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Activity overview

15 mins
Ages 5 – 7

Science topics:

Materials

Take a much closer look at this familiar object. Can your class use their reasoning skills to work out what it is?

Run the activity

You will be zooming in and out of the image above – starting very close and stepping back slowly.

1. Start by asking everyone:

  • What do they think the image is and why?
  • What does the image remind them of and why?

2. Every time you zoom out, ask the class:

  • Can they describe the colours, shapes and textures?
  • What do they think the image is now – have they changed their minds?

Background science

The first boots worn to play rugby would have been made from leather and looked quite like walking boots. Leather gets quite heavy when it is wet and other fabrics have been used since the 1970s when synthetic materials became readily available that were light but strong, protective and water-resistant.  Different fabrics are used in different parts of the boot.

As well as using new fabrics, the design of the boot also changed to a slipper shape with some protection for the back of the ankle, but no longer with a high cuff. Studs changed from being steel to aluminium.

All these features help the boot to be lightweight but strong and supple so that players can run quickly, turn and change direction, kick and stop. Depending on the position played in a team, a rugby player may choose a boot with specific features, such as a harder toe to help kick the ball or a little more ankle protection for playing in defence.

Rugby is a team game played by all ages and in these images, a female team is playing. Mixed-gender rugby is more common in tag rugby.

Take it further

Have a look at other sport related activites such as a Big Question Which are the best shoes for running? or consider which materials might be best for designing clothing for a special purpose, even for an astronuaut. Or you could continue on the theme of footwear with this Odd One Out Functional footwear.

 

Leonie Freeman for Wellcome Trust, licenced under CC0

Ashley Kelly for Wellcome Trust, licenced under CC0

Teenage Girls Playing Rugby ©  Chris Cooper via Alamy