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About this resource

Some of the biggest challenges we face stem from how we interact with our environment, and engineering is essential to finding sustainable solutions. 

From renewable power to recycling, to making our homes more energy efficient, and tackling how we feed a growing population, engineering is a vital field.

The challenges in this STEM resource invite learners to explore some of these important and pressing problems that society faces, encouraging them to act and think like engineers to find their own solutions to a sustainable innovation design challenge.

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 class-set of DataHives. All for free! Find out more about the programme here. 

DataHive Green

The DataHive Green is a device which has multiple sensors to measure: 

  • Temperature (°C)
  • Light (Lux)
  • Voltage (V)
  • Resistance (Ohm)
  • Electrostatic charge
You can view live data on the DataHive device or by connecting to a computer/laptop and visiting

The DataHive is used for many of the challenges in this resource. Keep an eye out for images of the DataHive.

Any school who is part of our Connecting STEM Teachers network will receive a class set of DataHives. Find out more about the programme and how to join. 

Find out more about the DataHive by visiting

DataHive Edition

Find more activities inspired by engineers working in sustainability and that use the DataHive Green.
The greenhouse effect - PDF download The greenhouse effect - PowerPoint download
Investigating charge - PDF download Investigating charge - PowerPoint download
Polluted water - PDF download Polluted water - PowerPoint download

Video guides

Find out more by watching the teacher video guide

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!