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Key Stages 1 and 2

Activities and Events


Everyone loves this activity, but it is rather messy! You can make enormous bubbles, including some that can have a person inside, bubble domes, ''cubic'' bubbles etc etc. If the weather is fine some of it can be done outside. We can also demonstrate 'heavy bubbles' and you can try your hand at making 'anti-bubbles'.

Classifying Animals

This has two parts to it, both using laminated cards. In the first part a group of young people work together to complete 12 four-piece jigsaws of pictures of animals (all the pieces are mixed up together). For the second part they complete tables by placing picture cards and number/word cards on a grid (the cards have pictures, the animal's name and what sort of creature they are (insect, fish etc), how many legs they have and if they have wings or not).

Dyes and Dyeing

This can be pretty messy. We extract natural dyes from a range of materials to dye samples of fabric. The effect of using different mordants can be explored. The results of this workshop can lead into craft activities. One school made a huge collage of a "dyenosaur" from their patches of coloured fabrics!

Exploring Colour

This incorporates a range of activities including an experiment with peripheral vision, visual illusions and colour vision. Some schools have linked this with an activity painting colour wheels.

Fun with Flight

Building paper planes (from scrap paper) and discussing what makes things fly. This can be teamed up with making cardboard helicopters and investigating seeds (like ash and sycamore) that spiral to the ground.

Just a Minute

Blowing the tops off film canisters with sodium hydrogen carbonate (bicarbonate of soda), citric acid and water. This is great fun, but not for those with a nervous disposition! If it is dry weather, you can do this outside as it is rather messy, but it is fine indoors with care. The challenge is to work out how much of each of the ingredients is required to blow the lid off the film canister in exactly one minute.

Mini-Beast Hunts

Using magnifying glasses, books, charts etc to hunt for insects and other small invertebrates. This activity depends on the weather, as it is not much fun hunting in the rain, and if it is too cold you can’t really find very much.

Permanent Rainbows

Permanent rainbows are rather fun. This uses clear, colourless nail varnish to make interference patterns on black cards (it looks like the effect you get with oil on water). This is a bit messy, but the rainbows can be used to make collages or in other art projects.

Red Cabbage Indicators

Using a solution of red cabbage juice to test a range of household liquids to see if they are acids, alkalis or neutral. This activity makes kids feel like “real” scientists.

Solids, Liquids and Gases - Interactive Talk

This is an interactive talk, with lots of exciting demonstrations. It is suitable as a revision session at the end of the KS2 unit on solids and liquids.

Spectroscopy in a Suitcase (SIAS)

Light comes in a rainbow of colours and can tell us so much about the universe around us. Spectroscopy is a way to investigate these colours, revealing the chemistry happening in a test tube or in a galaxy far away. Using a portable Spectroscopy in a Suitcase kit, originally developed by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), participants can engage with a range of demonstrations to discover the properties visible and ultraviolet (UV) light.

Sun Cream Investigations

This is an exercise in which students have to work out which of three sunscreens is the most effective. They have to design their own experiment using the equipment provided, which includes some UV photochromic beads that are white until exposed to UV light, when they change to one of five colours. In a simpler version of this activity for younger pupils, they follow a set of instructions to complete the task. The students can make a bracelet of UV sensitive beads to keep.

Veggie Power

Using batteries made from fruit and vegetables to power simple devices, such as pocket calculators and LEDs.

What is a Scientist? - Interactive Talk

This interactive talk includes several exciting demonstrations and is ideal for a whole school assembly.  It explores what science is and what scientists do. Children discover that they are scientists when they make observations of the world around and them and ask questions. It makes a great start to a school science week.

Resources for Key Stage 1

Exploring Colour and Industry

Colour Ed Pic

A website with 26 activities for children covering many curriculum areas. Pictures, animations and questions provide the stimulus for classroom activities with pigments and natural dyes that model real processes in the colour industry.

