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Chain Reaction

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This high-octane engineering workshop gets teams collaborating to create big, wacky chain reactions.

Building simple machines, including pulleys and levers, the class will experiment with forces such as friction and air resistance to invent a solution to our wild challenge.

The objectives of this workshop are to:

  • Encourage creativity and teamwork within an engineering environment
  • Explore the concept of storing and releasing energy 
  • Discover how forces act on objects

What to expect:

All of our workshops will start with a short welcome and introduction to the workshop to ensure students are aware of what to expect.

Concepts we will cover:


We will introduce the concepts of push, pull, gravity and friction and provide a short demonstration of Newton’s first law and second law. We will discuss the importance of forces and these laws in the building of our chain.


In this workshop, we will introduce the different types energy and the idea of converting energy from one form to another rather than creating it 


We will discuss some mechanisms the students can consider, including ramps, pulleys, levers and dominoes. They will be able to consider how they will link the parts of their chain. We will offer them some thoughts to help them understand the importance of timing.

The build!

After a quick introduction to the rules of the build and a short health and safety briefing, the teams will get on with their build. We encourage them to build, test, change and retest as they go, but most importantly we encourage teamwork within their team and within the wider group.

The Grand Finale

Excitement builds as we prepare for one big run of the whole chain reaction.


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