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Scrappy Challenge


Core National Curriculum links


Main engineering principles

  • Pupils are engaged in the purposeful practical problem solving


About a lesson or a series of lessons


Adapting, Problem finding, Creative problem solving, Improving

EDP stages

Imagine, Plan, Create, Improve

Resources required

If possible computer access. Bags of scrap for example; plastic bottles/ lids/ newspapers/ plastic containers/ cardboard tube/ cereal boxes/ string/ plastic bags etc. General resources for the making challenge; masking tape/ glue guns/ scissors/ paper etc. PowerPoint attached with resources.

Summary of activity

A design and make activity where students develop their understanding of sustainability. Students will work in teams to problem solve and design an environmentally friendly new product by reusing scrap materials.

To open the activity

Why do you think it is important for designers to consider sustainability when designing products?

  • Class discussion using Q&A about what sustainability is using Q&A to create a class mind map of the 6 R’s of sustainability. Use examples to define and discuss the 6R’s.
  • Student task - define the 6R’s in your own words. (Differentiated worksheets to support and to extend learning)
  • Introduce EHoMs to students. 

The main activity

Scrappy challenge design task.

  • Each team of students will be given a bag full of ‘scrap’. Students will work in teams to brainstorm ideas of products that they could make. Allow access to the Internet to support ideas.
  • Students will use the group mind map to each produce a design idea. This will need to be annotated to clearly communicate thoughts.
  • Student presentations of their design within their group.
  • Students will then decide as a group which design / deigns to develop as their product and begin to plan developments needed and put an action plan together for the making challenge (the order of making and job list to ensure everyone has a role).
  • Scrappy challenge TINKER TIME. Students work in their group to develop, plan and make the product.
  • Mini plenaries could be used to recap the criteria that students will be judged against to help remind the groups to stay on track.

Challenge and support

Sustainability Challenge Task - students to be given access to the internet to research sustainability and gather images for use in a PowerPoint presentation to show their understanding of the 6Rs and find examples of products relating to each.

Differentiated resource worksheets attached (NEED TO ADD) for students to define 6R's. Lower ability to allow students to identify the keywords. Middle ability to allow students to recall their understanding of the keywords. Higher ability to allow students to look into the comparisons between the keywords. Differentiation through peer support. As students are working in teams this could be organised to allow for peer to peer support.

To finish the activity

To finish the activity

  • Allow students time in group to consider how they will present their idea to the rest of the class. Remind students of the criteria so that they can plan the presentation around this.
  • Each group will present their product to the rest of the class. A mark scheme will be provided to each group to give feedback during each presentation.
  • Give students the printed EHoMs sheet. Students to work individually to complete by circling which they think they have developed in the tinker project and to explain how.

Learn from me (what worked well for us)

The design challenge could be open to allow students to find their own problems. If the group is lower ability then a prescribed challenge will also work. For example, design a toy by reusing materials for pupils in Africa.

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