You may also like

problem icon

Troublesome Triangles

Many natural systems appear to be in equilibrium until suddenly a critical point is reached, setting up a mudslide or an avalanche or an earthquake. In this project, students will use a simple simulation game to investigate the properties of such systems.

problem icon

Make Your Own Robot

A simple robot to make, plus robots in everyday life to investigate.

problem icon

Flip Your Mat!

What shape and size of drinks mat is best for flipping and catching?

Cool as Ice

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1


Intercoolers are used as a cooling mechanism, for instance for a car engine, by maximising the air-flow around the engine.

Your task is to design and construct a prototype intercooler, based on a cube, to house a model engine which requires cooling.

Intercooler Specifications
  • two opposing faces to be punctured by a diamond shaped hole in the centre, which should be as large as possible without weakening the structure or allowing the 'engine' to fall out
  • the other two opposing faces to be punctured by 4 holes to take support tubes (drinking straws will be used in the prototype)
  • the intercooler must support the engine when suspended by the support tubes



You have available to you:
  • A3 sheet of card
  • Scrap paper
  • rulers, glue-sticks, pencils, scissors
  • 4 drinking straws
  • 1 model engine (you could model this with a cube constructed of 4x4x4 multi-link cubes for A3 card)

Key questions you should consider before starting
  • What do you need to know/decide to complete this task?
  • What tasks will each group member have?
  • How will you make sure the coolers pass quality control?