The Flamingo Investigation Department have been basking in glory having solved ‘The mysterious case of the sinking flamingo’. They wrote a book about their adventure and in the last three years, over 4,700 five to eight year olds and their teachers have heard and enjoyed the story in 158 classroom workshops.


Now, the FID have a new mystery to solve – The mysterious case of the elephant that forgot. A book that we are convinced will inspire younger pupils to see engineering as a cool thing to do.


Frankie the flamingo and her faithful sidekick Clarence, the crab who doesn’t like poo on his head, set off to unravel this mystery. On the way, with the aid of Bradley the beaver, Marilyn and Mustafa the meerkats, and Ellie the elephant, they find out exactly what it is that engineers do as well as the difference between good and bad engineering.



The science of engineering

As Frankie learns more about what engineers do she also gets to grips with some of the core scientific principles that are studied in Key Stage 1 and early Key Stage 2 Science, such as push and pull, strong and weak, heavy and light, rough and smooth, and the properties of different materials.


She also gets to make some badly designed parachutes because that’s the type of irrepressibly (if misplaced) confident type of a flamingo she is!



The team

The mysterious case of the elephant that forgot has been written by Cath Hassell and is being illustrated by Jon Evans. To ensure the book gets its facts right, we obviously needed the input of some engineers, and are really pleased that Pip Jefferis, a civil engineer and Sarah Bell, an environmental engineer, provided us with that feedback.



Ingenious grant

Due to the awarding of an ingenious grant from the Royal Academy of Engineers we will be training up actual real-life engineers to work in tandem with us to deliver workshops in schools so that five to eight year olds can help Frankie and Clarence solve the mystery and vote on whether Frankie’s engineering ideas will succeed or fail!


The grant also means that we can give every child who attends one of the workshops their very own copy of the book to take home. As part of the remit is to prioritise schools with a high number of pupils on the deprivation index, this is especially exciting to us.

We will also be running a series of workshops at the Science Museum as part of a Year of Engineering and will attend other local science fairs to distribute the book.



Sponsorship opportunities

We are already really pleased to have these fabulous companies (in strict alphabetical order!) supporting us.


Etude                     Eurban                    Royal Academy of Engineering                         Thomas Dudley                             Tideway

But we would still like a few more. Sponsorship is £1,000. You will get your logo on the inside back cover of the book, a link to your website from ours, 30 copies of the book sent to a local school of your choice (and a workshop by Cath, the author), and a big shout out from Frankie the flamingo and Clarence the crab for helping kids to understand that being an engineer is pretty cool!


We will also produce an audio visual DVD that will be freely accessible on our website and the STEM website. You could choose this option instead of the school visit if you’d like to. We will feature your name at the end and you will still get your logo in the book and a link from our website.


Please email if you would like to take up this offer. Or even to suggest a counter offer. We have, after all, seen Dragon’s den and Frankie the flamingo is an ace wheeler dealer!


The mysterious case of the elephant that forgot – a call for sponsors