Systems and Control Late KS3 Y9 Design and Make - Animatronic Creature

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D&T Key Resources
Systems and Control Late KS3 –
Design and Make
Animatronic creature – 13 hours
First published 2015; updated 2016

Students will design and manufacture of a small scale prototype Animatronic prop for either a stage show or television programme. This unit of work is the culmination of the KS3 work in Systems & Control; it also draws upon the other areas of Design and Technology in a multimedia way to solve a design and make task. It requires students to create a control system, apply mechanisms to control movement and use CAD/CAM to make a working prototype.

Key Learning:

  • Develop independent working individually or as a group
  • Take creative risks when designing for a given context
  • Use of electric motors to provide motion, mechanical systems to cause movement and speed reduction
  • Use feedback to control the way a system operates
  • Evaluation is a constant process throughout designing and making


  • Know the importance of modelling before actual manufacture commences
  • Apply ‘new’ concepts to their own products
  • Create a control system (program & circuit) to operate a system
  • Apply mechanisms to achieve and control movement in system
  • Use CAD/CAM in the creation of a working prototype
  • Be able to critically evaluate design ideas, chosen processes and final prototype and act on their findings
  • Make use of other materials that might be required to act as skin, clothing etc
  • Document a system such that others can create copies or other versions

NC 2014 Learning objectives

  • TK9 How to apply computing and use electronics to embed intelligence in products that respond to inputs
  • TK11 How to apply the concepts of feedback in systems
  • TK12 How to control outputs such as actuators and motors
  • TK20 Understand how more advanced mechanical systems used in their products enable changes in movement and force
  • TK15 How to construct and use simple and compound gear trains to drive mechanical systems from a high revving motor
  • TK13 How to use software and hardware to develop programmes and transfer these to programmable components for example, microcontrollers
  • TK14 How to make use of microcontrollers in products they design and manufacture themselves
  • DB4 Use CAD and related software packages to validate their designs in advance of manufacture
  • EA3 Select appropriate methods to evaluate their products in use and modify them to improve performance
  • EA4 Produce short reports, making suggestions for improvements

Free resource also available:  Learning Planner and Assessing Without Levels - Teachers' Guide 

D&T Key Resources

These Design and Technology Key Resources form part of a KS3 plan for D&T learning and a project bank from which you can choose to populate your school’s learning plan. Other resources in the plan cover curriculum areas of Textiles, Food and Product Design.

These resources have been developed to help teachers who are looking to move their schemes of work from craft-based focused projects, where the craft outcome is the critical factor, towards planning D&T learning units that focus on students’ learning in design and technology.

The resources are designed to enable you to either use the full KS3 learning programme or to plan your own using these available units from the bank. You can use these units with others from the ever growing bank available on the D&T Association website or you can design your own to fit your school’s requirements.

Each learning unit has been designed by starting with selected learning objectives from the 2014 National Curriculum. From here the units have been developed with tasks, activities and experiences which provide opportunities for students to learn and demonstrate what they have learnt. Furthermore assessment opportunities have been 'designed in' where teachers can assess whether students have learnt what the unit has set out to teach them. To make them easier to reference in medium and short term plans they have been coded DB1, MA2, MB7 etc. A full reference table of coded learning objectives is included in this pack.

Across all material components of D&T resources have been developed for Early, Mid, and Late Key Stage 3 and are of varying lengths, each with a different theme and approaching the activities from a different learning focus:

  • Mainly Designing               two to five hours
  • Mainly Making                   three to four hours
  • Design and Make              six to eight hours
  • Technology in Society      two hours


Each resource pack comprises:

  • Unit of work
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Self assessment worksheets
  • Homework sheets
  • Support resources

Units can be purchased as individual items or as sets across early, mid or late KS3, or as a full set covering the whole of KS3.

Curriculum Credits cannot be used to purchase this item.


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