D&T4 3-4






D&T4 3-4














Year 3 to Year 4


Design and Technology studies from Year 3 to Year 4 builds on concepts, skills and processes developed in earlier years, and teachers will revisit and strengthen these as needed. 

By the end of Year 4 students must have had the opportunity to design, produce and evaluate designed solutions each of the three technologies contexts: Materials and technologies specialisations; Food and fibre production (including Food technologies); and Engineering principles and systems. 

In Years 3 and 4 the curriculum focuses on students developing a sense of self and ownership of their ideas and thinking in relation to their peers, communities and as a consumer. Students explore creative and innovative ideas and alternatives and establish their own design skills. Students learn to harness their creative ideas and imaginative approaches to achieve designed products, services and environments through planning and awareness of the properties and characteristics of materials and the use of tools and equipment. They learn to reflect on their actions to refine their working and develop their decision-making skills. 

Using manual and digital technologies students represent ideas, for example clarifying ideas by drawing freehand annotated diagrams; modelling objects as three-dimensional images from different views by visualising rotating images and using materials. Students recognise techniques for documenting design and production ideas such as basic drawing symbols and use simple flow diagrams. 

Students examine personal, social and environmental sustainability implications of existing products and processes to raise awareness of their place in the world. They compare their predicted implications with real-world case studies, and recognise that designs and technologies can affect people and their environments. They become aware of the role of designers and technologists and how they think about the way a product might change in the future. 

Students become aware of the appropriate ways to manage their time and focus. With teacher guidance, they identify and list criteria for success and the major steps needed to complete a design task. They demonstrate an understanding of the importance of planning when designing solutions, in particular when collaborating. 

Students identify safety issues and learn to follow simple safety rules when producing designed solutions. 


Schools will generally allocate 20 hours of Design and Technology studies per year.

One approach would be to have two design challenges each year, each of 10 hours duration, covering two context per year. This would permit coverage of all three contexts over years 3 and 4.

In each design challenge, students should have opportunities to experience designing, producing and evaluating services and environments as well as products. 

Often a design challenge, particularly in younger years, will involve several teacher directed activities to scaffold student independent project based learning. For example, learning how to use scissors or sew with a needle might be taught through introductory activities before student use these skills in a design challenge. 


From Years 3 to Year 4, students should complete design challenges in each of the three contexts of 

  • Materials and Technologies Specialisations;
  • Food and Fibre Production; and
  • Engineering Principles and Systems.

With an expected time allocation of 20 hours per year, it would be realistic to complete two design challenges each year and over the course of two years, address each of the contexts at least once.


Design Challenge Example

A design challenge in the context of Materials and Technologies Specialisations could involve:

PaddlePop Bridge

Design, create and test an innovative paddle-pop stick model (physical) bridge spanning 2m and sustaining a load;

This could address:

Students developing a sense of self and ownership of their ideas and thinking in relation to their peers, communities and as a consumer. Students should explore creative and innovative ideas and alternatives and establish their own design skills. Students learn to harness their creative ideas and imaginative approaches to achieve designed products, services and environments through planning and awareness of the properties and characteristics of materials and the use of tools and equipment. They learn to reflect on their actions to refine their working and develop their decision-making skills. 

Using manual and digital technologies students represent their ideas, for example clarifying ideas by drawing freehand annotated diagrams; modelling objects as three-dimensional images from different views by visualising rotating images and using materials. Students recognise techniques for documenting design and production ideas such as basic drawing symbols and use simple flow diagrams of their construction and testing processes. 

Students examine personal, social and environmental sustainability implications of existing products and processes to raise awareness of their place in the world. They compare their predicted implications with real-world case studies, and recognise that designs and technologies can affect people and their environments. They become aware of the role of designers and technologists and how they think about the way a product might change in the future. In this case, exploring the impact of discarded plastic bags on the environment and the effectiveness of recycling plastic materials.

Students become aware of the appropriate ways to manage their time and focus. With teacher guidance, they identify and list criteria for success and the major steps needed to complete a design task. They demonstrate an understanding of the importance of planning when designing solutions, in particular when collaborating. Finally, students should identify safety issues and learn to follow simple safety rules when producing designed solutions.  

Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding 

Investigate how forces and the properties of materials affect the behaviour and performance of a product or system and how systems can be enhanced through appropriate manipulation and design. 

  • using available local materials and experimentation to solve problems requiring forces including identifying inputs (what goes in to the system), processes (what happens within the system) and outputs (what comes out of the system), for example in a bridge design, the materials and construction processes are inputs; the internal forces acting on materials in the bridge are processes; and outputs may include the strength of the bridge to withstand various loads.
  • conducting investigations to understand the properties and characteristics of materials and forces that may affect the behaviour and performance of a product or system, for example different truss designs and ways of joining paddle pop sticks; 
  • deconstructing a product or system to identify how motion and forces affect behaviour, for example using computer simulations to explore different forces and materials in the bridge systems; 
  • examining models (physical and virtual) to identify how different forces can be used in the design of a bridge to improve its construction;
  • identifying and exploring an engineered product or system, in this case a bridge, to explore properties and construction relationships when designing and producing, for example a a bridge to carry a load.

Design and Technologies processes and production skills 

Critique, explore and investigate needs or opportunities for designing and test and evaluate a variety of technologies, materials, systems, tools and techniques to produce designed solutions.

  • discussing the different uses of materials in a range of clothing products;
  • testing a range of materials under different conditions for suitability including sustainability considerations and identifying appropriate tools, equipment and techniques; 
  • selecting materials and appropriate joining techniques to create working models; 
  • compiling the criteria for success and planning processes as a class, for example recording a procedure or creating time plans; 
  • examining the structure and production of everyday products, services and environments to enhance their own design ideas; and
  • comparing the amount of waste that would be produced from different design and development options. 

Generate, develop, evaluate, communicate and document design ideas and design decisions using manual and digital technologies.

  • generating a range of design ideas for intended clothing products; 
  • visualising and exploring design ideas by creating thumbnail drawings, models and labelled drawings to explain features and modifications;
  • planning, sharing and documenting ideas and processes using digital tools such as a class blog or collaborative document; 
  • exploring ways of joining, connecting and assembling components that ensure success; 
  • evaluating and revising design ideas, choosing one that meets class-developed criteria for success and includes consideration of ethics, social values and sustainability; and 
  • recognising the sustainability implications of selected designed solutions. 

Select materials, components, tools and equipment using safe and sustainable work practices to produce and evaluate designed solutions based on identified criteria for success for technologies contexts.

  • using tools accurately when measuring, marking and cutting; and explaining why accuracy is important in designing and making, for example creating a template;
  • using appropriate technology terms to confidently describe and share with others procedures and techniques for making, for example cutting and joining materials; 
  • selecting and using materials, components, tools, equipment and processes with consideration of the environmental impact at each stage of the production process; 
  • demonstrating safe, responsible and cooperative work practices when making designed solutions, for example building a model bridge; 
  • managing time and resource allocation throughout production; and
  • reflecting on designed solutions to critique and assess suitability, sustainability and enterprise opportunities and how well they meet identified criteria for success.


Note that while knowledge and understanding will generally not address all aspects, completing design challenges will usually involve all aspects of the Design and Technologies processes and production skills.

In this activity students would go through the design process by completing a design challenge that would involve students approaching the problem of creating an item of formal attire completely from plastic bags:

  1. Designing a solution by understanding what is required in their design brief, researching existing solutions and who designs these, creatively ideating as many possible new solutions as they can, researching and exploring the properties of different materials and their potential use in a bridge design, and exploring different ways that paddle-pop sticks can be joined together;

  2. Developing a solution by following their plan, learning the processes involved in working through a series of steps, using various tools such as tape, glue, elastic bands, etc; and

  3. Evaluating their solution by testing to see if it is durable (i.e. does not fall apart under load), spans the required distance, etc. Finally they should present their solutions and speak to how it meets their design brief and how they achieved this by working through the design process.





































































The following details those aspects of the Australian Curriculum addressed by the activity:

Year 3 to Year 4 Content Descriptions and Elaborations 

Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding 

Recognise factors that impact on the design of products, services and environments including the role of designers and technologists to meet local community needs.