Oil for Beginners

Oil for Beginners Pic

The activities in this resource tell a simple story of oil, beginning with its recovery from beneath the sea bed, to its use as a lubricant and fuel. Activities include building a model oil rig, sorting hard and soft materials, exploring the runniness of oil and carrying out a 'squeak hunt' to locate joints in need of lubrication. The resource contains colour photographs which depict various aspects of oil recovery and transportation.


Pencils, Poems and Princesses

Pencils, Poems and Princesses Pic

This pack takes an in-depth look at how stories and poems can form the stimulus for a wide range of science and technology activities. Using three books, Princess Smartypants, Grandfather's Pencil and the Room of Stories, and Out and About, this resource focuses on science investigations, cross-curricular themes and science linked with structured play.


Tidy and Sort

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This package provides an opportunity for children to investigate a variety of ‘mixtures’ and the means by which they are best separated. The activities are put in context using a storybook, in which two sisters are presented with tubs of mixed objects to sort out. One of the sisters always wants to find the easiest way to sort the objects, and the other sister begins to use the same approach.



Resources for Key Stage 2

A Pinch of Salt

A Pinch of Salt Pic

A cross-curricular approach to salt. Children do a range of investigations whilst learning about solutions, evaporation, filtration and fair testing. These science activities are linked to further work in English, mathematics, technology, history, geography and religious education.

Related Challenge Club Activities



Climate Choices: Children’s Voices

Climate Choices: Children’s Voices Pic

'Climate Change' is a complex topic, but this site provides a collection of useful classroom resources to help children begin to understand what it is, and to consider how our choices may affect the climate. The site focuses on food production and transport. It includes computer-based and printable work-sheet resources that can be freely downloaded for classroom use. Produced with the development charity Practical Action.

Cough Syrup

Cough Syrup Pic

These activities are based on the development of a new cough syrup. Children work to identify the best conditions for growing micro-organisms to produce the active ingredient in the medicine, the best way to collect it, and the ideal consistency for the syrup. Economic and commercial factors are also considered.

Related Challenge Club Activities:

Making Medicines

Runny Liquids

Exploring Colour and Industry

Colour Ed Pic

A website with 26 activities for children covering many curriculum areas. Pictures, animations and questions provide the stimulus for classroom activities with pigments and natural dyes that model real processes in the colour industry.

Feel the Force

Feel the Force Pic

These activites provide an opportunity for children to learn about the properties of air, and in particular the frictional force it exerts. The ideas are put into a real life context, that of a transport company looking for ways to reduce the fuel consumption of their lorries.

Related Challenge Club Activities



Forces and Recycling

Forces and Recycling Pic

Many primary teaching resources on recycling tend to focus on the materials being recycled and their properties. Here the focus is on the forces used by industry throughout the recycling process. Children investigate magnetism, crushing forces, upthrust and friction as they look for the most efficient way to carry out recycling. There is also an opportunity to make paper from recycled newsprint.

Related Challenge Club Activities

Generating Electricity

Generating Electricity Pic

Wind generators, circuit construction, problem-solving and electrical safety - everything required for teaching the electricity topic at Key Stage 2 is included in this investigation-based activity pack.

Related Challenge Club Activities




Healthy Drinks and Tasty Toothpaste

Healthy Drinks and Tasty Toothpaste Pic

By looking at a real life context of a toothpaste manufacturer wanting to develop an appealing toothpaste that provides maximum protection against the effect of sugar in drinks, the children investigate how acid causes tooth decay, the ingredients for toothpaste and the effectiveness of a variety of toothpastes.

Related Challenge Club Activities



Industry Animated

Industry Animated Pic

Industrial processes such as filtering, cooling and heat exchangers are brought to life on this website. The animated pictures illustrate clearly and simply the principles on which the processes are based and additional notes are available for free download.



Is There Anyone Out There?

Is There Anyone Out There? pic

This resource is based upon the quest to discover more about our solar system through space projects such as the European Space Agency's Aurora programme, and the Mars Curiosity Rover mission seeking to gather evidence of life on the planet Mars. The children take on the role of space scientists or space engineers to discover more about Mars. This section contains images used in the class activities, grouped according to their use in the topic.

