Web Analytics
top of page

Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 Incredible

Inventions Science Workshop

Craft your own science workshop day from a choice of eight inventions with related fun activities - perfect for a whole school or Key Stage science day



National Curriculum

suggested year group:

KS1 (just steam power and photography) and KS2 (all)

Workshop duration


(please enquire for more details) 

NC objectives covered:

Many from Electricity (Morse Code); Light (photography); Sound (music box);Forces (steam train) and Space (rockets).  It also relates to the Victorians topic!

Based intially upon our extremely popular Victorian Inventions workshop, our "Incredible Inventions" science workshop allows us to move outside the Victorian era to focus on some of the more modern inventions as well.


With a choice to look at four inventions from a range of eight on offer, this is one of our most adaptable science workshops which can be easily matched to your curriculum and the needs of different classes.


The inventions to choose from are automobiles, aeroplanes, rockets, steam power, electric telegraph (morse code), photography, recorded music and the Ipad, which all come with a short presentation combining models, actual historic artefacts and HD  video presentations before the pupils undertake a related activity as follows.


In addition this workshop is also even more adaptable depending on your objectives, where I am happy to direct the learning towards any specific aspect of your pupils' learning.  In short, just tell me what you need them to learn and I am happy to oblige!



Steam power (KS1 and KS2)

boy powering a steam train in a primary science workshop

In an activity shared with our Victorian Inventions workshop, pupils experience the thrill of the development of steam power by reliving the magnificent Rainhill trials that launched Stephenson's Rocket into fame and paved the way for the growth of the railways.


After an introduction explaining the science behind steam power, pupils are told about the merits of each train from the Rainhill trials and vote via cheers on the likely winner, before meeting our working Stephenson's Rocket.


After this, the pupils take turns to power Rocket around our 25ft track, in a race against classmates.


The automobile (KS2 only)

After a short introduction and video explanation of Karl Benz's first 1885 motorcar, we look at the development of the automobile into the 600 million plus vehicles worldwide that we recognise today.


The related activity for this invention involves pupils designing their own rocket car in either pairs or alone to race against fellow pupils.  


Several competitive challenges are then possible depending on your space and needs, from an aerodynamic challenge where pupils make wings to enable their car to run straight, to speed or distance challenges which are equally good fun and a great way to learn about the intricacies of car aerodynamics in one of the most fun activities in this science workshop.

learning about forces in our primary science school workshop for key stage 1 and 2


Photography (KS1 and KS2)

In another activity shared with our Victorian Inventions workshop, we start by looking at a variety of genuine historical cameras, from an 1880 wooden bellows camera to a Kodak box brownie and a modern nikon DSLR, before moving on to dressing in Victorian clothes to take pictures of each other using the brass lens from the 1880 camera.


What is more, after the session you get to keep all your images to use for further work in class when the workshop is finished, while of course we delete the originals from our camera in accordance with our company child protection policy.

having photographs taken with a victorian camera


The aeroplane (KS2 only)

This activity starts with a look at the history of flight, starting with the first manned aeroplane flight by the Wright brothers in 1903 with the aid of detailed scale models and a video presentation.


This is followed by an explanation of Bernoulli's principle, which demonstrates how plane wings create lift , before pupils embark on a quest to build the best paper aeroplane from a variety of supplied instruction sheets.  This is then followed by an electric launch to see which plane design glides the furthest.

making and launching paper plane sin our key stage 2 science workshop stem


Electric Telegraph (KS2 only)

using morse code and learning about electricity in a primary science workshop

This session begins with a look at the history of the electric telegraph, from its invention by Cooke and Wheatsone in 1838, through to the introduction of Morse code by Samuel Morse in 1844, and finally towards its use in both world wars in sending coded messages between the front lines.


Pupils then use our real WW2 telegraph set to send and solve a coded WW2 puzzle message together with their class mates.


If you are more interested in the WW2 use of this invention, it also features prominently in our Blitz School WW2 workshop.


The space race (KS2 only)

Shared with our Rockets to Rovers  and KS2 Rocket Challenge workshops, this activity explores the forces of thrust, gravity and air resistance behind rocket power, beginning with an introduction on how rockets worked.


This is then followed by pupils making their own paper rockets to launch either skywards for a height challenge (weather permitting) or across the hall or classroom towards targets for an accuracy challenge.

This is one of our most popular activities which is why it appears in three science workshops!  The thrill of making and firing their own rockets is a happy memory for many pupils who have done it even long after the workshop is over. 



The phonograph (KS2 only)

Demonstrating the phonograph

Demonstrating the phonograph

Play Video

Shared with our Year 4 Sound workshop, this activity starts by us listening and looking at the history of recorded sound with our wonderful original Thomas Edison phonograph, learning about how it worked and the impact it has had on the modern world.


We then move on to listening to and looking at music boxes, with pupils making their own songs to play for their classmates using a simple paper strip that they can play on our machines during the workshop then keep to paste in their topic books afterwards.


The Ipad (KS2 only)

Shared with our Light workshop, this activity moves our timeline right up to the modern age with a look at the incredible computing power of modern digital devices such as the ipad.


In this perfect accompaniment to the photography inventions task, pupils learn about the properties of light and how modern apps can be used to manipulate this by using our bespoke app and fibre optic torches to make incredible light paintings that you can keep and print out for their topic books or a display afterwards.

making light paintings in a year 3 light workshop
bottom of page