Quick summary: Everyday objects can contain the most interesting STEM designs and ideas – whether simple household pegs, classroom staplers, or advanced technology such as the iPad. But what is really happening to make the items work? This STEM lesson is designed to inspire students to think about how things are made, how they work and the STEM inspiration behind them. The students use critical thinking skills to develop STEM-inspired questions as they consider each item of interest or wonder. They then create a mash-up idea, bringing two concepts together in a design challenge.
- Students consider everyday objects through a STEM lens
- Students have an experience in design inspiration
- Students use STEM concepts to create new inventions
- Students engage with design processes
- Students work in groups on a design challenge.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Years 3 & 4 Design and Technologies:
- Investigate how forces and the properties of materials affect the behaviour of a product or system (ACTDEK011)
- Investigate the suitability of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment for a range of purposes (ACTDEK013)
- Generate, develop and communicate design ideas and decisions using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques (ACTDEP015)
Syllabus outcomes: ST2-13MW, ST2-5WT
General capabilities: Numeracy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capabilities.
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 use agreed protocols when collaborating, creating and communicating ideas, information and solutions, face-to-face and online.
Topic: STEM/STEAM, Creative Thinking
Unit of work: STEM Challenges — Primary
Time required: 70 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium to High. Teachers and educators are to set the experience and guide the children during the STEM session. The role of the teacher switches to a co-facilitator assisting groups in the Mashable design phase.
- Student Worksheets – one copy per student
- 2B pencils or coloured pencils
- Blank paper
- Butcher’s paper or whiteboard
- Collection of everyday objects – see teacher preparation
- Sticky notes
- Think, Pair, Share Worksheet – one copy per student
- Device and projector capable of presenting information to the class (optional).
Related Professional Development: Introduction to Primary STEM.
Keywords: STEM, STEAM, design challenge, mash-up, creativity, group work, ideas, collaboration, invention.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.