The collaborative platform for educational
DIY Science Projects


How to use the do-it-yourScience projects in a school context?

The DIYS projects as an effective approach to science and technology

The do-it-yourSciences platform deliberately limits itself to providing building instructions of projects illustrating scientific themes, generally in connection with sustainable development.

Although most teachers are aware that technical topics are of interest to young people, it is sometimes difficult for them to tackle these issues in an practical way without the need of highly specialized or expensive equipment.

The do-it-yourScience projets answer this difficulty and offer many advantages as they:
  • Are inexpensive and relatively easy to build.
  • Provide a practical way of illustrating themes or theories presented in class.
  • Are attractive for young people because they can create objects that "really work".
  • Are reusable many times so children can experiment and validate theories.
  • Leave space for creativity and can be improved in use or design.
  • Enable young people become creators, builders, innovators, and critics of technology.
  • Propose examples of innovative technical solutions which contribute to a more sustainable world. This sends a positive message, far from the prevailing defeatism or eco-anxiety.
  • Are an opportunity to develop many cross-cutting skills (dexterity, understanding of instructions, calculations and logic, use of tools, precision, patience, and perseverance, etc.).
The DIYS projects are best used when be integrated into a learning process.

The best way to use the do-it-yourSciences projects is to include them as part of a teaching module in which they can be contextualized and linked to global environmental issues.

We assume that most teachers would know how to integrate this type of practical projects into their teaching. Nevertheless, we thought it would be useful to present an example of a teaching module. This is only an example which can be improved and adapted according to learning objectives and time available.

Example of a teaching module integrating a do-it-yourSciences project

A teacher may, for example, wish to illustrate a course on renewable energy by building with his pupils a device using solar energy.

We give below the main steps that such a course could contain:

Name of the module : renewable energies and solar energy
Age of pupils: about 11-12 years old
Learning objectives:

Following this module, the student should be able to:
  • Distinguish between renewable and non-renewable energy sources.
  • Name the major energy issues.
  • Understand how a solar thermal collector and photovoltaic cell works and how to evaluate their performances.
  • Explain the advantages and limitations of renewable energies.
What ? How ? Duration
1. Presentation of the main issues of energy use Options :
  • Presentation of a video on the main energy issues and the need of the development of renewable energies.
  • Lesson on energy and its issues
Both can be followed by a period of debriefing and debate.
2-3 x 45 min.
2. Study of different renewable energies (potential, technologies, uses)
  • Research by groups of pupils on different renewable energies and creation of posters.
  • Classroom presentations of the posters
  • Discussions
4 x 45 min.
3. Creation functional solar modules and experimenting
  • Building of solar ovens and projects using photovoltaic modules (half and half)
  • Tests, heat or electricity measurements.
  • Discussion of the advantages and limitations of these technologies.
  • Suggestions for improvement (possibly additional tests)
4 x 45 min.
4. Discovery of a local project Visit of a photovoltaic and/or solar thermal installation near the school 2 x 45 min.
5. Validation Options :
  • Written work - may take the form of an essay answering an open question such as : Why is solar energy seen as an energy of the future?
  • Creation of a small exhibition with the posters, the built modules, the results of the tests for the other classes. Presentation by the pupils themselves.
1 x 45 min.


Preparation : 1 x 45 min.

Presentation to other classes : 4 x 45 min.
Total : 14 - 20 x 45 min.