Recommended age group: 14–19
Time required: two 45–60 min sessions (with homework)
Equipment: Winter Games Quiz, 14–19 D&T record sheet, computer for research, sketching equipment, equipment for making a prototype (optional).


Getting started

Start by checking students' basic understanding and knowledge about the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games by completing the Get Set Winter Games Quiz together as a class. You could also explore previous Winter Games with the Celebrating Sochi 2014 presentation. How do the students think the athletes can demonstrate the Values during the Games?

Move on to focus specifically on the two sports of snowboarding and alpine skiing.

Explain to the students that they will be designing a snowboard or outrigger for an Olympian or Paralympian. (In Paralympic skiing, outriggers are sometimes used instead of poles to aid balance. Outriggers are similar to a crutch with a small ski on the end.)


To inform their designs and to help them understand some of the technicalities involved in great Snowboarding or Alpine Skiing, the students need to carry out some research individually, in pairs or as a small group.

The students will need to research and record information on the following:

  • Snowboard/outrigger, component parts and technical terms, such as feet, nose, tail, power, edge hold, camber, flex and tension.
  • The properties and suitability of different kinds of wood and other materials, e.g. poplar, ash, hardwood, glass fibre, carbon aluminium and steel.
  • A Design your own snowboard activity sheet is provided below for the students to record the outcomes of their research and to make an annotated sketch of their initial ideas.

Sketch and design

Having researched and learned about the different parts of a snowboard or outriggers and the sorts of materials most commonly used to produce them, the students need to make a series of sketches and annotated diagrams to show their ideas for a cool new design fit for an athlete taking part in the Olympic or Paralympic Winter Games. Their annotations and notes should include technical information answering the following key questions.

  • Why they would choose a particular material for all or part of their new snowboard/outriggers?
  • How their design ensures good comfort, stability and 'edge hold'?
  • Why they have chosen particular graphics, shapes, colours and Values words/ symbols in their designs?

Each pair or group could present their research findings and design ideas to the rest of the class, explaining their choices and sharing what they've learned about the technical aspects of snowboard/outrigger design. Which materials are most commonly used?


If time and resources allow, the students could go on to make a prototype snowboard/outrigger or, if this isn't practical, they could customise an existing snowboard or crutch with special images and graphics related to the Games and display their finished products in the entrance hall or other location where there is significant footfall.

Their sketches, prototypes and customised equipment could be accompanied by short, written explanations about snowboard/outriggers and the history of snowboarding/ alpine skiing as part of the Olympic Winter Games/Paralympic Winter Games.