Locally in Coventry and Warwickshire we have developed the following
Challenges In A Box for school teachers to use to assist
in educating pupils of various ages. We are keen to have feedback and new ideas
for these challenges.
Each challenge has visual aids and, where relevant, pupil guides and
teacher guides.
Challenges In A Box are copyright © Derrick
Willer.
However you are free to copy for use in
schools and for instructing children of school age and for use by children of
school age. Please feedback to: Derrick Willer, dw@dwiller.com
However, I suggest that you give a small donation (e.g. £25, $30) to the Memusi Schools
in remote Kenya so that they can install electricity and then get computers.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/electricity Thank you.
Title 
Description

Download 
Make an Anemometer out of some plastic sheets, a
dowel, a pin and a heavy base 


Animals in
Danger 
Ten examples of endangered animals. What are they?
Where do they live? What do the eat? And What is the danger? 

Arithmetic
Bricks 
Sum Fun with Arithmetic Bricks. Learn addition,
subtraction, multiplication, division, squares, pythagoras
and Pi using bricks. Suitable for ages 58. 



Arithmetic
Bricks For Five Year Olds 
Sum Fun with Arithmetic Bricks. Learn addition,
subtraction, multiplication, division, squares, pythagoras
and Pi using bricks. Suitable for ages 58. 



Balloon
Car 
Make a car powered by a balloon from recycled materials 



Bridges 
A paper based exercise suitable for 713 year old pupils. Pupils
make a bridge
out of paper into a U"
shape and find out how much
weight (pennies or model cars) it will take with different depths of the
"U" versus the remaining area for the bridge. They graph the
results. The project is then extended to bridge the gap between
two chairs with
paper, sticky tape, etc. costing
them "money" – e.g. cheapest to
hold a 100gm weight wins. (30 mins) 


Burglar
Alarm Primary 
An introduction to electrical circuits for Primary School pupils, KS2,
using low cost materials. About 3060 minutes as
individuals or small teams. 


Car Crash 
An exercise to discover that cars have crumple zones to keep
passengers safe from crashes. The pupils are asked to construct a car from available materials and
work out how to protect the passengers and also have
crumple zones front and back. 


Chinese
New Year 
This activity is for pupils to make a rotating table
with lights. 


Clown 
This exercise introduces pupils to levers by making a
dancing clown, robot or Santa They discover new words including Mechanical
Advantage and Pivot or Fulcrum 


Compressed
Air Car 
Make a model car from recycled materials and use
compressed air to race it across the playground 


Compressed
Air Plane 
Make a model plane from recycled materials and use
compressed air to fly it across the playground 


Crackers 
This activity is for pupils to make some Christmas or
Party Crackers 


Diwali 
This activity is for pupils to make a rotating Dwali
table with lights 


Downhill
Racer 
An activity to make a downhill racing car using a premade base and
wheels. Pupils can work alone or in teams. Approximately 1 hour 


Eco Power
Challenge 
This activity is for pupils to see how they can reduce the carbon
footprint of their home. Then to scale this up for their school. 


Egg Drop 
Using raw eggs the teams
have to make a cradle to hold the egg and protect the egg when it is dropped
from height. For younger ones you may want to use boiled eggs. Teams should
consider safety, strength, crumple zone, what happens if the cradle turns
upsidedown, etc. 


Electricity
Is Fun 
Utilising the AchidistviQ
Physics Science Lab Circuit Learning Electronics Exploration Kit,STEM Electric Education
Tools for Beginner, Junior and Senior High School Pupils 


Even More
Funny Maths 
Apples and bags, twins? Ladder and tide, Hare and
tortoise, Polar Bear. Alien money, and more 


Festive
Season 
Make a party cracker and decorate it. 



Festive
Season 
Make a Santa and turn him into a volcano with baking
soda and vinegar 



Fossils 
Discover fossils and their age. Make a replica fossil
with dough. 



Flashing
Festive Lights 
Using LEDS and electronic components to make an AStable Multivibrator
to power flashing LED festive lights 


Flight 
A paper based
exercise helping 513 year olds to understand flight. There are different
planes to be made and different wing arrangements demonstrate how lift
affects flight – canard versus tailplane, etc. (30
mins) 


Funny
Maths 
Exploring some unusual
arithmetic, geometry, etc. used by ourselves and, maybe, aliens. Including
Thales Theorem, Hippocrates of Chios, Mesolabe
Compass, multiplying using your hands and unusual multiplication by some
earlier humans. Years 5 and 6. 


Gaia 
Gaia is the
idea that living organisms on a planet will affect the nature of their
environment. Can the pupils list some of the problems and their possible
solutions? 


