Flip Your Mat! provides ideas for a STEM club for up to half a term.
This would be a great project for a STEM club wanting to combine maths and technology in a fun and creative way. It would also be a great project for students who want to gain a CREST award.
This project brings Maths and Design Technology together, giving students an idea of how a professional engineer might work.
Students should brainstorm ideas, then test them out, gathering data to support their conclusions, and then improve their initial ideas on the basis of their tests and data interpretation.
Materials and their properties and design are important aspects of the curriculum. The DT pentagon shows the stages in working on a brief:
Students should be encouraged to consider all five aspects of completing the brief during the brainstorming period.
The maths comes into the design process when considering shape and size. How will the students construct their shape? If they want to make a few mats, how can they best lay out the template on the material they are going to use, so that waste is minimised?
The testing stage will require finding a way to ensure that trials are comparable, and that data is collected, recorded and used to improve the initial design.