Using the PrimaryConnections Science Program to Teach Technology

Using the PrimaryConnections Science Program to Teach Technology

Learning Area

Design and Technology

Year Level



Technologies Contexts


Engineering principles and systems

Forces, and the properties of materials, affect the behaviour of a product or system (ACTDEK011)

This is from the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) however the equivalent for the Australian curriculum can be found online.

Link to the Resource

Hard Copy ($42):

Online resource available on Scootle for free; however, you will need to create an account:

To watch PrimaryConnections in action within the classroom click here and it will take you to their YouTube channel:

Cross Curricular Priorities

Critical and creative thinking (CCT), Personal and social capability (PSC)

Links to Other Learning Areas

Science, Literacy, Mathematics

Some Background on the Creators

The Australian Academy of Science has linked science with literacy through the innovative program that is PrimaryConnections. The many lesson ideas and units created through PrimaryConnections use an inquiry-based approach to develop students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in both science and literacy; however, many of the lessons can be adapted to suit teaching different aspects of the curriculum. To find out more, please visit the PrimaryConnections website at

Using this Resource

Whilst this resource is set to a quite specific year level and section of the curriculum, it is very easy to implement in the classroom. The program is an eight week course that is designed to cover an entire section of the year four chemistry curriculum. However; looking deeper into the content and tasks required of the students, it is actually a program that coincides very closely with the technologies curriculum. The program is essential lesson plans that include diagnostic, formative and summative assessments; with sequential lessons that build on each other with every activity. The entire program is extremely hands on, with each child being placed into groups and assigned a role, which is linked to improving personal and social capabilities. It caters for visual, audible and kinaesthetic learners. Much of the work is already done for you, it just needs to be adapted to have more of a technology focus if you so desire. If year four is not your year, PrimaryConnections offer science programs for every year level K-12, all of which have ideas on how to teach lessons based on technology. It is just up to you to adapt the program accordingly!


Subject: Design Technologies


Strand – Processes and Production Skills
Sub strand – Designing
Develop, communicate and discuss design ideas through describing, drawing, modelling and/or a sequence of steps.
General Capabilities:

  • Literacy
  • ICT
  • Creative and critical thinking

Links to all other learning areas
Popplet is a visual tool that allows students to show ideas. It is an engaging tool used for mind mapping, graphic organisers, timelines and other forms of visual organisation. Popplet focuses on brainstorming and can also be used as a presentation tool.

How to use this resource

  • Register with Popplet
  • Begin by developing a project by creating a popple.
  • Add text by clicking on each popple.
  • Videos and images can be imported from Facebook or YouTube, or any file saved on the computer.
  • The drawing tool is used to write notes or sketch.
  • Other users can leave feedback using the comment function.


Subject: Digital Technologies


Year Level: Year 1 – 6


Strand: Digital Technologies Processes and Production Skills


Sub-strand: Using digital systems




Links to all other areas


Students can use technology to visually show creativity and individuality. The editing tools on the app allow students to create a variety of different types of movies which they can then show to the rest of the class as a project.


How do you use it?

  • Import video using clips from your camera
  • Import images or music
  • Edit clips
  • Combine clips into a movie
  • Add effects or titles to clips


Ways to use it in the classroom:

  • Creating visual presentations
  • Using for projects
  • Video reports
  • News telling
  • Story telling

Technology as if people and planet mattered

Technology saving millions of lives.

As simple as a smoke extraction system?

Over four million people die each year after inhaling smoke from kitchen stoves and fires.

Most victims are women and young children. But these are deaths that could be prevented – using simple solutions.  

Have you been looking for authentic content?

Technology as if people and planet mattered – catchy title? I was hooked…

Who would have ever known that the world of Technology was so HUGE!  It’s not really enough to write just one or two blog posts for a university assignment, to reflect the distraction that all this new information has inflicted on my days.

With a strong passion for justice and equity I am thankful for the Australian Curriculum, General Capabilities for giving me permission to incorporate Ethical Understanding, Intercultural Understanding, Personal & Social capability and Creative and Critical thinking into my professional life as a teacher. Whilst I am thanking the Australian Curriculum, let’s say YAY!! for the Cross-Curricular Priority of Sustainability.

If you are looking to broaden your perspectives on Technology and its uses, check out this website.

“Practical Action is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) that uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries.

We find out what people are doing and help them to do it better. Through technology we enable poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions- transforming their lives forever and protecting the world around them”.

