The new revolution

This lesson for students aged 8-11 is about motors and robots. Most children make the link between the basic tool and electricity making the tool better but this lesson seeks to introduce the new term and awareness of the electric motor. Children are then encouraged to consider the process of invention and take a simple device and improve it with a motor.

Introduction

Many everyday items rely on an electric motor to improve their ability to do the task that they are designed for. Think about hand held devices such as the drill, the screwdriver, the fan, the toothbrush, the whisk and the list goes on….. Most children make the link between the basic tool and electricity making the tool better but this lesson seeks to introduce the new term and awareness of the electric motor. Children are then encouraged to consider the process of invention and take a simple device and improve it with a motor.

Overview

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Starter

A quick quiz. Pupils are shown four pictures and think about the common theme across the random objects. New clue pictures reveal that all the objects can be motorized. Most pupils will describe the electric plug and the term motor may remain unknown at this stage.
Play on words. Pupils shown a scrambled word and use picture clues to unscramble. The activity introduces the common everyday use of the term motor. The additional challenge is to consider where motor is used and does not mean a motor! See motorway. The term robot is often used for an object that is motorized to do a job.

Main

Invention and design. Pupils work in groups to invent a new object that uses a motor. Support sheets available to structure the groups.
Persuasion and communication. Pupils create an advert for the new invention and present a funding bid to an expert panel see also popular TV such as ‘Dragons Den’.  The panel could be invited guests such as a governor or parents, or pupils panel taking a role.

Plenary

Reflection: Pupils think about the potential of motors today and also into the future. 3D printing means that manufacturing costs can be greatly reduced so in the example of the prosthetic hand a new replacement can be made easily as the child grows, the hand can be made at home by the parents (in any colour!)

Clip

Lesson material

Download the full Teachers Notes

You'll also need the PowerPoint presentation

Primary resources produced by the University of Manchester's Science & Engineering Education Research and Innovation Hub

Watch the full lectures

View the full CHRISTMAS LECTURES, Sparks will fly: How to hack your home, along with behind the scenes footage and related content on the Ri Channel richannel.org/christmas-lectures