Start of main content
Age Range: 14-16
Duration: 60 or more mins
  • D&T
  • Engineering

Produce a treadle pump

Making a prototype of a treadle pump

Living in dry and remote regions poses a significant challenge for many people, especially when obtaining water for crop irrigation and food production. However, a practical solution exists in the form of a treadle pump, which greatly eases the process and saves valuable time.

Can you make a working prototype of a treadle pump that is designed to help people living in remote villages source water?

Activity introduction

This activity is part of a collection of free STEM resources created to aid in teaching the new 9-1 GCSEs in Design & Technology and Engineering, which were initially introduced in September 2017. Each item in this collection addresses essential subjects from the respective course specifications.

Learners will create a functional and fully operational prototype of a treadle pump designed to lift water from wells in this task. This project aims to enhance their ability to effectively design products that address social needs. It will also improve their manufacturing skills and capacity to choose suitable materials, tools, and equipment.

This activity can be utilised as the final part of a four-lesson unit, following the activities “Investigating Problems Faced by People in Remote Areas,” “Methods of Obtaining Water,” and “Card Modelling of a Treadle Pump.” Alternatively, it can be used as a standalone main lesson to provide comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.

How long will this activity take?

This activity will take approximately 60-120 minutes to complete. Download the activity sheet below for a full lesson plan.

The engineering context

Integrating social issues into the design process holds significant importance in all GCSE Design and Technology 9-1 courses, as well as the GCSE Engineering 9-1 course. Students are obligated to learn about this crucial aspect. Furthermore, they must also learn about carefully selecting and utilising materials, tools, and equipment to create prototypes.

The knowledge acquired through these courses can extend beyond the classroom, finding practical applications in the future when designing and producing products to meet the social needs of individuals and communities.

Suggested learning outcomes

By the end of this activity, students will be able to manufacture a working prototype of a treadle pump for people living in a remote village, they will be able to select appropriate materials, tools and equipment for the activity, and they will be able to understand the use and application of wasting, joining, forming and finishing techniques.

Download the free activity sheet below!

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable so that you can tailor them to your students and your schools’ needs.

The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, helpful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Please share your classroom learning highlights with us @IETeducation

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