Skills for Industry - Severn Trent Animated Water Display

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Skills for Industry – Severn Trent Animated Water Display

First published 2018
Ages 11-14

The Skills for Industry programme provides an opportunity to link secondary schools with a local industry partner to help Design and Technology teachers to develop and teach the industry-relevant knowledge and skills needed by the industry partner.

In this Severn Trent is looking for an interactive water display that can be used at exhibitions and displays to inform visitors on issues that are important to them and the general public as users of water. They would like to see the following key aspects incorporated into the solution:

  • Use water in an active way – fountain(s)
  • Use a number of jets/pumps to create interesting jets of water
  • Use of multi-coloured lighting to add dynamic lighting effects
  • Use a microcontroller system to control the system, which would link to a key career path of Instrumentation, Control and Automation within Severn Trent
  • Display appropriate ‘water’ related messages / information to and for stakeholders

This project has a scheme over eight one-hour lessons with pupils working in teams to improve their ability to solve problems, acquiring knowledge and team work skills through ‘mainly making’ activities, requiring pupils to find solutions to a variety of challenges.

Key Learning

Technical knowledge – TK

  • 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
  • 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

Designing – DB

  • DB4 Use CAD and related software packages to validate their designs in advance of manufacture

Evaluating – EA

  • EA3 Select appropriate methods to evaluate their products in use and modify them to improve performance
  • EA4 Produce short reports, making suggestions for improvements


  • Create a control system (program & circuit) to operate a system in the required manner. [TK9, TK12, TK13, TK14]
  • Apply mechanisms to achieve and control movement in system. [TK20]
  • Use feedback to control the way a system operates. [TK11]
  • Use CAD/CAM in the creation of a working prototype. [DB4]
  • Document a system such that others can create copies or other versions. [EA3, EA4]

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