Kitchen Concoctions

Kitchen Concoctions Pic

Focusing on the use of mixtures in the kitchen. Children examine a mince-pie as a 'mixture' and compare 'real' dairy cream with imitation aerosol cream. Activities include making a soap bar, developing a bubble mixture, investigating the effectiveness of washing products and scourers, and making a simple fire extinguisher.

Related Challenge Club Activities



Medicines for Pets

Medicines for Pets Pic

This resource focuses on the processes involved in developing pet medicines. The context is closely related to the challenges faced by research scientists and manufacturers. Activities investigate the extraction and purification of the active ingredient, the formulation of a tablet, the best tablet shape and developing a suitable coating.

Related Challenge Club Activities


Medicines from Microbes

Medicines from Microbes Pic

This unit provides an opportunity for children to think about micro-organisms and come to understand that they can be both helpful and harmful, depending on how they are grown and used. The activities are put in a real-life context, that of biotechnology and the development of new medicines, with the need to find the best conditions for mould growth.

Related Challenge Club Activities


Plants for Products

Plants for Products Pic

An interactive website about the use of plants to make everyday products such as cleaning materials, plastics and building insulation. Includes free, downloadable resources for use by teachers and pupils.


Plastics Playtime

Plastics Playtime Pic

Children test and classify plastics before investigating their thermal insulation and shock resistance properties. The children then design, make and test a package for a fragile object, using plastics and other materials.

Related Challenge Club Activities




Renewables Don’t Run Out

Renewables Don’t Run Out Pic

A science and technology resource for KS2 and KS3 that explores alternatives to fossil fuels for producing energy and oils. Includes practical activites such as extracting plant oil and comparing plant-based fuels.‌‌



Rough Guide to Gas

Rough Guide to Gas pic

The activities are set in the context of natural gas, and how it is prepared for commercial and domestic markets. In the first activity the children create a display of the route natural gas follows from underground extraction and storage in a reservoir, to treatment for use in heating and electricity production. Subsequent activities focus on each part of this route, identifying the scientific features of the different phases.


Runny Liquids

Runny Liquids Pic

An industry making a solution based on a wood resin which needs to meet specific criteria for optimum manufacturing conditions forms the basis for the children's activities. They learn about the properties of liquids and try a range of tests including classification, investigating viscosity and the effects of warming.

Related Challenge Club Activities



Science of Healthy Skin

Science of Healthy Skin pic

This resource is based upon actual processes used in industry - researching, developing and producing ingredients to be used in a wide variety of applications such as home care, personal products and health care. The activities allow children to explore and understand some of the processes involved and challenges faced within the speciality chemical industry, and allows for the development and implementation of both creative ideas and innovative solutions to scientific and industrial problems.

Smart Bricks for Smart Plants

Smart Bricks for Smart Plants Pic

The children compare plants grown in a variety of nutrients and look at how the basic structure of the different plant parts gives leaves strength and durability and root systems the ability to anchor the plant and search out water. Information gathered by the children is reported back to the research laboratories of a fertilizer production company.

Related Challenge Club Activities


Turf Troubles

Turf Troubles Pic

A sports company wishes to provide a turf surface at a sports ground suitable for a range of activities. Information is required on suitable grass types and the best growing conditions. They also need to know how much water will be needed, and the effects of soil type. By investigating various conditions of plant growth the children discover which will produce the best grass.



Water for Industry

Water for Industry Pic

By following a 'water cycle' from a reservoir, through an industrial site where it is treated, used as cooling water, and treated again before being returned to a river, the children investigate corrosion of materials, filtration techniques, heat exchange and carry out an extension activity on pH adjustment to regulate the acidity of the water. Related Challenge Club Activities:

Water for Industry

Super Cooling

Cabbage 2
Electricity Pic
Bubble Pic
Happy Kids Pic
Girl in Hard Hat Pic
ABH Lab Pic
Colourful Chem Demo