  • exploring factors that impact on design decisions, for example the impact of social values of people on the development of technologies to meet their needs or the impact of natural disasters on design of constructed environments;
  • investigating materials, components, tools and equipment, including using digital technologies, to discover their characteristics and properties, how they can be used sustainably and their impact in the future; 
  • critiquing designed products, services and environments to establish the factors that influence the design and use of common technologies, for example the characteristics that contribute to an energy-efficient cooking utensil such as a wok; the suitability and sustainability of particular timbers; 
  • exploring materials for their appropriateness, for example materials for a new sun-shade product; 
  • examining the suitability of a service or everyday system and proposing improvements, for example a water saving system for a bathroom at home; and 
  • considering the impact of environments on users, for example a school vegetable garden, a protected outdoor play area. 

Investigate the effectiveness and sustainability of a range of technologies, materials, systems, tools and equipment that support local community needs.

  • investigating technologies, materials, systems, tools and equipment for suitability when designing and making a product, service or environment, for example a toy for a young child, a composting system for household waste management, raised garden beds for the elderly; 
  • conducting experiments and tests to understand the properties of materials, for example strength, durability, warmth, elasticity; 
  • exploring local constructed environments to compare how buildings were constructed in the past and in the present;
  • comparing how different components interrelate and complement each other in a finished product, service or environment, for example investigating joining processes for a variety of materials in the production of common products; 
  • critiquing products, services and constructed environments from a range of technologies contexts with consideration of sustainable practices and impact on the local community; and
  • investigating the mass production of products to ensure standardisation, for example students setting up a production line to produce a product for a school fete.

Recognise the contribution food and fibre production and food technologies make to modern and traditional societies. 

  • reading the labels on food products to identify their country of origin;
  • identifying the areas in Australia and Asia where major food or fibre plants and animals are grown or bred when designing environments for food and fibre production, for example the wheat and sheep belts, areas where sugar cane or rice are grown, northern Australia’s beef industry;
  • exploring environments which could improve plant or animal production, for example a greenhouse, animal housing, safe bird shelters; 
  • describing ideal conditions for successful plant and animal production including how climate and soils affect production and availability of foods, for example Aboriginal seasons and food availability when designing production systems; 
  • recognising the benefits contemporary food technology provides for health and food safety and ensuring that a wide variety of food is available to provide a balanced diet, for example a healthy lunch for a student in Year 3 using produce from the school vegetable garden; 
  • investigating contemporary methods of food preservation such as freezing and preserving when designing a food product.

Investigate how forces and the properties of materials affect the behaviour and performance of a product or system and how systems can be enhanced through appropriate manipulation and design. 

  • using available local materials and experimentation to solve problems requiring forces including identifying inputs (what goes in to the system), processes (what happens within the system) and outputs (what comes out of the system), for example sports shoes that use friction; 
  • conducting investigations to understand the properties and characteristics of materials and forces that may affect the behaviour and performance of a product or system, for example woomera design; 
  • deconstructing a product or system to identify how motion and forces affect behaviour; 
  • exploring how movement can be initiated by combining materials and using forces, for example releasing a wound rubber band to propel a model boat; 
  • examining models to identify how forces can be used in the design of a toy;
  • identifying and exploring an engineered product or system to explore properties and construction relationships when designing and producing, for example a structure that floats; a bridge to carry a load; a waterproof container.

Design and Technologies processes and production skills 

Critique, explore and investigate needs or opportunities for designing and test and evaluate a variety of technologies, materials, systems, tools and techniques to produce designed solutions.

  • discussing the different uses of materials in a range of products;
  • testing a range of materials under different conditions for suitability including sustainability considerations and identifying appropriate tools, equipment and techniques; 
  • selecting materials and appropriate joining techniques to create working models; 
  • compiling the criteria for success and planning processes as a class, for example recording a procedure or creating time plans; 
  • examining the structure and production of everyday products, services and environments to enhance their own design ideas; and
  • comparing the amount of waste that would be produced from different design and development options. 