Subject:                 Design and Technologies

Year Level:          Teachers of all year levels

Strand:                  Knowledge and understanding 

Sub strand:         Technologies and society

Technologies contexts

  1. Engineering principles and systems,
  2. Food and fibre production
  3. Food specialisations
  4. Materials and technologies specialisations

Strand: Processes and production skill


  1. Investigating and defining
  2. Designing
  3. Producing and implementing
  4. Evaluating
  5. Collaborating and managing

Using this resource…

Build your content knowledge and be supported with ready-made resources.

Practical Action is just one of many organisations promoting the positive use of technologies in developing countries. It offers many ideas and resources to use as inspiration for your technologies content. A free book (link below) on the subject of social justice is also available through their website. Supporting power point presentations and resources from Practical Action can be found on the TES website.

“A powerful new book sets out the need for looking at technology from human and environmental perspectives, and how to change the status quo”.

Free download of the book at this address

An article on Technology perspectives from Simon Trace – author of Rethink, Retool, Reboot


Did you know?

‘that burning an open fire in your kitchen is like burning 400 cigarettes an hour”

Dr Kirk Smith – Professor of Global Environmental Health.







Scratch – Coding to learn!

Scratch – Coding to learn!


Scratch is a click-drag-and-drop programming environment that is exceptional for introducing students to programming concepts via Windows and Mac OS X . Students can use Scratch to code their own interactive stories, games, and animations. In the process, they learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively, which are essential skills for society and the classroom.

Target year level:  Year 3-6 (Also recommended for high-school students)

Curriculum learning area: Digital Technologies

General Capabilities: Literacy, Numeracy, ICT, Critical and Creative Thinking

Developed by: Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab

Why use scratch in your classroom? Scratch introduces students to programming without the daunting pressure of understanding coding/programming language. Beginners are often ‘put off’ when faced with errors in coding, as many programmers are quite abstruse in their language, however scratch aims to overcome this barrier by using a drag-and-drop technique that is readily available to young ages. Scratch uses visual programming language that can be used to construct games, presentations, tutorials, animations, interactive stories and more to create a conceptual understanding or digital materials.

About this resource: Scratch has provided a educational resource for teachers that provides a digital platform for teachers to engage in and share stories, experiences, resources and meet fellow educators via the Scratch Educator MeetupsNote: These meetups are USA centralized.  Scratch also provides teachers with an educator account to help manage classroom projects and student programs.

Links to other learning areas: 

  • Art – Drawing experimentation with colour
  • Mathematics – Plot, graph, demonstrate and application of mathematical concepts
  • Science – Simulation and experimentation
  • Languages – Simple quiz input/output, including the recording of sound for feedback
  • English – Develop a narrative, plot points, characters and actions
  • All learning areas – Demonstrate a deeper, conceptual understanding of fundamental ideas

Mitch Resnick – Computer Scientist

Mitch Resnick is the director of the Life Long Kindergarten Group and LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research at MIT Media Lab. Resnick aims to engage students with technology, encouraging them to create and experiment using coding with digital resources. You can find more information about Mitch Resknick here:

Scratch program snapshots

Scratch interface home page

Scratch background editor

Scratch character script

Scratch game/ challenge programming code

Programming in Schools using Scratch: A CS4HS: Iterate Workshop by Bruce Fuda

Download this resource to view a complete written document that maps out the Scratch program layout and how you can download/use it in your classroom



Roald Dahl

Marvellous Medicines Creations
Influenced by Roald Dahl’s, George’s Marvellous Medicine

Subject: Technologies

Year Level: 2

Strand: Digital Technologies

Sub-Strand: Process and Production skills

Content Descriptors:
ACTDIP003– Collect, explore and sort data, and use digital systems to present the data creatively
ACTDIP004– Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems

Cross Curriculum Priorities 

General Capabilities:
-Critical and Creative Thinking
-Information and communication Technology (ICT) Capability

Links to other Learning Areas – Literacy
ACELA1470 Understand the use of vocabulary about familiar and new topics and experiment with and begin to make conscious choices of vocabulary to suit audience and purpose

Can use on a:
– PC
– APPLE products such as MacBooks and Ipads
Digital devices must have word and or powerpoint (Which ever you chose)

Overview of activity:
The unit of work is based from the text: Roald Dahl: George’s Marvellous medicine.
Students will be developing the concept of informative texts throughout reading the text and ability to create their own marvellous medicine. Students will use multi modal representations to show the instructions on how to make a marvellous medicine that they have created. This unit of work integrates digital technologies and links with Language, giving students a broader context of literacy components including capital letters, commas and full stops; as well as writing instructions with appropriate audience in mind.

