STEM – Experimental Design


STEM – Experimental Design: Learning how to Design


To develop pupils’ skills in planning and designing
To encourage pupils to think critically and creatively to solve problems in design
To develop pupils’ skills in following their own design plans
To develop pupils’ skills in imagining

Intended Learning Outcomes

The child will be able to:

  • draw simple design plans
  • identify suitable materials for their design
  • make simple constructions based on their design
  • experiment with and test their designs
  • reflect on their designs and suggest alternatives to enhance them
  • make observations and predictions in undertaking design challenges

The structure of the learning pathway

Stage I

Planning a design – what materials do you need? How do you best structure and assemble your design?

Stage II

Making a design – what improvements can be made?

Stage III

A Design Challenge



Ask questions to elicit pupils’ prior knowledge and experience in planning and design, noting language and concepts with which they are already familiar.

Observe their choice of materials for design, as well as their manipulation of materials.


Ask pupils to complete a learning log, noting for each experiment/investigation:

  • one thing they enjoyed
  • one thing they learned

Final assessment

Ask pupils, choosing their favourite experiment, to draw the key 3 or 4 steps involved in that experiment.

Ask pupils to note one thing from the experiment/investigation that they would like to learn more about.


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