Linking Engineering with Literacy in Y5

We are very keen at Rode Heath to embrace Engineering Habits of Mind (EHoM) in all areas of the curriculum and have found that one of the ways to do this is through the Literacy books we are reading in class. In Year 5, the children have been studying ‘The Abominables’ by Eva Ibbotson: a story which follows a family of yetis who are forced, by tourism, to leave their home in the Himalayas and make their way across Europe to find a possible new home.

Having read the story, the Year 5s decided to design and build a trap to catch yetis. In doing this, they have not only applied engineering skills, but have been able to make use of their knowledge of the BBC micro:bit to create a mechanism to deploy the trap.

The traps were designed using Tinkercad, an online 3D CAD design tool, which allowed the children to turn their ideas into 3D models which could then be printed on our Makerbot minis. For further information about this printing app, visit:-

Here are some of the first designs to have come off the printers:


Engineering Design Process –  Research and Explore

After thinking about the problem and asking some questions, we decided that there were certain features that needed to be incorporated into our design:-

  • the cage needed to be hollow, with a hole at the bottom, big enough for the yeti to fit inside, when the cage was dropped.
  • there should be holes around the outside of the cage, to enable the yeti to breathe once captured.
  • some of us added two rings to the top, so that the cage could be lifted.

We then drew a diagram of our proposed trap in our Engineering Log books and filled in the cover sheet with our success criteria.

Design and Create

We used Tinkercad to create 3D models of our drawings and then sent the file to the Makerbot minis. Our next step is to work out how we can use the micro:bits to create a mechanism to drop the trap on the unsuspecting yetis.


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