Ozobot – How to make coding simple and easy!

Ozobot is a compact, robot that students can use to learn about coding. This little robot is able to be used from Pre-primary to Year 8/9 when used with correct differentiation. The robot is designed to follow a line, you can then program the robot to do different tasks by editing the line with different colours (Red, green, black and blue). Students will have to follow specific codes to get the ozobot to do different actives for example they would have to follow the colour code pattern to get the ozbot to successfully complete a spin. Within a classroom this little ozobot has a wide range of uses for both the teacher and students to enjoy.

Use within classroom:
Teachers can use these bots to teach multiple learning areas when supported with other texts and resources (these lessons can be found on the Ozobots website -linked below). Depending on the age group of the students the Ozobots can be used with both pens and iPads as well as creating simple coding to complex coding.  The limit to these bots is the teachers imagination and technical ability.

The Classroom Kit is $1195.
This includes:
18 ozobots
18 clear DIY skins
3 multi-port chargers
18 sets of colour code markers
18 ozocode sheets
Teachers guide
Ozobot tip sheet
OzoBlockly get started sheet
Log sheet
Bowling challenge with bowling pins
Ozobot storage box
Classroom kit storage Box

Year Levels: Pre-primary +

Strand: Digital Technologies Processes and Production Skills

Link to resource:

Cross Curricular and General Capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking and Information  and Communication Technology (ICT)

Curriculum links:
– Data can have patterns and can be represented as pictures and symbols (ACTDIK002)
-Data can have patterns and can be represented as pictures, symbols and diagrams (ACTDIK002)
-Use data to solve a simple task/problem (ACTDIP003)
-Data can have patterns and can be represented and used to make simple conclusions (ACTDIK002)
-Use data to solve similar tasks/problems (ACTDIP003)
-Use visually represented sequenced steps (algorithms), including steps with decisions made by the user (branching) (ACTDIP011)
And many more

Online Charts

 Online Charts

Subject: Digital Technologies

Year Level: 6

Strand: Processes and Production Skills

Sub Strand: Acquire, store and validate different types of data and use a range of commonly available software to interpret and visualise data in context to create information (ACTDIP016)

Link to the Resource:

Cross Curriculum Priorities and General Capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Numeracy

Links to other areas: Mathematics, Science, HASS

Classroom activity using this resource: Online Charts is a website designed to create charts which can be printed, emailed or saved as an image. As a registered user it can also be saved online for future editing. Students are able to choose from a wide variety of charts, including;

Although primary students are not required to create the more difficult charts, by using this website enables differentiation and exposes the gifted and talented students to extended learning.

There are numerous activities that can be done using this resource, whether it be with a science, mathematics or HASS focus. The following example could be used when teaching the Science Inquiry Skill of Planning and Conducting; observe, measure and record data with accuracy using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS104).

                                                                    What Makes Mold Grow More Rapidly?

Students will create bread specimens using bread, mold spores and sealable sandwich bags. These will be placed in three different environments and data of growth of mold will be recorded at the same time each day throughout the experiment. Growth is measured using a transparent plastic grid sheet (10mm x 10mm squares). The recording should be done until there are significant measurable results.

Students will record the data on paper during the experiment and then using Online Charts create the appropriate charts  at the conclusion of the experiment. Photos should also be taken throughout and then added to the final display of data.

Future experiments could also be done by changing some of the variables, for instance, keep the temperature the same but use different types of bread, add moisture to the slices, or put different amounts of sugar or lemon juice onto the slices. Ensuring that only one thing is varied at a time.

Please refer to Martin Shuttleworth’s website for detailed instructions on the experiment items and method Variations may need to be made to Shuttleworth’s experiment to suit the class, for example recording the growth of mold may need to be done every 3 days to cover the weekend break.

How to use this resource:

This resource is quite explanatory as you progress along, once clicking on “Design Your Chart” you are navigated through the website and prompted where to insert the required information. There are options to personalise your chart by changing colours and fonts etc. Upon completion of the chart you are able to print, save onto computer, email, or save online for future editing. Within the website there is also a Help section for FAQs and a Contact Us option.

