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IndusTRY at Home

These activities and investigations are designed so that children can work at home with their families. The ones aimed at children aged 7+ will need just a little help from an adult to get started. The ones aimed at children aged 3+ will need more adult support and are designed for families to enjoy together. The activities for younger children also have ideas for linked school-based activities, although all activities for this age group would work in either setting.

Feel free to explore the activities aimed at a different age group. Younger children would enjoy investigating bubble mixture, for example and older ones could learn a lot from making oobleck (in Runny fun). Activities for both age groups will be even more fun, and there will be more learning opportunities, if the whole family, including younger and older siblings take part.

Salt and Ice 3+

What happens when we add a pinch of salt to a lump of ice?  This is a chance for children to investigate the phenomenon and to find out how it relates to their everyday lives.

Sort It! 3+

It is so easy to take disposable packaging for granted. This activity encourages children to appreciate how much science has gone into developing a range of different packaging materials.

Hats Off to Science! 3+

Children are invited to work as material scientists to investigate the best material to make a hat for teddy. This investigation will lead to plenty of other investigations as well as an interesting conversation about what we mean by ‘best’.

Making ripples 3+

This activity, for a bright sunny day in any season, invites children and their families to notice the patterns created by ripples. Be prepared to be surprised by what you notice!

Making ripples (PDF , 424kb)

Runny fun 3+

Children are supported to extract starch from potatoes. They then use the starch to make and explore oobleck. Both adults and children are likely to be amazed by this exciting activity and will be sure to learn lots of science along the way.

Investigating Craters 7+

The Space Agency is interested in finding out about the impact craters left behind after meteorite collisions. They would like you to find out whether different kinds of meteorite make different kinds of crater. You will also investigate the size of impact craters made by meteorites dropped from different heights. You will make careful observations and take precise measurements with your very own, home-made, crater measuring device.

Fun with Foam 7+

Sumptuous Skincare are developing a new bubble bath recipe and want it to produce plenty of foam so their customers can really enjoy their relaxing bubble baths. They would like your help to test their competitors' bubble bath recipes to see how they perform. In this fun and foamy investigation, you will think about foam and its uses, develop your own methods of making and measuring foam, and find out how foam needs careful consideration in a surprising range of different industries.

What's in a Mince Pie? 7+

The Perfect Pies company wants to improve their festive mince pie recipe to make it the mince pie of choice this Christmas. They need to know what their competitors have in their mixtures that make them taste so good. Separate, group and identify the ingredients in competitors’ mince pies to find out what makes the perfect pie. Why not have a go at making your own mince pies using our recipe?

Pipeline Shapes 7+

The team at Seabed Engineering are reviewing how they collect natural gas from the seabed below the North Sea and transport it back to shore. They would like you to help them investigate the best shape for their pipeline to be. You will create a model pipeline and make careful observations before reporting back to let them know which pipeline shape is best and why.

Fire Extinguisher 7+

The ‘Safe at Home’ scientists are developing a new range of fire extinguishers to help families protect their homes from fire. They have heard carbon dioxide might be useful but would like you to help with their investigation. Children observe irreversible changes and can choose to record their findings as a diagram, in photographs or as a video diary.

Meet Sophie, a biochemistry student at the University of York. Sophie explains in simple terms what this means, and how it relates to the science carried out by 7-11 year olds. Sophie invites you to join the team at the University of York to help observe and record information about mixing some household products to make a fire extinguisher.

Medicines for Pets 7+

Pets’ Paws Plc. make medicines for pets, but they have been having some trouble with their new treatment for poorly dogs. During trials, the mock tablets keep fizzing in the dogs’ mouths and dissolving before the special ingredients can make it to their stomachs. Can you help the scientists by investigating to find a suitable coating to put on the tablets to slow down the dissolving?

Sugary Drinks 7+

The scientists at Sparkle Toothpaste need your help! They’ve read lots of news stories about how much sugar is in drinks which you might think are healthy and would like you to investigate how much damage they can do to your teeth. They will use your research to design and make their new toothpaste so you can keep enjoying the delicious drinks you love whilst still keeping your teeth in tip top condition.

A Leaky Line 7+

Emma and her team of engineers at Crystal Clear Water would like your help. They need to find a way to join sections of pipe together so they can create a pipeline to transport clean water from their water cleaning plant to your home. Carry out a fair test to help Emma find a suitable sealant that joins the pipes together and doesn’t allow any water to leak through.

Which Plastic? 7+

We celebrated this year's International Women in Engineering Day, by teaming up with engineer Eve Davison, to bring you this special edition of IndusTRY AT HOME. Of course, we do hope you will continue to celebrate the role of women in engineering all year round with this activity!

Many companies wish to be eco-friendly and car companies are no exception. Eve needs to know which car parts are made from which types of plastic so she can send any waste materials, after production, to the correct recycling centres. Children are challenged to test home-use plastics by submerging them in water and applying force before using a simple identification chart to name them and share their results with Eve and her team of engineers.

Medicine From Microbes 7+

Medi-Tech, a biotechnology company, have made an important medical discovery. Mould found growing on food seems to stop other microorganisms (germs) from growing, so Medi-Tech think they can use this discovery to develop medicine to treat things like cuts which often get infected by bacteria. Children are challenged to safely find out which conditions produce the most mould and which produce mould the quickest.

Which Washing Product? 7+

The Eco-Wash company is developing a new washing product and wants to know which existing products are best at removing stains from fabric. Children put home-use washing products to the test to find out which ones achieve the desired result and make their recommendation to the scientists at Eco-Wash.

Meet Patricia, a student at the University of York, studying a science called Environment Ecology. Patricia is interested in learning how to help keep the environment safe for future generations. Watch this short video to find out why we should not wash our clothes too often, before joining the team to help find a washing powder that performs well.

The Best Bubble 7+

Children are challenged by the ‘Bubbles Company’ to find the best bubble mixture. They experiment with washing-up liquid and water to find the bubble which lasts the longest. They use trial and error to find a recipe which is just right. This is great for outdoor learning but can be done inside too.

Watch Year 5 friends, Libby and Rosie, carry out the bubble challenge at home, following Covid19 safety guidelines.

Filter Fun 7+

Children are challenged by ‘Tees Engineering’ to solve their water filtration problem using everyday filters found around the home. They hunt for household filters, make their own sample of murky reservoir water to pour through the filters to find out how quickly and how effectively they do their job.


With special thanks to the Royal Society of Chemistry Speciality Chemicals Sector, Cleveland Scientific Institute (CSI) and the Salters' Institute for their time, energy and funding for this suite of IndusTRY AT HOME activities.