mind of Problem Finding - Creative Problem Solving & Systems Thinking to investigate the impact that the Romans had on Britain

Levers - How are very heavy loads lifted? Using the Engineering Habits of Mind of Problem Finding and Systems Thinking to understand how simple machines such as levers make work easier. 

Mastering Morse - How can you use light to send messages? Using the Engineering Habits of Mind of Systems Thinking and Adapting to design and build a Morse Code transmitter which uses light to send signals. 

Build a push button switch - (to use in Morse Machine)  Mastering Morse - Using the Engineering Habit of Mind of Systems Thinking to understand that a switch is a piece of equipment that can connect wires to allow electricity to flow through a circuit. 

Playing with Pantographs - How can levers change the size of drawings? Using the Engineering Habits of Mind of Systems Thinking and Adapting to make a machine that enlarges drawings

Pulleys - How does a fixed pulley make your work easier? Using the Engineering Habits of Mind of Problem Finding and Systems thinking to understand how a fixed pulley works and describe the different components

Visualising and Lego building - Can You ‘Sneak A Peek’? Using the Engineering Habits of Mind of Systems Thinking and Visualising to build an accurate copy of a Lego model by memorising the example

Wheels in Motion - How do wheels reduce friction? Using the Engineering Habits of Mind of Problem Finding & Systems Thinking to understand how the wheel and axle system simplifies the  transportation of materials.


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