Hands-on science investigations for primary school children aged 5 - 11 years old


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Professional development
Families & teenagers (aged 12+)
Families (children aged 12 & under)



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Practical Action

Practical Action offer three CREST Star accredited activities that are free to download. As an organisation, Practical Action uses low cost, appropriate, small-scale development solutions in over 40 countries across the world including Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Peru, Bolivia, Sudan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, and Bangladesh, to help people to help themselves. If you are looking for innovative Science and Design & Technology resources that focus on a whole range of sustainable issues including renewable energy and climate change then you have come to the right place! Their free resources include lesson plans, activities, posters, challenges, images, videos and games all set within a global context.

Wind Power Challenge (SuperStar award)
In this free resource download students are given minimal materials and asked to design a wind powered machine that can lift a weighted cup off the floor. Teachers instruction sheets, related video clips and even certificates are provided. The challenge is introduced by discussing how wind power has been used throughout history to power sailboats, mill grain for flour etc. and that now it is seen as one of the solutions to the major problem facing society today – that of producing a sustainable, renewable energy source. There are hand-outs of images of different types of wind turbines, so pupils can compare their design and discuss how they work.The download includes a teacher's activity guide, wind turbine images, and completion certificates.
Download the free activity

Floating Gardens
The problem: as a result of climate change there is more rain in Bangladesh than ever before.  Land where farmers used to grow their crops is now flooded on a regular basis.  The result is families go hungry.
The challenge: to design and build a model structure that will enable farmers to grow crops even in an area that may become flooded.
Download the free activity

Squashed Tomato (SuperStar award)
The problem: In Nepal many farmers living on the mountainside grow fruit and vegetables, including tomatoes. To earn a living they need to sell these at the local market.  The problem is getting to market involves a long, dangerous walk down the mountain side and over a river, at the end of which the tomatoes may well be a bit squashed.
The challenge: To design, build and test a way of moving tomatoes that won't squash them!
Download the free activity

Small is... (SuperStar award)
Our Small Is..Challenge is based around Practical Action's founder E.F.Schumacher’s philosophy that small changes can lead to a big impact on people’s lives.
The challenge for students is to look at technologies from the last 100 years and invent a product that could help us all lead a more sustainable future.
You'll find everything you need to run the challenge including a full colour technology timeline in the download section below.
Download the free activity