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Be an engineer

Girl at computer

We’ve teamed up with real-life engineers Mott Macdonald to bring you these exciting activities for kids to do at home. Do you have a young engineer in the family?

But first, what is an engineer? Well, engineers want to know how and why things work. They design and build products, machines, systems, or structures, like airplanes, buildings or computers. Engineers have science and maths training to help them make things. They often specialise in an area of engineering like civil, environmental or chemical.

Building bridges

Mott Macdonald’s first challenge for young engineers is to build a bridge! Here’s how…

STEP 1: Take two chairs and place them 2 metres apart.
STEP 2: Create a bridge out of any materials you can get your hands on.

STEP 3: Connect them with tape, glue, cling film, etc.

Pirates ahoy!

Next up, set sail on the seven seas with this pirate ship challenge!

Can you build a pirate ship out of things you can find at home? See if you can transport your shipmates and treasure across your bathtub or sink.

What should you think about?

What materials float? You may have materials in your recycling bin you could use, like a yoghurt pot or a plastic bottle.

What could you use as a sail? A plastic bag could work, or even your flag that you have designed.

Building dens

Can your child build their own den to play and read in?

Here are Mott Macdonald’s top tips for den building:

  • Use whatever you have in the house. Chairs, bed sheets, pillows and blankets are handy!
  • At least one person should be able to sit inside the den, when it is safe to do so.
  • The den should stay upright without someone holding it.

Will your den have a secret password? How will you decorate the inside?

Into space!

Watch an online reading of Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts. This version is read by a real-life astronaut, Kate Rubins... in space!

Rosie Revere dreams of being an engineer and flying into space.

Did Rosie manage to build her flying machine? What lessons do we learn from Rosie?

Can you create your own rocket and launcher? Have a hunt for materials which you can use to help, like balloons, straws or bottles.

What should you think about?

  • What materials would make a good rocket and why?
  • If you were traveling to space, what would you bring with you in your rocket and why?