Age range: 11-14
Duration: 30-59 mins
  • D&T
  • Engineering
  • Maths
  • Physics

Train design

Choose from a range of equipment to design a model tube train

A costly, and sometimes very long, aeroplane journey is currently your only option if you intend to travel a long distance. However, what about in the future? One method that has been proposed is the vacuum tube train. This may be able to reach speeds of 4,000 mph, but is it a realistic option?

Activity info, teachers' notes and curriculum links

In this activity students design a model vacuum tube train. They have to decide on how to get a ball to travel through a tube as quickly as possible without the help of gravity. They then look at the forces that would act on a real vacuum tube train.

The activity sheet includes teachers' notes, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

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Activity overview

Train design activity description, teachers' notes and curriculum links.



Designing a Vacuum Tube Train - Student handout where students are tasked with designing and building a model vacuum tube train.



What are the forces acting upon a train?



How things fly - Podcast produced by Fun Kids Radio as part of the Techno Mum series, which aims to explain how things fly.

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