Helicopter 
Elastic band
helicopter made from paper and paper clips 



House Of Gadgets 
For 9  13 year
olds. An exercise to understand sustainability and conservation.
Pupils imagine what will happen if rubbish is not collected. Then there is a
short story about conservation. The pupils decide on a gadget to make and are
given recycled materials to make a mockup of it. (2½3 hours) 

Japanese Multiplication 
The Japanese method of
multiplying two twodigit numbers is to do this by drawing lines. 


Lets Crumble 
Learn how to programme the
Crumble computer. Then make a nightlight or automated moneybox
using the Crumble kit and recycled materials. There are further challenges
for traffic lights, car and maze, robot. Developed with DATA 


Lets Be Specific About Gravity 
Several samples to weigh and
measure their volume using a graduated testtube or jug. Plus
you can add your own samples – maybe pebble, concrete, plastic, potato,
carrot, cheese 


Levers and Pulleys 
Levers with up to ten to one
mechanical advantage, and visa versa. One to four
pulleys with up to fourtoone mechanical advantage. 


Magic Roundabout 
Make a
roundabout from recycled cardboard, paper and wooden
dowel. Decorate if for a festival or party. 



Make a Barometer 
Make a
barometer using a jam jar and a record on graph paper 

Make a Thermometer 
Make a
thermometer out of a drinks bottle, a straw, alcohol
and water. 

Measure Wind Speed 
Make an
anemometer and measure wind speed. Compare to weather forecasts to obtain a
conversion factor between revolutions per minute and published wind speed. 

More Funny Maths 
Triangles,
marbles, weighing, always 1089, letters represent numbers, odd x even = ? and more 


More Tricky Logic 
Ten more
questions where the logic may not be obvious. 


Paper Catapult Primary 
A version of the secondary school
challenge for primary school pupils where the design is limited
and a recommended design is used. 

Paper Towers And Bridges 
Versions for Primary and
Secondary Schools. Approx. 30 – 60 minutes. Secondary school pupils in teams
are judged on design, budgets, actual spend, and presentations. 


Pendulums 
An activity with a tennis ball
and a cricket ball to demonstrate pendulums and calculate their swingtime.
Finally testing the formula with a playground swing. 

Polyalphabetic
Coding 
How to Code and Decode using your Birthdate so you can send secret
messages. KS2 and KS3. About 3060 minutes as individuals or small teams. 


Primary
Quick Challenges 
Four sets of 13 (Baker’s Dozen) challenges each taking 510 minutes. 

Recycled
Boat 
Make a sailing boat out of recycled materials 



Rockets
and Maths 
Make a rocket
and throw it horizontally and vertically and calculate the average velocity
using Newton’s laws of motion. 



Roundabout 
Make a
roundabout and turn it with a handle 



Sail A Matchbox 
Make a boat out of a matchbox and
pencils and sail it with a handheld fan 


Singing Maths 
Pictures
and rhymes leading to simple arithmetic Suitable
for 58 year olds, these include Sum Fun with Jack And
Jill, Grand Old Duke of York, and Contrary Mary 
^{ } ^{}^{ } 

Spectroscopy 
Make a spectroscope out of
cardboard box and a CD. Approx. 30 minutes. Suitable for Primary Schools 


STEM Quiz 
24 questions to tease the pupils,
teachers and STEM Ambassadors complete with "Wrong" with
explanation and the correct answers 


Sum Pi to Chew Over 
Not pork pie, ∏
≃ 3.142 or 22/7. Calculating circumference, area
and volume 
^{}^{} 


Sum Prime 
Sum Prime Numbers. Suitable for ages
58. 


Table Tennis Ball Launcher 
An education challenge.
We have 12 kits available for use in schools in Coventry and Warwickshire.
(30 mins for basic launcher kit – up to 1½ hours for loader for the launcher
made from recycled materials provided by the school) Email Derrick Willer dw@dwiller.com for
availability. 


The Water Cycle 
An experiment to show
the water cycle – evaporation and condensation. 


Thermometer 
This activity is for
pupils to discover how a thermometer works. 


Towers and Bridges Made With
Sweeties 
Primary challenge, approx. 2040
minutes. Make a Tower or Bridge out of either Marsh Mallows and Straws or Jelly Beans and Toothpicks 


Tricky Logic 
Ten questions where the
logic may not be obvious. 


Vinegar Rocket 
Make a rocket from a plastic
bottle using vinegar and baking soda. 


Water
Clock 
Make a clock
that uses water to time 30 seconds, etc. 



Water
Wheel Light 
Make a water
wheel drive a generator to light an LED 



Why Lag Your House? 
A simple card
based exercise for younger pupils to learn how insulating your home
can improve heating and save on energy. Suitable for pupils aged 513. (60
mins) 


Win
A Car 
There are
three closed doors. You can win a car if you open the correct door. The host
opens one door which is empty, Should you change your
chosen door for a greater possibility of winning? This activity is for pupils to understand
probability 


