Design & Technology Cam Toy Project

‘Newes from Holland, true, strange, and wonderfull’ (1624)

Round and round volvelles, cogs and cams go!  During Engineers Week we have a cam station, which was inspired by the rotary movement of a volvelle found in one of Narcissus Marsh’s astronomy books (see image on the left).

A cam makes the same circular motion, but as a result can create a linear movement in a mechanism.

This activity is for the older primary age students and covers all elements of the technology curriculum, from understanding design specification, designing, making and evaluating.

Can your students design and make a toy for a young child using a cam or cams based around a picture/story book?

Floating Men in a Barrel

Marsh’s has very few children’s books, so for our inspiration we have taken a small detail from an image we used for our Sole Survivors exhibition (see above right).  How can we make the two men bob up and down as if they were floating in water?  This design brief (downloadable below) asks for food packaging and card to be used.  Our design and making process can be seen here, with the result in the video clip below.

Marsh’s Design
Frame/Food Box
Stabilising Shaft



The Result

Design Brief
Blank Design Sheet
Evaluation Sheet
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