Enquiring Minds: Bridges to higher education

Enquiring Minds is a website aiming to equip students, their families, school staff and community groups with tools and information so school leavers and others can make informed decisions about their future. “Enquiring Mind series is produced for primary school students and encourages students to develop their interests and hobbies into careers through university study. The television series and website has been developed by the Bridges to Higher Education Participation and […]

World Solar Challenge: Free STEM resources for secondary teachers

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC) begins on the 8th of October. The event has been going since 1987. Every two years, “teams from leading international universities and technical institutes, together with private entrepreneurs and even high schools, come together “Down Under” to test and promote the ultimate synergy of nature, motion and innovation” (source). Why in Australia? Well there are two very obvious things we have, sunlight, and a […]

Street Art: A unit of work I taught

The Australian Curriculum content descriptor (learning outcome) I needed to teach this term was for students to develop and apply techniques and processes when making their artworks. I’ve always had a passion for street art so I began to think, how might I incorporate this into a unit of work? For my student’s final assessment, I wanted students to design and paint a piece of street art which had a […]

Fire Boy and Water Girl: Free strategy game

Fire Boy and Water Girl is a fun game for two players or one player. Players need to help  Fire Boy and Water Girl find an exit through multiple puzzling levels. Fire Boy must avoid the water and Water Girl must avoid the hot lava.  Players will need to think ahead and plan their way through each puzzling room in order to get them both safely to the exit. Reading […]

Minecraft Design: Real Life Application

In 2015, Linden Park Primary students won the Craft Your Perfect National Park Minecraft competition and it has finally been built! Craft Your Perfect National Park, was part of the community engagement project for the South Australian State Government’s election commitment to spend $10.4 million on infrastructure upgrades, to encourage people to visit metropolitan parks.  Students were invited to design a national park using Minecraft. You can view the Linden Park student’s winner entry […]

War on waste!

Australia is ranked 5th highest for generating the most municipal waste in the world. So what can we do about it? ‘War on Waste‘ , a three part ABC documentary, hosted by Craig Reucassel was produced to see if we, as a nation, can all do a little better.  In episode one, Craig explores how much waste we produce as a nation and what we can do about it. He […]

STEM Challenges for Reception (K) to Year 6

Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM),  is based on the philosophy of teaching the four disciplines using an integrated approach, a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications, rather than as separate discrete subjects.  Why integrate subjects? Well I think, integration is needed in order to guide students’ way of thinking about our our current and future environmental and social issues. We need to reach beyond the idea of students […]

The Design Process: Student example and assessment rubric

Part of the Design Technologies curriculum for primary students is very similar to that of the SACSA (South Australian Curriculum Standards and Accountability)  Framework, for those who can remember using this, in that it generally has a ‘design, make and appraise’ approach with the addition of ‘critically examine’ before the design process. I’ve created a list of design steps and an assessment rubric which can be modified easily to cater […]

Strategies for teaching public speaking skills

Speaking in public to an audience can be challenging, not only for students but adults alike. I remember giving my first lecture at university. As an invited speaker, I found myself standing at the front of the lecture theatre, the same lecture theatre which I attended as a university student for my very first lecture. I had a microphone pinned to my shirt and my presentation was displayed behind me. […]

How to write a Design Technologies assessment rubric

A rubric for assessment, usually in the form of a matrix or grid, is a tool used to interpret and grade students’ work against criteria and standards. With the Australian curriculum, we have the Achievement Standard and the Content Descriptors which provide teachers with the criteria and standards of which to assess. So where do you begin? I like to begin with my student learning outcome and work my way backwards. That is, […]