What’s on at NRM ShildonLocomotion

Electric Engines

Learn about the history, design and construction of electric locomotives in this 90-minute workshop.

Term time
Key Stage 2
Key Stage 2
Collection Building

Following a 15-minute welcome, the package lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Steam and Electricity

Through the use of roleplay, children will discover the advantages and disadvantages of steam and electric locomotives.

Circuit Building

Children will take part in a hands on, interactive circuit building session. Children will be taught what circuits are, their uses, how they are built and how they are drawn.

Locomotive Building

Using the knowledge gained from the two previous activities, children will work in groups in order to design and build electric locomotives of their own. The session will conclude with a presentation from each group, as well as racing the completed locomotives!

Curriculum links


• Investigate and analyse a range of existing products.
• Evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work.
• Understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world
• Technical knowledge
• Understand and use mechanical systems in their products (for example, gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages)
• Understand and use electrical systems in their products (for example, series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors)
• Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups
• Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas


• A significant turning point in British history, for example, the first railways or the Battle of Britain
• A study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant in the locality
• Understanding of how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources


• Identify common appliances that run on electricity
• Construct a simple series electrical circuit, identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs, switches and buzzers
• Identify whether or not a lamp will light in a simple series circuit, based on whether or not the lamp is part of a complete loop with a battery
• Recognise that a switch opens and closes a circuit and associate this with whether or not a lamp lights in a simple series circuit
• Recognise some common conductors and insulators, and associate metals with being good conductors
• Associate the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer with the number and voltage of cells used in the circuit
• Compare and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches
• Use recognised symbols when representing a simple circuit in a diagram


• Recognise that some mechanisms, including levers, pulleys and gears, allow a smaller force to have a greater effect

Activities are free of charge, and available to pre-booked school groups.

For more information about NRM Shildon only, please contact:

Shirley Bell
01904 685780
email: Shirley.Bell@nrm.org.uk

Background: L&SWR Adams 563