Generate, develop, evaluate, communicate and document design ideas and design decisions using manual and digital technologies.

  • generating a range of design ideas for intended products, services, environments or systems; 
  • visualising and exploring design ideas by creating thumbnail drawings, models and labelled drawings to explain features and modifications;
  • planning, sharing and documenting ideas and processes using digital tools such as a class blog or collaborative document; 
  • exploring ways of joining, connecting and assembling components that ensure success, and the impact ICT has on these processes; 
  • evaluating and revising design ideas, choosing one that meets class-developed criteria for success and includes consideration of ethics, social values and sustainability; and 
  • recognising the sustainability implications of selected designed solutions. 

Select materials, components, tools and equipment using safe and sustainable work practices to produce and evaluate designed solutions based on identified criteria for success for technologies contexts.

  • using tools accurately when measuring, marking and cutting; and explaining why accuracy is important in designing and making, for example creating a template;
  • using appropriate technology terms to confidently describe and share with others procedures and techniques for making, for example cutting and joining materials; 
  • selecting and using materials, components, tools, equipment and processes with consideration of the environmental impact at each stage of the production process; 
  • demonstrating safe, responsible and cooperative work practices when making designed solutions, for example building a model windmill with moving sails; 
  • managing time and resource allocation throughout production; and
  • reflecting on designed solutions to critique and assess suitability, sustainability and enterprise opportunities and how well they meet identified criteria for success.

Year 3 to Year 4 Achievement Standard 

By the end of Year 4 students explain how products, services and environments have been designed to best meet people’s current and future needs in the local community and describe how designers and technologists contribute to meeting needs. They describe the properties and characteristics of technologies, materials and systems for a range of technologies contexts

Students describe design situations. They use a range of media and methods, including digital technologies to investigate, generate, communicate and evaluate design ideas, including making scaled models and annotating drawings. Students plan and sequence major steps in design and production and make design decisions. They document their design decisions and processes. They adopt sustainable and safe work practices as they use appropriate materials, components, tools and equipment correctly to produce designed solutions for a range of technologies contexts. They judge the success of the product, service or environment against student-identified criteria.


Level 3 Activity elaboration

In completing this or other design chalenges, you will need to demonstrate the design process, taking a given problem through each of the stages of the process.

The design stage should show your identification and clarification of the problem, specifying any assumptions you have made with regards to the problem, and identifying what will determine a successful solutions (ensuring that these aspects can be tested).

The next step of the design stage is to research existing solutions to the problem, the different materials, tools, and systems related to the problem, to ideate as many different solutions as you can to solve the problem, create prototypes to compare possible solutions on a small scale, draw design plans and processes, and detail the reasoning behind your choice of which solution you will develop.

The development stage should detail your construction of a solution, the problems you encounter, and your solutions to these problems.

The testing and evaluation phase should determine how well your solution solves the problem you identified, with each factor measured in some way and based on this testing, an evaluation made to determine if the solution developed is the best possible or if other solutions should be explored from what has been learnt.

If necessary, the design cycle should be continued until the best possible solution has been derived (within constraints such as available time and resources).

This process should be fully documented (up to 400 words and 3 minutes of video) showing how you have demonstrated the design process. This process is much more important than the actual solution that is derived. 


You will be assessed on your interpretation of this design process (how well you implement what has been described to derive an effective solution); innovation in your research, planning and development of the design challenge; and articulation and presentation of your process and solution. 


Level 4 Activity elaboration 

As seen in the above example, a design challenge can address a wide range of the Knowledge and Understanding; and Processes and Production Skills to be developed from Year 3 to Year 4. While not all possible aspects must be addressed each year, sufficient aspects should be completed to ensure that all aspects are covered in the year grouping with some overlap to enable students multiple opportunities. In general, Processes and Production Skills will be addressed each year with Knowledge and Understanding varying depending upon the chosen context.
 
