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

Flood defence

IET Faraday® DIY Challenge Day

Over the past few years the UK has seen unprecedented flood levels across a range of urban areas, including Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Hampshire as well as large areas of Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Environment Agency says:

* Flooding happens naturally and cannot be completely avoided
* Around five million people, in two million properties, live in flood risk areas in England and Wales
* Changes in climate, such as more severe storms and wetter winters, will increase that risk

They estimate that over the next 80 years we will need to spend £22 to £75 billion on flood defences in England and Wales to combat the effects of climate change.

The vast majority of these people live on the edges of the flood risk areas and therefore are unlikely to be in a position of having their houses completely devastated by incoming water. Many people will, however, have water that seeps into their homes, and the ability to move water quickly will help them reduce damage.

Can students work in teams to design and make a prototype device that will allow homeowners to remove water during periods of flooding?

The challenge

In this fun challenge, you will collaborate to develop and produce a prototype of a simple device that will assist homeowners in removing water from their houses during floods.

The device will have to move 100ml of water from one position to another to a height of 300mm.

You will be awarded marks for the amount of water you successfully move within one minute. Your device needs to stay in one position during this time.

Who is it for?

The Faraday Challenge ‘Flood defence’ has been designed for six teams of six students (36 students in total) aged 12-13 years (year 8, and equivalent).

This set of resources provides you with the basic materials that you need to run an activity day which brings science, design and technology, engineering and maths together in an engaging way.

How long will this activity take?

The Faraday Challenge is a daylong event, running from approximately 9am-3pm.

IET Faraday Challenge Day

This cross-curricular Science, Design and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activity day encourages the development of students’ problem solving, team working and communication skills. Students achieve a better understanding of what engineering is and the science, maths and technology elements within engineering, leading to increased engagement in science or technology lessons afterwards.

The challenge has been specifically designed to give students the opportunity to be creative in their solutions and to succeed, independent of their level of ability. This activity is therefore suitable for a range of different ability levels.

Download the free activity sheet below!

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.

Please share your classroom learning highlights with us @IETeducation.


Flood and river engineers

Example learning log

Related resources