Primary Workshops

Scavengers Tinkering Workshop at Key Stage 2

A day of Scavengers workshops plus a free assembly show is perfect way to introduce or supplement learning about circuits and sound at Key Stage 2.

Making & Tinkering
– Nose Test
– Bass Buzz
– Oobleck
– Robotic Chicken
– Entropic Agitator

This workshop covers the science of sound and basic circuitry -applied to everyday technology such as motors, fans and speakers- whilst addressing environmental issues around waste, recycling and disposable electronics. Workshops encourage creative thinking, group work and experimentation and can be focussed more on one particular area if required (sound, circuits, sustainability).
Working in groups we open our boxes and find a load of junk inside; upcycled bits from broken computers that were thrown away! Using 9 volt rechargeable batteries and crocodile leads we connect the components to build weird noise machines like the Robotic Chicken, and then we get to play with them and experiment with the sounds we produce.

What to expect

Structure of the day

Most schools opt for an introductory show, followed by three workshops, or alternatively just four workshops. The show does not cost any extra if it is part of a full day of workshops. Some schools choose to have the whole school (or as many as can fit in) enjoy the show, even if just one year group is taking part in the workshops. More information about shows is available here.

Participatory experiments

We always start with a Nose Test. This is a perfect fun ice breaker for the group and helps understand the basics of circuitry in a very involved way, as the whole group becomes a giant circuit together, taking it in turns to switch on their friend’s nose.
We will also take part in the Bass Buzz, where we feel 1000 watts of bass vibrations through our fingers and maybe a Goop Test (non-newtonian fluids/cornflour/oobleck) as well.
These activities are great fun but they also reinforce the concepts behind our Making activity.

Main Educational Themes

We cover a lot of subjects in this workshop, and if you would prefer for us to focus on one area in particular then we can go much deeper.

  • Sound and vibration: sound waves, frequency and amplitude, pitch and volume
  • Circuitry: components, resistance & conductivity, current flow, safety
  • Electromagnetism (basic): electromagnets used in loudspeakers, electromotors used in fans, using magnetism to move physical objects
  • Sustainability: Toxic & valuable materials, disposability, waste, recycling and upcycling
  • Music: Found sound, building, evaluating and developing instruments, using music technology, working in groups to improve our music