• 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 over 4,700 five to eight year olds and their teachers heard and enjoyed the story in 158 classroom workshops.
  • Now, thanks to an Ingenious grant from The Royal Academy of Engineers and sponsorship from some forward-thinking engineering companies, the FID have a new mystery to solve – The mysterious case of the elephant that forgot. 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.
  • This is a book, illustrated in full colour, that we are convinced will inspire younger pupils to see engineering as a cool thing to do.


The science of engineering – links to the curriculum

  • As Frankie learns more about what engineers do she also carries out some engineering of her own and 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.


  • Frankie 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 book will be accompanied by a series of free downloadable worksheets that use images and words from the book to cement the scientific concepts introduced in the story.


The workshops 

  • The book is the core part of a fun and interactive workshop where pupils act as detectives to help Frankie solve ‘The mysterious case of the elephant that forgot’ by deciphering a series of clues.
  • They also get to vote on whether Frankie’s engineering ideas will succeed or fail, and understand how engineers design, build and then test their inventions.
  • Then, working in small groups, pupils design a flamingo, crab or elephant racing balloon, and race off against each other to find a winner.
  • Workshop length is 1 hour. Delivered in the classroom to 30 pupils maximum at a time
  • Recommended year groups: Years 3 and 4
  • Delivered by: Cath Hassell (author of the book) and one or two actual real-life engineers!
  • The workshops are completely free and all pupils get a free copy of the book to take home.



The mysterious case of the elephant that forgot – information for teachers