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

Smart cycle

IET Faraday® DIY Challenge Day

Cyclists face many challenges, so why not try this engineering challenge for kids to create a Smart Beacon that will enable cyclists to identify a safe cycling route and encourage this activity. Using this beacon technology, children will be creating “smart cycle” technology that will introduce students to cutting-edge engineering and Bluetooth technology which is used now and in the future.


In this fun STEM activity for secondary school students, learners are challenged to design and create a prototype Smart Beacon which will be used to communicate information to cyclists. When used, together with other Beacons, along a route, cyclists will be able to identify a safe cycling route which they can use.

The Beacon must contain electronic components to allow it to communicate information to cyclists. This may be done by reacting to external conditions e.g. light or temperature and then sending a signal to the cyclists who pass it on their route.

The aim of this challenge is to introduce students to cutting edge technology which engineers use and will be using in the future. This challenge will work best if you have access to 3D printers at your school or a local venue. The use of 3D printers can be substituted for making prototypes out of cardboard, as many conceptual designs are created by engineers. However, running this challenge could be a great opportunity to make links with a local university, college or industry.

Designed for six teams of six students (36 students in total) aged 12 – 13 years (year 8, and equivalent), this fun challenge encourages the development of students’ problem solving, team working and communication skills. This activity 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 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.
  • Film clips and sound effects
    Informative clips and sound effects to build the atmosphere around your challenge day.

The engineering context

More and more people are taking to cycling for competition, personal transport and leisure. The benefits of cycling are obvious; it is enjoyable, cost effective, improves fitness and is a sustainable way to travel.

It is the job of engineers to improve the experience for cyclists.

How do you think you can improve the experience and encourage more people to take cycle paths this summer?

DIY Faraday Challenge Day

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

The complete set of downloadable materials includes: a teachers pack, an editable student booklet, an introductory PowerPoint presentation and film clips and sound effects.

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.

Available downloads

Download all the above

Related resources