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Popular mechanics: Becoming a designer of machines

This unit is designed for 9-11 years old pupils and relates to the science curriculum on Mechanics.
In Lesson 1, the teacher introduces the engineering problem: imagine a counter to count visitors inside Mister Toyz’s shop and/or create mechanical toys for Mister Toyz’s son. As pupils  imagine mechanical objects, they are asked to define them and to analyse how transmit or transform a mechanical motion.

In Lesson 2, the teacher chooses to create a counter for  Lesson 3 and explore gears, or to make mechanical toys in Lesson 3 and explore cams. EDP-illustrationIt is an opportunity to obtain the necessary knowledge to let pupils create their own objects in the next lesson.

In Lesson 3, pupils can start with a suggested design solution. They can also invent their own and test different materials. In the latter case, the teacher can use suggested solutions to advise their pupils. As the machine which created is a prototype, it needs to be improved and pupils can list  parts that can be improved.

In Lesson 4, pupils implement their suggested improvements on their prototype. They can also get advice from experts such as museum educators, older pupils, or parents.

-> The main activity, the planning and making should be explicitly related to the Engineering Design Process in the engineering design process diagram.

For this pupils are asked to discover mechanical machines to solve the challenge. Then they have  imagine their motion and plan and draw explicative schemes. They create their machine  so as to count, or play. Then they reflect on their work try to improve their design before askink for new solutions and so on.
The teacher guide will present:

  • the story to set the context
  • worksheets for pupils
  • the content of the activities










>Click here to download the teacher guid – mechanics & energy

>Here are the trainings handbooks for facilitating an ENGINEER training for teachers

A European website interesting on Mechanical moving toys, visit here

For further information, contact : Jamila AL KHATIB,