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Bringing back glass

A set of activities to help children explore the importance of glass in everyday lives, for scientific experimentation, problem-solving and in technology


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We hope that this resource will help teachers to inspire future generations of young scientists. After all, "We are only limited by our imaginations!"

The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London

Celebrating the United Nations International Year of Glass 2022, by 'bringing back glass into the primary classroom', the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) is delighted to be working with The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London to share this resource with primary science educators.

Glass Design Competition

PSTT & The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers

Schools' Design Competition

Competition Details

The Primary Science Teaching Trust, in partnership with the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London, invites children from UK primary schools to submit entries for our design competition.

We would like primary school children to use their imaginations to design a beautiful object that could be made from glass, which they think would also be useful in a primary science classroom.

Children should draw or paint their design, (to show how it will look beautiful) and annotate the design to describe how the object and any specific features will make it useful for (a) primary science lesson(s).

The competition is open to all children aged 4-11 years who are educated in a primary school in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Original annotated designs should be photographed/scanned and uploaded for entry via the PSTT website (the submission point can be found below).

Competition winners will be decided by a panel of judges selected by the PSTT and The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London. One of our judges for this competition will be glass artist, Allister Malcolm.

  • There will be only one overall competition winner (child and associated school). The individual winner's design will be created in glass by Allister Malcolm and awarded personally to the winning child. An offer will be made for the child and an accompanying adult to visit the factory where it is made (with travel costs being covered). The associated school will receive £1000 to spend on science resources.
  • The 2nd place entry will receive: a prize (plug and play microscope and two science books) for the child and £500 for the associated school to spend on science resources.
  • The 3rd place entry will receive: a prize for the child (plug and play microscope and two science books) and £350 for the associated school to spend on science resources.

Share our flyer with anyone you think might be interested in taking part and tag us on social media using #PSTTGlass22.


The closing date for the competition is 7th October 2022. If you encounter any technical difficulties, please email info@pstt.org.uk.

Terms and Conditions

The submitting school/parent is responsible for agreeing to the terms and conditions on behalf of the creator of the design.

All designs must be completed by children, but an adult may help a child to add written annotations as suggested by the child.

All submissions must be uploaded via the PSTT website in order to be considered. PSTT cannot accept any responsibility for uploading failures.

Entries must be received by midnight on 7th October 2022. Winners will be notified no later than Friday 28th October 2022.

Submitted designs must be original, and created by a pupil of a school who is between the ages of 4 and 11 years old. The design may be created in school or at home. The design must be uploaded by an adult, providing a suitable contact email address (this could be someone with parental responsibility or by an adult at the associated school). The associated school's name and postcode will be required.

Designs must not infringe the copyright, trademark, moral rights, rights of privacy/publicity or intellectual property rights of any person or entity.

PSTT respects individuals’ copyrights, and copyrights shall remain vested with the creator of the design. Upon making the submission, the submitter grants PSTT worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty free, sub-licensable right and license to use, publish, reproduce, display, adapt, create derivative works, distribute, have distributed, print, in whole or in part, in any form, in all media forms now or hereafter known, to promote the contest, the image and its design for any editorial, marketing or educative use.

PSTT and the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London reserve the right to publish the winning schools’ details on their website, and in all media forms. The name of the child will only be published with explicit parental consent.

PSTT will appoint judges for the contest. The judging panel shall assess and determine the winning design. The decision of PSTT’s judging panel will be final and binding on all participants in respect to all matters relating to the contest.

In submitting a design, the school or other submitting adult must be able to provide the original artwork if requested. A disclaimer will be signed on submission of entry to this effect.

Privacy Notice

The Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) recognises that personal information (name and email addresses) will be included in the data we collect when you submit an entry to this competition. The PSTT will use the information that you provide for operational purposes in processing the entry only, and we will not share your information with other organisations.

All information collected may be retained throughout the duration of the judging process (up to 6 months). Data from any non-winning entry will be deleted at the point of decision-making. Data from winning entries will be held until winners receive their prizes; all personal data will be deleted at this point.

Please note: For further information on how your data is used, how we maintain the security of your data and your rights to access information we hold on you, please contact: Wendy Woodsford, PSTT Senior Office Administrator on 0117 325 0499.

About the Resource


CLICK IMAGES TO DOWNLOAD

Complete Activity Booklet


UK Curricula Links


Common Misconceptions and

Background Science



In this free to download booklet, you will find 15 activities designed to support delivery of engaging science lessons that enable Early Years and primary school children (from 3-11 years) to explore the properties, uses and benefits of glass and to engage in meaningful and relevant investigative science.

The activities cover a wide range of primary science topics including:

    • Materials & their suitability for different purposes
    • Light
    • Sound
    • Plant germination & growth
    • Soil
    • Water cycle
    • Animal adaptation (birds)
    • Habitats (the Arctic)

Possible learning outcomes for each activity have been linked to the UK primary curricula so that educators can see where an activity might fit into their planning. Using easy to source materials, many activities are also suited to use in themed science days, science weeks, or for science or STEM club activities.

Symbols indicate the types of enquiry and the skills that can be developed through each activity. These symbols could be displayed in the classroom and can be downloaded here: Enquiry types and Enquiry skills.

All the activities have been written by PSTT College Fellows.

Activities

Click on the images below to access each activity.

Should we wear glass shoes?

A sequence of activities to help EYFS children understand the properties and uses of glass

EYFS Science Provision Map - Glass

Learn about glass through construction, ICT, gardening, art & design and outdoors.

Glittery Discovery Jar

Exploring materials, light and shadows

Mirror Images

Investigating how coated glass can be used to create mirrors

Making Music

Creating a glass musical instrument

Plant Germination & Growth

Investigating how light affects seeds and seedlings and discover the effect of glass colour on germination

Making your own Microscope

A simple way to observe objects in greater detail

Soil Profiling

Can you discover what's in my spade?

Water Cycle in a Jar

Can we recreate the water cycle indoors?

Make your own Thermometer

How does temperature vary around the school?

Fire Fighting

Creating an 'invisible' fire extinguisher

Make a Model Lung

Discover how cigarette smoke affects our health

Investigating Windows

Is double glazing more effective than single glazing?

Arctic Ice

Protecting the Arctic from radiant heat (sunlight)

Feed the birds

What types of food do different garden birds prefer?


Safety Notice and Disclaimer


PSTT advises teachers to refer to either the CLEAPSS website or SSERC website for up to date health and safety information when planning practical activities for children.

PSTT is not liable for the actions or activities of any reader or anyone else who uses the information in these resource pages or the associated classroom materials. PSTT assumes no liability with regard to injuries or damage to property that may occur as a result of using the information contained in these resources. PSTT recommends that a full risk assessment is carried out before undertaking in the classroom any of the practical investigations contained in the resources.

All materials are ©Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) and are freely available to download and share for educational purposes. Whilst educators are free to adapt the resources to suit their own needs, acknowledgement of copyright on all original materials must be included. Rights to images included in the resource have been purchased for PSTT use only – as such, these images may only be used as part of this resource and may not copied into or used in other materials.

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