For accessibility information on this site use accesskey "0"
Skip Navigation and go straight to the main content or use use accesskey "s"

Fairground rides
Topcliffe CE Primary School
Submitted by: Simon Ashby
ReceptionWhole Class ProjectResistant MaterialsEngineering
KS1Individual ProjectGraphicsCADCAM
KS2Short TaskFoodCatering
KS3Research and InvestigationTextilesFashion
KS4Enterprise activityICTElectronics
Post 16Product AnalysisSystems and ControlStructures
Embedding ICT in DT   

Lesson Context
Designing fairground rides - linked to QCA Unit for DT 6C
4 stages -
1. fairground visit to explore structures
2. modelling these structures back at school with various construction materials
3. designing and making own fairground rides
4. controlling the rides using IT

Resources Needed
1. digital camera
2. & 3. Variety of construction materials
4. Computer control software/hardware

Teacher Preparation
1. Prepared writing frame for children to use when looking in detail at structures - what other structures does it look like - what was it made out of - what was it like to ride - to submit entries to dtonline web site
2. testing appropriateness of construction materials - e.g. art straws mimic tubular steel very well!
3. design sheet to sketch ideas, prepared images of models and construction techniques (NYCC web site)

Project Brief
To create a working fairground model, which could be powered by a motor (or alternatively make use of lights) to be controlled by a computer at a later date.

Design and Manufacture
Children developed initial design ideas in pairs, focussing on the key features of their models (how would it turn, what would be the base, how would it be powered...)They were shown a variety of digital images to get ideas rolling. Following this a whole day was given over to the construction of rides. Children were given (and brought in) a wide variety of materials which they made their own choices about. Having the full day alowed time for trial and error and experimentation. It also meant that finished products were achieved by all.
A further morning was then devoted to using computer software ( which the children already had some familiarity with) to write simple procedures to operate their models.

Expected Outcomes
A working fairground ride model, to be controlled by a computer, which can be put on display in the front entrance of the school and be operated by visitors.

Finished rides

This was very much by outcome - although the structure of the task and the scope for making choices really allowed the more able to pusue challenging design problems (e.g. how to create a hinged base with a mechanism to raise a wheel already being powered by a motor.

Classroom Organisation
One lesson plus one whole day for the design and make phase - in the hall with lots of space and a wide variety of resources.
One morning for computer control stage

Additional Information
The initial fairground visit was key. This fired the children up, as well as giving them vivid images on which to base their designs. They were ambitious, but not pie in the sky. Actually modelling the structures was a hugely worthwhile activity in itself.

Link URL: