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Subject key:

  • Science
  • Design & Technology
  • Engineering
  • Maths
  • Computing

Student age:

  • 11-14
  • 11-14
  • 11-14
  • 14-16
  • 16+
Electric car image

Designing a vacuum train

Science Design and Technology Engineering Diploma Mathematics Appropriate for children aged 11 to 14

Type: MainDuration: 50 mins

A costly, and sometimes very long, aeroplane journey is currently your only option if you intend to travel a long distance. However, what about in the future? One method that has been proposed is the vacuum tube train. This may be able to reach speeds of 4,000 mph, but is it a realistic option?

Activity info, teachers' notes and curriculum links

In this activity students design a model vacuum tube train. They have to decide on how to get a ball to travel through a tube as quickly as possible without the help of gravity. They then look at the forces that would act on a real vacuum tube train.

The activity sheet includes teachers' notes, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

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All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students' and your schools' needs.

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