For a Year 3 to Year 4 unit outline, you should detail 10 hours of learning activities  over 18 weeks including at least one design challenge such as that described for the Formal Dress design challenge. Other activities can be included that usually complement the main design challenge, such as learning to sew, testing materials, etc. but do not constitute design challenges in themselves or only part of a challenge e.g. just a testing and evaluation of a particular solution.

The unit outline you develop should meet the requirements of the Australian Curriculum: Technologies and address one of the contexts: Materials and Technologies, Food and Fibre Production/Food Technologies; or Engineering Principles and Systems. You may include design challenges you explored for Level 3 tasks but you only need to describe how they would be taught.

Your unit should indicate 1. the learning activities students will undertake and the time to be spent on them (innovation), 2. the Knowledge and Understanding and Processes and Production Skills that the unit will develop in students (interpretation), and 3. how these will be assessed (analysis). 
















Here is a bonus example that I prepared before realising that it was more appropriate for F-2, but it is a good case in point that most design challenges can be used at all age levels, though certain curriculum outcomes are more easily addressed at particular year groupings.


Design Challenge Example

A design challenge in the context of Materials and Technologies Specialisations could involve:

Formal Dress 

Design, create and test an innovative item of formal attire completely from plastic bags;

This could address:

Students developing a sense of self and ownership of their ideas and thinking in relation to their peers, communities and as a consumer. Students should explore creative and innovative ideas and alternatives and establish their own design skills. Students learn to harness their creative ideas and imaginative approaches to achieve designed products, services and environments through planning and awareness of the properties and characteristics of materials and the use of tools and equipment. They learn to reflect on their actions to refine their working and develop their decision-making skills. 

Using manual and digital technologies students represent their ideas, for example clarifying ideas by drawing freehand annotated diagrams; modelling objects as three-dimensional images from different views by visualising rotating images and using materials. Students recognise techniques for documenting design and production ideas such as basic drawing symbols and use simple flow diagrams of their construction and testing processes. 

Students examine personal, social and environmental sustainability implications of existing products and processes to raise awareness of their place in the world. They compare their predicted implications with real-world case studies, and recognise that designs and technologies can affect people and their environments. They become aware of the role of designers and technologists and how they think about the way a product might change in the future. In this case, exploring the impact of discarded plastic bags on the environment and the effectiveness of recycling plastic materials.

Students become aware of the appropriate ways to manage their time and focus. With teacher guidance, they identify and list criteria for success and the major steps needed to complete a design task. They demonstrate an understanding of the importance of planning when designing solutions, in particular when collaborating. Finally, students should identify safety issues and learn to follow simple safety rules when producing designed solutions.  

Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding 

Recognise factors that impact on the design of products, services and environments including the role of designers and technologists to meet local community needs.

  • exploring factors that impact on design decisions, for example the impact of where the clothing is to be worn, ease of putting it on and taking it off, how long it should last, vigour of movement it should withstand, etc.;
  • investigating materials, components, tools and equipment, including using digital technologies, to discover their characteristics and properties, how they can be used sustainably and their impact in the future. Student should research how clothing is made, the materials involved, ways of joining materials, etc.; 
  • critiquing designed products, services and environments to establish the factors that influence the design and use of common technologies, for example students could compare different materials, joining methods, etc. in a range of tests from water resistance, stretching, ripping etc.; 
  • exploring materials for their appropriateness, for example some materials may be too expensive, environmentally damaging, see through, etc.;  

Investigate the effectiveness and sustainability of a range of technologies, materials, systems, tools and equipment that support local community needs.

  • investigating technologies, materials, systems, tools and equipment for suitability when designing and making a product, service or environment, for example learning how to melt plastics safely together, use a sewing machine, cutting plastics safely, etc.; 
  • conducting experiments and tests to understand the properties of materials, for example strength, durability, warmth, elasticity; 
  • comparing how different components interrelate and complement each other in a finished product, service or environment, for example investigating joining processes for a variety of materials, can plastic join well with cardboard, etc.; 
  • critiquing products, services and constructed environments from a range of technologies contexts with consideration of sustainable practices and impact on the local community; and
  • investigating the mass production of products to ensure standardisation, for example students could consider what would be involved in producing a lot of items, e.g. one for each student, and how these could be customised for height, gender, colour preference etc.

