Lesson 3: Experimenting with cams

Children explore the relationship between cam profiles and follower movement, to inform a design decision.

Before the lesson

Download classroom resources

Learning objectives

  • To explore the relationship between cam profiles and follower movement, to inform a design decision

National curriculum


Pupils should be taught to:

  • 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 through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design


Technical knowledge

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Understand and use mechanical systems in their products [for example, gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages]

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: Work with a group of pairs to explore cam profiles. Put pairs that are of mixed ability on a table together and encourage those working at greater depth to support their peers. Narrow the selection of cam profiles for them to explore and decide between. Provide another copy of the Activity: Cam profiles to cut and stick on the Activity: Cam choices

Pupils working at greater depth: Continue working independently from lesson 2. If the children finish with time remaining, encourage them to support others as workshop assistant. May wish to create customised cam profiles to suit their design idea.

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progression and understanding


Created by:
Vicki Risianova,  
Design & Technology specialist
After 4 years of being a TV and radio presenter, Vicki headed to the secondary classroom where she spent 12 years teaching Design and Technology as well as PE. Working as a subject leader, she ran D&T tournaments and weekly…
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