Stop the Spread

A STEM challenge tackling a global problem… the spread of infectious diseases

Years: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Duration: 300mins

Curriculum Objectives: 8

Subject: PSHE

Resource Overview

Stop the spread is a STEM challenge which enables pupils aged 7-14 to research the problem then use their STEM and communication skills to design a hand washing devise and education materials for a primary school in Kenya. The design challenge: Working as a team pupils design, build and test a model of a hand washing device that can capture and dispense water for hand washing. The research and communication challenge. Pupils find innovative ways to communicate the problems cause by the spread of disease and the importance of hand washing to primary school pupils in Kenya. Thank you to Practical Action for allowing us to share this resource.

Resource Assets


Teachers Guide

This written resource, along with the accompanying PowerPoint forms a step-by-step guide to make running the Stop the Spread challenge day easy and straightforward.


Stop the Spread PowerPoint

The challenge can provide a focus for British Science Week, be used as a STEM or science club activity, enhance a lesson on microbes, forces/levers, form the basis of an enrichment day, and be the starting point for a range of cross-curricular activities.


Student Pack

The ‘Drop by Drop’ Student Pack will help pupils in their Stop the Spread Challenge. It contains the information and worksheets you needed to get organised and plan your project.


Well done Certificates

Perfect for celebrating successes



This fabulous poster will inspire students to take part in the challenge. Download or request a printed copy from Practical Action


Curriculum Objectives

  • Key Stage 2 (Age 7-11)
    • Key Stage 2 (Age 7-11)
      • Year 4 (Age 8-9)
        • Year 3 (Age 7-8)
          • Use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions
          • Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings
      • Year 6 (Age 10-11)
        • Year 5 (Age 9-10)
          • Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations
  • Year 5 (Age 9-10)
    • Recognise that some mechanisms, including levers, pulleys and gears, allow a smaller force to have a greater effect.