Design and Technologies processes and production skills 

Critique, explore and investigate needs or opportunities for designing and test and evaluate a variety of technologies, materials, systems, tools and techniques to produce designed solutions.

  • discussing the different uses of materials in a range of clothing products;
  • testing a range of materials under different conditions for suitability including sustainability considerations and identifying appropriate tools, equipment and techniques; 
  • selecting materials and appropriate joining techniques to create working models; 
  • compiling the criteria for success and planning processes as a class, for example recording a procedure or creating time plans; 
  • examining the structure and production of everyday products, services and environments to enhance their own design ideas; and
  • comparing the amount of waste that would be produced from different design and development options. 

Generate, develop, evaluate, communicate and document design ideas and design decisions using manual and digital technologies.

  • generating a range of design ideas for intended clothing products; 
  • visualising and exploring design ideas by creating thumbnail drawings, models and labelled drawings to explain features and modifications;
  • planning, sharing and documenting ideas and processes using digital tools such as a class blog or collaborative document; 
  • exploring ways of joining, connecting and assembling components that ensure success; 
  • evaluating and revising design ideas, choosing one that meets class-developed criteria for success and includes consideration of ethics, social values and sustainability; and 
  • recognising the sustainability implications of selected designed solutions. 

Select materials, components, tools and equipment using safe and sustainable work practices to produce and evaluate designed solutions based on identified criteria for success for technologies contexts.

  • using tools accurately when measuring, marking and cutting; and explaining why accuracy is important in designing and making, for example creating a template;
  • using appropriate technology terms to confidently describe and share with others procedures and techniques for making, for example cutting and joining materials; 
  • selecting and using materials, components, tools, equipment and processes with consideration of the environmental impact at each stage of the production process; 
  • demonstrating safe, responsible and cooperative work practices when making designed solutions, for example building a model windmill with moving sails; 
  • managing time and resource allocation throughout production; and
  • reflecting on designed solutions to critique and assess suitability, sustainability and enterprise opportunities and how well they meet identified criteria for success.


Note that while knowledge and understanding will generally not address all aspects, completing design challenges will usually involve all aspects of the Design and Technologies processes and production skills.

In this activity students would go through the design process by completing a design challenge that would involve students approaching the problem of creating an item of formal attire completely from plastic bags:

  1. Designing a solution by understanding what is required in their design brief, researching existing solutions and who designs these, creatively ideating as many possible new solutions as they can, researching and exploring the properties of different materials and their potential use as clothing, and exploring different ways that cloths are made by joining materials together;

  2. Developing a solution by following their plan, learning the processes involved in working through a series of steps, using various tools such as scissors, sewing needles, tape, glue, staplers, etc; and

  3. Evaluating their solution by testing to see if it is durable (i.e. does not fall apart when worn), is identifiably an item of formal attire, and looks good. Finally they should present their solutions and speak to how it meets their design brief and how they achieved this by working through the design process.
































































The following details those aspects of the Australian Curriculum addressed by the activity:

Year 3 to Year 4 Content Descriptions and Elaborations 

Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding 

Recognise factors that impact on the design of products, services and environments including the role of designers and technologists to meet local community needs.

  • exploring factors that impact on design decisions, for example the impact of social values of people on the development of technologies to meet their needs or the impact of natural disasters on design of constructed environments;
  • investigating materials, components, tools and equipment, including using digital technologies, to discover their characteristics and properties, how they can be used sustainably and their impact in the future; 
  • critiquing designed products, services and environments to establish the factors that influence the design and use of common technologies, for example the characteristics that contribute to an energy-efficient cooking utensil such as a wok; the suitability and sustainability of particular timbers; 
  • exploring materials for their appropriateness, for example materials for a new sun-shade product; 
  • examining the suitability of a service or everyday system and proposing improvements, for example a water saving system for a bathroom at home; and 
  • considering the impact of environments on users, for example a school vegetable garden, a protected outdoor play area. 

