Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this STEM lesson students take part in an interactive STEM ideation activity. The lesson begins with a STEM ‘slap down’ where the students create bright ideas and share them with each other using a dynamic creative process. Students will then draw and label a design based on one of the ideas developed during the lesson. This lesson will inspire collaborative thinking and help students develop skills in STEM ideation.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand ideation processes
  • Students develop skills in creativity and problem solving
  • Students apply a STEM lens to design projects
  • Students communicate their ideas effectively
  • Students demonstrate support for each other through ideation activities.

21st century skills: 


Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Years 3 & 4 Design and Technologies:

  • Generate, develop, and communicate design ideas and decisions using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques (ACTDEP015)

Syllabus outcomes: ST2-13MW

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Years 3 & 4 achievement standards: 

Students generate and record design ideas for an audience using technical terms and graphical and non-graphical representation techniques including algorithms.

Students plan and safely produce designed solutions for each of the prescribed technologies contexts.

Topic: STEM/STEAM, Creative Thinking, Sustainability

Unit of work: STEM Challenges — Primary

Time required: 65 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low to medium. Teachers will be required to lead and facilitate the STEM slap down at the start of the lesson. As the session progresses students take the lead and the teaching role extends to a collaborative facilitator to assist the students in the STEM Ideas Lab.

Resources required:

  • Student Worksheet (STEM Ideas Lab Worksheet) – one per student
  • Sticky notes or recycled paper notes – eight per student
  • Timer or stopwatch
  • Pencils
  • Butcher’s paper (optional).

Related Professional Development: Introduction to Primary STEM

Keywords: STEM, STEAM, ideation, ideas, inventors, invention, ideas, solutions, problem solving, creativity, brainstorming.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will…

  • … understand ideation processes
  • … develop skills in creativity and problem-solving
  • … communicate their ideas effectively
  • … demonstrate support for each other through ideation activities.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … generate creative ideas
  • … apply a STEM lens to design projects
  • … participate collaboratively in a group activity
  • … take an idea and develop it further.

Teacher content information: The process of ideation is one way for students to become active problem solvers and creative thinkers. It is important for students to develop and use a growth mindset and critical thinking. STEM provides rich opportunities to apply the skill of ideation and encourages students to become more innovative problem solvers.

Ideation is a creative process where designers generate ideas in sessions (e.g. brainstorming, worst possible idea). The creative process is about getting ideas flowing and allowing student

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Student Worksheet

STEM Ideas Lab Worksheet

I used STEM in my design by:

Science -



Technology -



Engineering -



Maths -


Dream big and design big!

Use all the space here to bring your design ideas to life …



















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