Below is a short tutorial created by Michael McIlwraith in which he talks step by step through an example of creating a pie chart. Please note that some of the information he refers to may not be relevant as he is delivering this tutorial to adult learners undertaking a particular unit of study.

Edison Robot

Edison Robot

Subject: Digital Technologies

Year Level: F-6

Strand: Both Digital Technologies processes and production skills and Design and Technologies

Sub strand: The Edison Robots can be used across all ages and many strands and sub strands of the Western Australian Curriculum.

Link to the resource:


Cross curriculum priorities and general capabilities:

Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Literacy, Numeracy

Links to other learning areas:

Science, Mathematics, English, The Arts

Interesting information about this resource:

Western Australia’s Scitech hold inexpensive Professional Learning workshops throughout the year which enable teachers to upskill themselves not only on the technology supplied by the Department of Education in the new technology kits but also more (ie Beebots, Dash and Dot robots, Edison robots, Makey Makey kits, Sphero robots, Hummingbird robotics kits, mBots, Lego EV3, LittleBits). Scitech workshops are often recognised by the Teachers Registration Board of WA as professional learning hours.

Qualified staff from Scitech will also attend schools and run incursions introducing the Edison Robots to the students and teaching them the basics.

Edison Robots have wheel encoders which allow Edison to travel specific distances at exact speeds. Edison is able to  turn to specific angles (using and drive straight. It has a clutch in each gear box that prevents damage to the gears if the wheels are forced around. It has long range obstacle detection and a clap sensor. Edison comes with graphical programming software (EdWare) and newer software is often realised to complement EdWare ie EdPy – a free Python based programming environment for Edison which is designed to introduce students to a written programming language.

Other features of the Edison Robots are:

  • FREE robotics lesson plans
  • FREE robotics activity mat
  • FREE EdBooks
  • LEGO® compatible
  • Easy to use – suitable for all ages

A classroom activity using this resource:
Introducing the Edison Robots into the lower primary classes as a “toy” not only gains the students’ interest but it also enables the teacher to use computational language within the classroom in a less intimidating game situation.      

In small groups the teacher can guide the students to design a bulldozer using Lego pieces attached to the Edison Robot. Once designed and built they can then use the programming software (with the help of the teacher) to instruct the bulldozer to move extra Lego pieces from one area to another. Ideas are only limited by the imagination, you can even program it to do a drawing by attaching a pencil!

How to use this resource:

The Edison Robot can be purchased through, this site is also where information on using this resource is found.

The programming can be done using numerous free software applications and is easy to do due to the drag and drop graphical icons.

The robots are able to be updated with the free firmware updates that will fix bugs or add new functionality.

Interactive Water Wall by Celia

Learning through Playing: An interactive way to get pre-primary students to problem-solve and work collaboratively.

Image retrieved from:

These water walls are amazing fun for Foundation years to year 2.


  • F – Y2

Subject: Design and Technologies

Sub strand: Creating Design solutions by:

  • Investigating and defining
  • Designing
  • Producing and Implementing
  • Evaluating
  • Collaborating and managing

The teacher can make it as elaborate, involved and complex as they want or keep it very simple for the younger years.

All you need is:

  • a trellis and
  • some PVC pipes along with
  • funnels,
  • u-bends,
  • T-pieces and
  • other containers lying around. This is great for recycling.

The kids can just play with the water station, or the teacher can give explicit instruction like: “Make a path for the water to run from the top to the bottom with minimal splashing.”

You can have a measuring jug with a set amount of water and then the same measuring jug at the end of the zone. This way the students can plan and engineer a way to have the maximum amount of water return to the bottom measuring jug. This is an innovative and interactive activity for kids.

Image retrieved from:

Image retrieved from:

Here is a video link to a DIY kids water wall. Have a look how easy it is to make and at the same time recycle.

If you have more time and want to be more creative, check out the Better Homes & Garden video clip:

Ivers states that technology in the classroom encourages cooperative learning which then increases metacognition, motivation and performance. This will then lead to an overall positive attitude towards learning. She also proposes that using play in learning in young children will create collaborative skills that is imperative to learning (Ivers, 2009). When technology is introduced to young children though play-based activities, learning is enhanced since they are having fun. They do not even realise that they are learning.

Image result for metacognition

Image retrieved from:


Ivers, K. S. (2009). A Teacher’s Guide to using Technology in the Classroom (2nd ed.). Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited.