Slippy shoes

26 September 2019

As part of the Phizzi Forces CPD programme, the Ogden Trust collaborated with physicist and mountaineer Dr Melanie Windridge as she set out on an expedition to climb Mount Everest.

We now bring you Slippy Shoes – a primary science enquiry exploring the force of friction. In videos set against the stunning landscape of her Everest expedition, Melanie sets a primary school challenge for children in Year 3 and Year 5. You can watch the videos and download the resource to guide you through these hands-on classroom investigations.

Year 3
Can you design the best footwear for climbing Everest? Your challenge is to plan a comparative test to explore how friction forces change depending on the sole of the shoe. Think about how you will observe, describe and compare the soles of the shoes that you are going to test.

Year 5
Can you investigate the factors that affect the frictional force between surfaces? Your challenge is to plan a comparative test to find out how the surface you are walking on affects the size of the frictional force acting on your shoe.

Slippy Shoes is one of 10 investigation from our Phizzi Forces CPD programme which is being delivered this year across our primary partnership schools. Phizzi CPD addresses common misconceptions in primary science and provides a comprehensive teacher guide and resource box to support scientific enquiry.

If you are not part of a primary partnership, applications are currently open for new partnerships starting in 2020. We also have lots more forces resources freely available right now on our website.


Summiting the Science of Everest is an outreach project from Dr Melanie Windridge designed to help inspire young people, especially girls, to reach new heights in STEM and business.


Ice ladder photo by Bruno Dupety.

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