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!

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.







Paddock to Plate – The Journey of Food

Paddock to Plate: Where does my food come from resource 

This inquiry based resource to food and fibre production and food technologies allows students to investigate the journey of food production in Australia and all over the world. Students understand where their food comes from, how it is processed via farming contexts and how producers/ consumers respond to and influence each other in supply and demand of today’s growing society. This resource provides teachers with a step-by-step learning outcome and activity booklet, questioning and responding power point package and farm to factory printable flashcards. The final presentation will require students to present their own paddock to pate journey using Prezi, power point or any digital resource. Students then reflect on how sustainable their process was, and discuss how they can create a more sustainable food process.

Target year level: Year 3-4

Learning area: Technologies

Strand: Technologies/Design and technologies

Content Description: Design and Technologies Plan a sequence of production steps when making designed solutions individually and collaboratively (ACTDE018)
English Listen to and contribute to conversations and discussions to share information and ideas and negotiate in collaborative situations (ACELY 1676)

Learning Outcomes:

  • Explore the journey of paddock to plate and the food production industry.
  • Investigate the role of past and present production and food technologies.
  • Learn about the different roles of individuals in the food production industry.
  • Develop an understanding of the sequence of production and processing steps.
  • Consider the difference between short and long food journeys and different foods.
  • Create more sustainable and productive paddock to plate journeys for food items.

Teaching strategies used in resource:

  • Think, pair and share
  • Class brainstorm
  • Class discussion
  • Student reflection
  • Classroom games (Quiz chef)

Resource includes:

Resource snapshots

Teacher resource booklet

Power point resource snapshot 

Flash cards resource

Digital resources to accompany Paddock to Plate resource


You can find the whole resource readily available online here:



Jessica Mann – A Healthy Lifestyle is a Good Lifestyle


Subject: Technologies

Year Level: Year 5

Strand: Digital Technologies – Processes and Production Skills

Sub-Strand: Collecting, Managing and Analysing Data – Collect, store and present different types of data for a specific purpose using software (ACTDIP016)

Accessing the App:

Cross-Curriculum Priorities:

  • Sustainability

General Capabilities:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Links to Other Learning Areas:

  • English
  • Numeracy
  • Health and Physical Education

How can an app lead us to a Healthier Future?

Bupa and The George Institute have created the app ‘FoodSwitch’. This app is used to help people find the healthiest brand for a desired food item. It helps individuals and families make healthier choices by giving alternatives (or ‘switches’) for different items based on the quantities of sugar, saturated fat, salt and kilojoules. It helps to take away the overwhelming feeling of reading food labels to decide which is the healthiest food by comparing the foods for you after simply scanning the products barcode!

How does the FoodSwitch app work?

  1. Download the app from the App Store (iPhone/iPad) or from Google Play for FREE
  2. Once in the app, you can select the filter you would like. There is a generic FoodSwitch option as well as SaltSwitch, EnergySwitch, FatSwitch and SugarSwitch option. Each shows the healthier option (in a traffic light system or Health-Star rating way) listed first based on the nutritional value of the product scanned. GlutenSwitch is also a filter which shows gluten-free alternatives. *FILTER CAN BE CHANGED WHENEVER DESIRED

Image shows options of the filters on the FoodSwitch app

  1. After selecting a filter, under the scan button, you can scan any food products barcode. Alternatives are then given to this product (the different nutritional values are shown in a traffic light system or by the Health-Star ratings)

Image shows how products nutritional value is shown in a traffic light system. Seen below are healthy alternatives for the product scanned (healthiest at the top).

  1. As many items as desired can be scanned and all appear under the ‘Recents’ button
  2. Underneath the scanned product, alternative brands are listed  with healthier choices to ‘switch’ the scanned product with being listed at the top

FoodSwitch Benefits for Students:

  • Improves design thinking. Students are required to create an outcome (based on healthy food options) that will benefit people
  • Students are reading data (using mathematics knowledge)
  • Students can use it in a cooperative working group so learn how to work with others and take turns
  • Students can use the app at home to educate their own family on healthy food options
  • Students are learning a easy way to make healthy food options
  • Students understand how a healthy lifestyle is sustainable for their lives as an app as simple as this can be used to provide healthy alternatives

Classroom Activity using FoodSwitch:

This is an engaging way for students to increase their digital technologies knowledge while learning about healthy food alternatives. FoodSwitch can be used by students of all ages to promote healthy eating. This app encourages students to compare data and base judgements on this data. Younger students can use this app to simply compare the different nutritional areas of food products and decide which are healthier alternatives. Older students can use this app in conjunction with a case study. They can have information about a ‘family’ and use this app to scan different food products and decide which would be most beneficial and improve their ‘families’ health in necessary areas. This app can be used in individual, partner and group work settings and works with any tablet or iPad. Students can use knowledge they learn through this app to educate their own family about healthy eating and healthy food alternatives.

