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21st Century Creative Challenges

21st Century Creative Challenges

Free making and problem-solving projects for learners aged 5-16, based on D&T Association design principles that develop 21st Century skills. Ready to use at home!

  • Enable independent and meaningful creative problem-solving
  • Cover the STEAM and D&T curriculums in an engaging way
  • Let learners devise innovative solutions to problems from home
  • Share real-life challenges set by teachers and business people

How it Works


Share the challenge video and recording sheet with your learners.


Learners carry out the challenge against design principles, covering research, ideas, refining, skills, decisions, and communication.


Learners record their work on the forms provided or in existing portfolios; you feedback for them to refine and review again.

Exciting challenges for Key Stage 1-4

Key Stage 1 Rainbow Making

How can you make a rainbow and then communicate that rainbow to your neighbours?

Key Stage 2 Making Music

Can you design and make a musical instrument that you can play a concert with to your neighbours?

Key Stage 3 Street Communication

How can we help each other with no internet or mobile phone networks?

Send creative thinking home

Why take 21st Century Creative Challenges?

Build creativity and confidence

Each challenge presents a problem and leaves it up to the learner to decide how to solve it.  This open learning experience develops creative thinking, motivation and confidence by enabling learners to explore and experiment for themselves.

Solve relevant problems

Prepare older students for the world of work with real-life challenges from businesses.  Challenge learners to create innovative solutions to real problems people and businesses face, giving learners valuable work experience.

Teach tricky topics

Increase understanding of tricky STEAM concepts for younger students through context-based learning.  Students can see the learning for themselves as they make, explore and discover.

Cover the curriculum

Each making challenge for Key Stage 1 and 2 includes a document linking it to the UK curriculum for STEAM subjects.  For Key Stage 3 and 4, the challenge page shows where it meets the D&T curriculum.

Assess against key principles

Assessment is offered against Design and Technology principles, designed to develop meta-learning skills as learners research, plan, design, refine and reflect.

Share and collaborate

Recording sheets for every challenge offer space for learners to record and share their working. Use your existing school systems for feedback throughout projects to enable collaboration that lets learners review and reflect on decisions.

21st Century Creative Challenges

Free making and problem-solving projects for learners aged 5-16, based on design principles that develop 21st Century skills. Perfect for home use; ready to use anywhere.


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