Small Is ... Challenge
Pupils look at technologies from the last 100 years then design a new sustainable technology for the future
Looking for a great challenge for ages 8-14?
Our Small Is...Challenge is based around Practical Action's founder E.F.Schumacher’s philosophy that small changes can lead to a big impact on people’s lives.
The challenge for students is to look at technologies from the last 100 years and invent a product that could help us all lead a more sustainable future.
Within the further information section, you find examples of students inspirational ideas and how to take the challenge further into regional and national events.
This activity is accredited by the British Science Association as suitable to count towards a CREST Star Investigators SuperStar award. For more information about the scheme please visit their website.
Our materials below provide all the support you'll need to run the challenge.
For a free full colour copy of the 2 metre technology timeline - email firstname.lastname@example.org
An introductory PowerPoint for teachers to present Practical Action's Small Is...Challenge to pupils.
Six copiable worksheets to support students involved with the challenge. They include research, design and homework activities sheets.
Small Is...Challenge certificates you can present to your students when they complete the challenge
To help students explore the concept of technology justice further we have range of short group activities
Examples of students design ideas
So what next?
If your students have enjoyed the challenge, then why not reuse their challenge work to enter into regional and international events.
Big Bang regional fairs
The regional Big Bang Fairs are fantastic days out with your students doing science and engineering activities.
This activity is accredited by the British Science Association as suitable to count towards a CREST Star Investigators SuperStar award. For more information about the scheme please visit their website
To enter your key stage 3 students for a Bronze Crest award, your students will need to spend approximately ten hours developing their design ideas into a working model.