Engineering Department > Structures Group

Teaching Material for use in Schools


The teaching material has been developed in association with the IStructE Educational Trust and the University of Cambridge, following a study that looked at how to promote physics in schools. The study, performed by Bartlett and Kendall Associates, showed that there was a need for more awareness of what engineering entails before students make their A-Level choices.


One of the most important findings of the BK report was the proportion of pupils who make decisions that will later on prevent them taking up a career in science and engineering, shown above. About 20% of the students studying Maths GCSE in 2003 (which is virtually every pupil in England and Wales) obtained good GCSE results (B or above) in Double Science GCSE. These 105,300 students are presumably the potential engineers of the future. But only 14% of them went on to take Physics A level, of whom 44% went on to get good grades. Many of these went on to become engineers and others went on to other forms of science.

It was thus concluded that the key to improving the technical base in the UK was persuading more pupils to stay on to do Physics A level, and the key to that was inspiring the final year GCSE students. To that end, it was suggested that the Institution should make available packs of materials that would assist teachers in Maths, Physics and Design Technology to show the students how relevant the subject was to real life.

A series of teaching packs have been produced which can be freely downloaded by teachers. Each pack contains a Maths lesson, a Physics lesson and a DT lesson, each of which is designed to take about an hour, and it is intended that everything the teacher needs is included in each pack, so they can be used as stand-alone material. If local engineers can be persuaded to come in and assist the teachers, it would do no harm.

Follow the links below to each of the teaching packs.

Emirates A teaching pack on Stadium Roof Design, prepared by Elizabeth Silcock

A teaching pack on Bridge Design prepared by Heather Lalupu

A teaching pack on Tall buildings prepared by Heather Lalupu.

Sample Teaching Pack about the Structural Mechanics of a Park Bench prepared by Bartlett Kendal

More packs are in preparation.