Quick summary: The world is full of many STEM designs and innovations. In this lesson, the students explore examples of innovative STEM projects that solve real-world problems. The students are then challenged to take part in problem-solving via a STEM design challenge. Using a shared example, the students work on developing innovative solutions to the problem — or they can explore a local issue or problem that can be solved using STEM. The students then design and build a prototype of their solution.
- Students identify solutions to real-world problems
- Students understand problem-solving processes
- Students will prototype design solutions.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Years 5 & 6 Design and Technologies:
- Examine how people in design and technologies occupations address competing considerations, including sustainability in the design of products, services, and environments for current and future use (ACTDEK019)
- Investigate the characteristics and properties of a range of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment, and evaluate the impact of their use (ACTDEK023)
- Critique needs or opportunities for designing, and investigate materials, components, tools, equipment and processes to achieve intended designed solutions (ACTDEP024)
- Generate, develop and communicate design ideas and processes for audiences using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques (ACTDEP025)
Year 5 HASS:
- Work in groups to generate responses to issues and challenges (ACHASSI102)
- Reflect on learning to propose personal and/or collective action in response to an issue or challenge, and predict the probable effects (ACHASSI104)
- The environmental and human influences on the location and characteristics of a place and the management of spaces within them (ACHASSK113)
Year 6 HASS:
- Work in groups to generate responses to issues and challenges (ACHASSI130)
- Reflect on learning to propose personal and/or collective action in response to an issue or challenge, and predict the probable effects (ACHASSI132)
Syllabus outcomes: ST3-14BE, ST3-15I, ST3-16P, ST3-13MW, ST3-5WT, GE3-2, GE3-4
General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability.
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.
Relevant parts of Year 5 and 6 achievement standards:
Students describe competing considerations in the design of products, services and environments, especially taking sustainability into account. They describe how design and technologies contribute to meeting present and future needs.
Students create design solutions for each of the prescribed technologies contexts suitable for identified needs or opportunities. They combine design ideas and communicate these to audiences using graphical representation techniques and technical terms. They select and use appropriate technologies and techniques correctly and safely to produce design solutions.
Topic: STEM/STEAM, Creative Thinking, Sustainability, Waste
Unit of work: STEM Challenges — Primary
Time required: 130 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium. Teachers will be required to lead discussions at the start of the session. As the session progresses the students take the lead and the teaching role extends to a facilitator to give limited guidance to the students in the STEM prototype planning and building.
- Student Worksheets – one copy per student
- Device capable of presenting online videos to the class
- Materials for prototype building – cardboard, tape, glue and various recycled items.
Related Professional Development: Practical Steps for STEM Inquiry
Keywords: STEM, STEAM, waste, community, real-world, design, problem-finding, problem-solving, solutions.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.