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Common Good Challenges

Our engineering challenges inspire young people to give engineering a go, following in the footsteps of great engineers from the North East.

Common Good Challenges

The Common Good Challenges are about the North East's industrial heritage and encouraging young people to appreciate the great engineering that the region is famous for.

The 4 engineering challenges are about bridges, boats, pulleys (mine rescue) and wheeled vehicles. Other challenge categories in the series include Digital (e.g. using CAD), Creative and Mystery Artefact.

The challenges are designed to be open-ended so that anyone can have a go at home, with whatever materials they have available. You could also use them in your classroom to set your students a challenge, which you could then adapt as necessary to suit their needs.


Maximum of 35 participants.


Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, this experience is free of charge.


Each engineering challenge could last a lesson or more, depending on how it is run with the class.

Learning outcomes

  • Improve engagement, interest or enjoyment in STEM subjects

  • Improve attainment and progress in STEM subjects


  • Materials
  • Electricity
  • Earth and space
  • Forces

Working scientifically

Whichever curriculum your school follows, pupils should have the opportunity to carry out practical investigations in science that help them to develop their scientific skills. This experience builds the following enquiry skills:

  • Making predictions
  • Setting up tests
  • Observing and measuring
  • Interpreting and communicating results
  • Evaluating

Essential skills

The essential skills every young person needs to succeed in education and their future career. Find out more at the Skills Builder Partnership. This experience builds the following skills:

  • Problem solving - the ability to find a solution to a complex situation or challenge.

  • Staying positive - the ability to use tactics to overcome setbacks and achieve goals.

Good for a career in...

  • Aircraft
  • Computing
  • Construction
  • Design
  • Electronics
  • Transport
What the teachers say

We would love to read all about your time with this experience!

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