The IET Coventry and Warwickshire Network has 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, dwilleruk@yahoo.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 

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


Sum Pi to Chew Over 
Sum Prime Numbers. Suitable for ages 58. 
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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) 


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) 


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. 


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) 


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


Some More Fun With Jack and Gill 
More pictures leading to simple arithmetic 


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


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


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. 


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


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. 
Primary 

Primary Quick Challenges 
Five sets of 13 (Baker’s Dozen) challenges each taking 510 minutes. 
Set 1 2 3 & 4 

Table Tennis Ball Launcher 
An IET 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 dwiller@theiet.org for availability. 


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 by DATA with grant aid from IET, IMencE and RAE 


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. 


BBC Microbit Traffic Lights 
Using the new BBC Microbit and Python code to manage a single traffic light, then a Cross Roads set, finally to make the traffic lights using recycled materials. The problem to solve (with an answer) is that there are four states for the Cross Road Traffic Lights and only three outputs from the BBC Microbit. The example uses a relay to turn off green lights when the yellow ones are on. 


Gravity 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. 


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. 


Density 
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 


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. 


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


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


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


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. 


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


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? 


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


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

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


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


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


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 

