Primary Workshops

Scavengers Tinkering Workshop KS2

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

The Scavengers Tinkering Workshop at KS2 covers the science of sound and basic circuitry, applied to everyday technology such as motors, fans and speakers. Workshops encourage creative thinking, group work and experimentation. Working in groups we open our boxes and find a load of junk inside; upcycled bits from broken computers that cost nothing at all! 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.

Making activity

During the workshops we will work in groups to build various small robotic noise machines out of upcycled electronic junk. These help us to understand some of the electromagnetic processes involved in everday items such as speakers and motors, and also the physics of sound waves, vibrations and acoustics.

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