Investigate the effectiveness and sustainability of a range of technologies, materials, systems, tools and equipment that support local community needs.

  • investigating technologies, materials, systems, tools and equipment for suitability when designing and making a product, service or environment, for example a toy for a young child, a composting system for household waste management, raised garden beds for the elderly; 
  • conducting experiments and tests to understand the properties of materials, for example strength, durability, warmth, elasticity; 
  • exploring local constructed environments to compare how buildings were constructed in the past and in the present;
  • comparing how different components interrelate and complement each other in a finished product, service or environment, for example investigating joining processes for a variety of materials in the production of common products; 
  • critiquing products, services and constructed environments from a range of technologies contexts with consideration of sustainable practices and impact on the local community; and
  • investigating the mass production of products to ensure standardisation, for example students setting up a production line to produce a product for a school fete.

Recognise the contribution food and fibre production and food technologies make to modern and traditional societies. 

  • reading the labels on food products to identify their country of origin;
  • identifying the areas in Australia and Asia where major food or fibre plants and animals are grown or bred when designing environments for food and fibre production, for example the wheat and sheep belts, areas where sugar cane or rice are grown, northern Australia’s beef industry;
  • exploring environments which could improve plant or animal production, for example a greenhouse, animal housing, safe bird shelters; 
  • describing ideal conditions for successful plant and animal production including how climate and soils affect production and availability of foods, for example Aboriginal seasons and food availability when designing production systems; 
  • recognising the benefits contemporary food technology provides for health and food safety and ensuring that a wide variety of food is available to provide a balanced diet, for example a healthy lunch for a student in Year 3 using produce from the school vegetable garden; 
  • investigating contemporary methods of food preservation such as freezing and preserving when designing a food product.

Investigate how forces and the properties of materials affect the behaviour and performance of a product or system and how systems can be enhanced through appropriate manipulation and design. 

  • using available local materials and experimentation to solve problems requiring forces including identifying inputs (what goes in to the system), processes (what happens within the system) and outputs (what comes out of the system), for example sports shoes that use friction; 
  • conducting investigations to understand the properties and characteristics of materials and forces that may affect the behaviour and performance of a product or system, for example woomera design; 
  • deconstructing a product or system to identify how motion and forces affect behaviour; 
  • exploring how movement can be initiated by combining materials and using forces, for example releasing a wound rubber band to propel a model boat; 
  • examining models to identify how forces can be used in the design of a toy;
  • identifying and exploring an engineered product or system to explore properties and construction relationships when designing and producing, for example a structure that floats; a bridge to carry a load; a waterproof container.

Design and Technologies processes and production skills 

Critique, explore and investigate needs or opportunities for designing and test and evaluate a variety of technologies, materials, systems, tools and techniques to produce designed solutions.

  • discussing the different uses of materials in a range of products;
  • testing a range of materials under different conditions for suitability including sustainability considerations and identifying appropriate tools, equipment and techniques; 
  • selecting materials and appropriate joining techniques to create working models; 
  • compiling the criteria for success and planning processes as a class, for example recording a procedure or creating time plans; 
  • examining the structure and production of everyday products, services and environments to enhance their own design ideas; and
  • comparing the amount of waste that would be produced from different design and development options. 

Generate, develop, evaluate, communicate and document design ideas and design decisions using manual and digital technologies.

  • generating a range of design ideas for intended products, services, environments or systems; 
  • visualising and exploring design ideas by creating thumbnail drawings, models and labelled drawings to explain features and modifications;
  • planning, sharing and documenting ideas and processes using digital tools such as a class blog or collaborative document; 
  • exploring ways of joining, connecting and assembling components that ensure success, and the impact ICT has on these processes; 
  • evaluating and revising design ideas, choosing one that meets class-developed criteria for success and includes consideration of ethics, social values and sustainability; and 
  • recognising the sustainability implications of selected designed solutions. 

Select materials, components, tools and equipment using safe and sustainable work practices to produce and evaluate designed solutions based on identified criteria for success for technologies contexts.

