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Victorian Cycles

Suitable for KS1/Lower KS2


Coventry is the birthplace of the modern cycle, thanks to pioneers James Starley and John Kemp Starley. This session uses STEM to help students understand why Victorian Cycles changed from the wooden velocipede, through to the Penny farthing, to the more recognisable Rover Safety Cycle.

The workshop begins by chronologically looking at the key cycles, their materials and features. The students will then investigate materials, frame shapes, and explore how these cycles move. By then end of the workshop, the students will have a better idea of why the cycles changed.

Breakdown of workshop:

  • Video 1 – Information for teachers giving overview of the workshop, and tips for the practical activities
  • Video 2 – Workshop video: Introduction to how Victorian Cycles changed, conclusion explanation of why Victorian Cycles changed

The workshop video lasts for a total of around 17 minutes and is divided into small chapters so that teachers can pause and ask questions. The STEM activities could be delivered after the workshop video, or teachers may prefer to complete the activities over a series of days.

The session is designed to be flexible in order to suit individual classes and timetables, and teachers may also decide to add their own activities.


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