Games, gadgets and machines test

General aims of these sessions:

Talking about technology with children in a natural way Utilising scrap materials for experiments at home Exploring the technological application of scientific principles in day to day life in a fun way Exploring the historical development of technology

Topic Content
1. Introduction to technology Introducing the idea of technology and its application. Looking at historical developments. Thinking about types of energy. Developing a simple catapult.
2. Magnetism and gravity Exploring the principles of magnetism and gravity. Talking about ideas and designs for games. Creating a game.
3. Marbles and magnets Demonstrating the effect of stored (potential) energy. Designing a game using principles of stored energy.
4. Structures and stability Examining various structures for stability and centre of gravity. Building and testing structures.
5. Land yachts, wind power Demonstrating the power of moving air. Designing a yacht that uses wind power. Creating a means of transport.
6. Robots Discussion about how robots are used in everyday life. Designing and creating a robot using recycled materials.
7. Fabricated materials and structures Introducing basket-making as an old technology. Learning about weaving and its uses. Demonstrating techniques. Practising using various techniques with different materials. Creating woven item.




Topic 4: Structures and stability


Card squares
Set of kitchen weights

Task Suggested Activities
Examining various structures for stability and centre of gravity Talk about structures in the environment. Roll tubes from A3 newspaper sheets and secure with tape. Show example of simple bridge made from tubes. Test for strength with weights and stability by simulating wind and earthquake effects. Discuss how to make stronger.
Designing and building tower/ bridge from card or newspaper and testing for strength and stability Parents and children design and make their own newspaper or card tower or bridge. Test for strength and stability. Record number of weights used.
Exploring stability and centre of gravity Children stand with legs together, then legs apart and are pushed to discover which is more stable. Brainstorm for reasons why, e.g., legs make a triangular shape which is more stable. Test for centre of gravity by standing against a wall, lean forward to pick up object. Brainstorm reasons for falling forward.
Designing and creating an animal/creature. Parents and children together design and create an animal/creature using the newspaper tubes for body, arms, head, etc. Discover how to make the creature support itself. Discuss function of tail for balance


Literacy Links:

Exploring and discussing ideas
Following instructions to make a structure
Reporting findings about balance

Numeracy Links:

Estimating weights
Recording data from the tests
Drawing shapes for the designs