  • using tools accurately when measuring, marking and cutting; and explaining why accuracy is important in designing and making, for example creating a template;
  • using appropriate technology terms to confidently describe and share with others procedures and techniques for making, for example cutting and joining materials; 
  • selecting and using materials, components, tools, equipment and processes with consideration of the environmental impact at each stage of the production process; 
  • demonstrating safe, responsible and cooperative work practices when making designed solutions, for example building a model windmill with moving sails; 
  • managing time and resource allocation throughout production; and
  • reflecting on designed solutions to critique and assess suitability, sustainability and enterprise opportunities and how well they meet identified criteria for success.

Year 3 to Year 4 Achievement Standard 

By the end of Year 4 students explain how products, services and environments have been designed to best meet people’s current and future needs in the local community and describe how designers and technologists contribute to meeting needs. They describe the properties and characteristics of technologies, materials and systems for a range of technologies contexts

Students describe design situations. They use a range of media and methods, including digital technologies to investigate, generate, communicate and evaluate design ideas, including making scaled models and annotating drawings. Students plan and sequence major steps in design and production and make design decisions. They document their design decisions and processes. They adopt sustainable and safe work practices as they use appropriate materials, components, tools and equipment correctly to produce designed solutions for a range of technologies contexts. They judge the success of the product, service or environment against student-identified criteria.


Level 3 Activity elaboration

In completing this or other design chalenges, you will need to demonstrate the design process, taking a given problem through each of the stages of the process.

The design stage should show your identification and clarification of the problem, specifying any assumptions you have made with regards to the problem, and identifying what will determine a successful solutions (ensuring that these aspects can be tested).

The next step of the design stage is to research existing solutions to the problem, the different materials, tools, and systems related to the problem, to ideate as many different solutions as you can to solve the problem, create prototypes to compare possible solutions on a small scale, draw design plans and processes, and detail the reasoning behind your choice of which solution you will develop.

The development stage should detail your construction of a solution, the problems you encounter, and your solutions to these problems.

The testing and evaluation phase should determine how well your solution solves the problem you identified, with each factor measured in some way and based on this testing, an evaluation made to determine if the solution developed is the best possible or if other solutions should be explored from what has been learnt.

If necessary, the design cycle should be continued until the best possible solution has been derived (within constraints such as available time and resources).

This process should be fully documented (up to 400 words and 3 minutes of video) showing how you have demonstrated the design process. This process is much more important than the actual solution that is derived. 


You will be assessed on your interpretation of this design process (how well you implement what has been described to derive an effective solution); innovation in your research, planning and development of the design challenge; and articulation and presentation of your process and solution. 


Level 4 Activity elaboration 

As seen in the above example, a design challenge can address a wide range of the Knowledge and Understanding; and Processes and Production Skills to be developed from Year 3 to Year 4. While not all possible aspects must be addressed each year, sufficient aspects should be completed to ensure that all aspects are covered in the year grouping with some overlap to enable students multiple opportunities. In general, Processes and Production Skills will be addressed each year with Knowledge and Understanding varying depending upon the chosen context.
 
For a Year 3 to Year 4 unit outline, you should detail 10 hours of learning activities  over 18 weeks including at least one design challenge such as that described for the Formal Dress design challenge. Other activities can be included that usually complement the main design challenge, such as learning to sew, testing materials, etc. but do not constitute design challenges in themselves or only part of a challenge e.g. just a testing and evaluation of a particular solution.

The unit outline you develop should meet the requirements of the Australian Curriculum: Technologies and address one of the contexts: Materials and Technologies, Food and Fibre Production/Food Technologies; or Engineering Principles and Systems. You may include design challenges you explored for Level 3 tasks but you only need to describe how they would be taught.

Your unit should indicate 1. the learning activities students will undertake and the time to be spent on them (innovation), 2. the Knowledge and Understanding and Processes and Production Skills that the unit will develop in students (interpretation), and 3. how these will be assessed (analysis). 


Subpages (1): D&T4 3-4 Activities
Comments