Activity Introduction


Quick summary: Students investigate and evaluate products that detect and minimise the effects of natural hazards. Students will design and develop a system that detects, prevents or protects a community from natural hazards.

Subject: Design and Technology.

Year Level: 7 & 8.

Topics: Creative Thinking, Sustainability, Climate Change and STEM.

Teaching Time: 80 minutes.

21st-century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingDigital LiteracyEntrepreneurshipFlexibilityGlobal CitizenshipProblem FindingProblem SolvingTeam Work  

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 & 8 Design and Technologies:

  • Analyse how people in design and technologies occupations consider ethical and sustainability factors to design and produce products, services and environments (AC9TDE8K01).

Syllabus outcomes: T4.1.2.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Year 7 & 8 achievement standards: By the end of Year 8, students explain factors that influence the design of products, services and environments to meet present and future needs. They explain the contribution of design and technology innovations and enterprise to society. Students explain how the features of technologies impact on designed solutions and influence design decisions for each of the prescribed technologies contexts.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – The teacher will be expected to facilitate conversation and help students undergo a design process to create the warning system. 

Resources required:

  • A device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student.

Related Professional Development: We encourage you to undertake the free PD Course How to teach a unit on fire and flood resilience for tips on how to best deliver this lesson.

If you’re concerned about the challenging nature of these topics, consider the free PD Course How to approach trauma in the classroom for information on how best to support your students.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Fire&flood_lessonframeTeacher Preparation

Handling Sensitive Topics:

While presenting the lesson, you may notice that students could develop heightened emotions as you uncover the physical and psychological effects of hazards and disasters. Resilience, rebuilding and hope are essential learnings from the lessons. Therefore, it is vital to create a psychologically safe place for students to discuss and debrief, shall they need to. The tasks can be activating for some students and could trigger old memories that some students may find challenging to revisit or process. You should direct students to a school counsellor if they require additional support and read through the Handling Sensitive Topics and Issues for more information. 

Delivery of Lessons:

The Years 7 to 8 Design and Technology lessons will encourage students to explore the essence of sustainable and resilient design and how to improve the resilience of communities that have or may be affected by natural disasters. Students will analyse curre

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Student Worksheet

Thought-starter: How vital is technology when trying to warn and protect people and communities from natural hazards?

1. Introducing Australia's Warning Systems:

Watch: Introducing the Australian Warning System
Watch from 4:00: Aussie Hero Manning One Of Australia's Fire Lookout Towers | Studio 10
Watch from 4:33-6:53: "On The Fire blanket" from Australia By Design: Innovation - Series 1, Episode 5.

Answer the following questions on Warning systems:

a. What is Paul's job?

b. What information does Paul use to determine if an area is prone to fire?

c. What is the problem with relying solely on people to determine if a fire is ablaze?

d. What are the benefits of relying on people?

Answer the following questions on Fire Blankets:

a. How does a fire blanket work?

b. What are the benefits of a fire blanket? 

c. What sort of technology does the fire blanket use to determine the location of a fire?

d. How might a fire blanket assist Paul in his job?

e. Why is it important not to

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