Small is ... Challenge

Pupils look at technologies from the last 100 years then design a new sustainable technology for the future

Years: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Duration: 90mins

Curriculum Objectives: 4

Subject: D&T

Resource Overview

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. Before submitting their design, students will be expected to consider: What affect does technology have on the environment? What affect does technology have on people and communities? Is the technology needed? Once these key questions are considered, pupils will invent a technology that will help us to lead more sustainable lives over the next 100 years.

Thank you to Practical Action for allowing us to share this resource.

Resource Assets



Introductory PowerPoint for teachers to present Practical Action's Small Is...Challenge to pupils.


Student worksheets

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

Curriculum Objectives

  • Evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
  • Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design
  • Investigate and analyse a range of existing products
  • Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups