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Age Range: 11-14
Duration: 60 or more mins
  • D&T
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

Emergency communications

IET Faraday® DIY Challenge Day

A set of printable resources and guidance notes giving teachers and technicians the basic ingredients to run their very own IET Faraday® DIY Challenge Day. This cross-curricular activity day brings science, design and technology, engineering and maths (STEM) together in an engaging way.

The context of the challenge

Ease of communication is part of our life, we pick up the phone, turn on the radio, TV or internet to get news and information. Wifi networks work by radio signals. Your phone, TV and radio signals are transmitted by masts we hardly notice. But when all of these are knocked out by natural events how do we communicate?

Activity info and teachers' notes

The Emergency Communications challenge is based on the IET Faraday® Challenge Day of the same name from the 2012/13 IET Faraday® Challenge Day season.

Students are the engineer rescue team based in the town of Alpha which has been relatively unaffected by the extreme weather. As the engineer rescue team in town Alpha, students will design and build a prototype device that will need to send coded messages to town Beta, and create a code to send a message from Alpha across the mountains for decoding in Beta. There is little time to lose, with a (simulated) helicopter arriving in a matter of hours to transport half of the rescue team to town Beta to set up the system for testing.

Designed for six teams of six students (36 students in total) aged 12 – 13 years (year 8, and equivalent), the challenge encourages the development of students’ problem solving, team working and communication skills. This activity day can be tailored to the needs of your school and your students by adapting the PowerPoint presentation and the editable student booklet.

What's included?

The complete set of downloadable materials includes:

  • Teachers pack
    A list of the practical materials needed, presenters’ notes highlighting key areas and reinforcing key themes throughout the day, some handy hints on how to deliver the day... plus printable Faradays currency and student certificates.
  • Student booklet
    Available as an editable MSWord document to allow the booklet to be adapted to meets the needs of your students and your school.
  • Introductory PowerPoint presentation
    A step-by-step guide for your students throughout the day, with supporting notes for the delivery of the presentation, including links to the related film clips.  
  • Film clips and sound effects
    Informative clips and sound effects to build the atmosphere around your challenge day.  

Download all the activity sheets and supporting documents for free! 

All online resources (including film clips!) are free to download, and the student booklet and PowerPoint presentation are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students' and your schools' needs.

You can stream and download the related films for free by clicking on the appropriate link in the Related resources section below.

If you are running one of our IET Faraday® DIY Challenge Day please do share your experience with us via our feedback form and case study template hereIf you are unfamiliar with how to run a IET Faraday® DIY Challenge Day have a look at our 6 start-up videos here where we take you through the days, how they should run and what they entail.

And please do share your classroom learning highlights with us @IETeducation


Briefing video

Mountain scenario

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