Future of flight

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About this resource

The challenges in this STEM resource invite learners to explore innovations within flight technology. Explore the role of AI and machine learning and communication in aviation, investigate the forces of flight, experiment with material science and dig into the changes happening that are making flight technology more sustainable.

This resource is designed to provide practical and contextualised applications where students and teachers can see the role that STEM-based learning plays in real-world engineering scenarios.

Each of the activities and challenges have links across science, maths and design technology. However, some activities will be more heavily weighted towards one subject.

Don’t worry! Experience or subject knowledge about engineering and STEM subjects is not required. The resource has been designed to allow students to learn independently and at their own pace, with your support as a facilitator, not a subject expert.

What do I need for the activities in this resource? 

We want to make the resource as inclusive and accessible as possible. Although we provide some physical hands-on materials, most of the challenges can be adapted to use items that are easy to find around the house or in most classrooms.

The booklets are available for free for anyone to download. And any school who is part of our Connecting STEM Teachers programme will receive hard-copies of the resource as well as a box of the materials needed to run the activities and challenges. All for free! Find out more about the programme here. 

Resource downloads

This resource includes one teacher guide and seven student guides. It does not matter what order students do the activities in the booklets, they are designed so that the activities and challenges can run simultaneously. 

Download the teacher guide here.
Student guides
PDF booklet Description PowerPoint download

Theory of flight
Explore flight in nature, the forces of flight and test aerofoils in a wind tunnel. Theory of flight PPT

Health monitoring
Find an efficient way to deliver aid, set up class Crumble activities to test reaction times and stress levels and put a plan together for a pilot in training. Health monitoring PPT

Explore how a jet engine works, investigate thrust through a balloon craft race and find out how engine turbine blades are grown as single crystal. Engines PPT

Create your own synthetic material, experiment with different composite mixes and explore tesselations through biomimicry in materials. Materials PPT

Create a fibre optics encrypted message, investigate binary numbers and try your communication skills in this ground control challenge. Communication PPT

Artificial intelligence
How would you order intelligence, try your hand at the Turing Test and identify and continue patterns and sequences. Artificial intelligence PPT

Invesitigate the damage we are doing to our planet and what we mean by greenhouse gases, upcycle a product, and explore how the 'Factory of the future' is being designed with sustainability in mind. Environment PPT

Engineering Habits Quiz

Engineers making 'things' that work or make 'things' work better. But they do this in particular ways. The 'engineering habits' describe the way engineers think and act. 

But remember results are not fixed! If you take the quiz several times, you might find that different engineering habits are stronger depending on the type of activity or challenge you are doing. 

Engineering is all about having a diverse group of people and skills so having differnet engineers with differnet habits of mind in any team is always important!