Further information:

Accessed on:

*This app requires access to wifi*


Classroom Designs

What does your classroom look like?

Subject: Design and Technology

Year: 2

Strand: Process and Production

Sub-Strands: Designing

Content Descriptor:
ACTDEP006 – Generate, develop and record design ideas through describing, drawing and modelling
ACTDEP007 – Use materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques to safely make designed solutions

Cross-Curriculum Priorities and General Capabilities:
Critical and Creative thinking
-Information and communication technology (ICT) capability

Links to Other Learning Areas: Mathematics
ACMMG037 – Compare and order several shapes and objects based on length, area, volume and capacity using appropriate uniform informal units


This activity helps to develop students concept of designing a classroom using shapes to outline objects. The activity would be completed in a geometry lesson and looking at students recognition of shapes. Students will look at objects around the room and position them on their own template by incorporating various shapes to represent different objects. Once students have drawn their objects, they then need to use shapes in the website classroom architect to represent a layout of a classroom. The app allows you to print the final products to assist in assessment.

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.



Subject: Technologies Year Level: Suitable for all years

Strand: Digital Technologies Sub strand: Digital Technologies Processes and Production Skills

Recognise and explore patterns in data and represent data as pictures, symbols and diagrams (ACTDIK002)

Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)

Overview of Kodable: Kodable makes learning to code fun for students. They must drag and drop commands to program their fuzzy character to get through a maze. By doing this, they learn problem solving, computational thinking, sequence, conditions, loops, functions and debugging. These are skill necessary for learning any programming language.

Kodable includes interactive tutorials for each new concept. Students can learn new programming terms and logic without any adult assistance. The tutorials are completely voiced and walk kids through the first problem in each new lesson.

You can also download the app for free on your iPhone, iPad or tablet!

For more information and to purchase visit:



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.

Babble Dabble Do

Babble Dabble Do 

Subject: Design and Technology

Year Level: Year 4

Strand: Design and Technology

Links to resource or website:

Links to other learning areas






Are you game enough to make Oobleck with your students?

Know how to make marbled milk paper?

Challenge your students to find different ways to balance paper triangles!

One, two, three…Stixplosion!

Babble Dabble Do connects students by engaging their creativity, offering endless activities as Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics collide. Although online lessons are ready to be implemented into classrooms to support curious and inquisitive minds, parents can access the website too.

A former Architect and furniture designer, Ana created the website as a means of compiling fun, challenging activities that encourage imagination and creation in the minds of children.

Divided into the four areas of

  • Art for Kids
  • Science for Kids
  • Engineering for Kids
  • Design for Kids

Babble Dabble Do fosters a desire to question, inquire, investigate and most importantly, take steps to problem solve through setbacks and obstacles. With activities that directly link to the Australian curriculum Design and Technologies, Science, Mathematics, Arts, as well as opportunities to implement Digital Technologies, Babble Dabble Do is a ‘must’ in effective teaching and learning.

Facilitate and cater to the creative needs of your students by bookmarking this website!

Image retrieved from


Paddock to Plate: Get your hands on my food.

Subject: Design and Technologies

Year Level:3-4

Strand:Design and Technologies – Knowledge and understanding

Sub strand:Food and fibre production

Yesr 3 – Types of food and fibre produced in different environments, cultures or time periods, including the equipment used to produce or prepare them

Year 4 – Types of technologies used in food and fibre production or processing, including how they are used to help meet consumer needs

Link to the resource

Cross curriculum priorities and general capabilities

Critical and creative thinking (CCT),Personal and social capability (PSC),Information and Communication Technology (ICT),Literacy (LIT), Sustainability

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Personal and social capability
  • Ethical understanding
  • Intercultural understanding.

Links to other learning areas


Science – Science understandings – Chemical Science – A change of state between solid and liquid can be caused by adding or removing heat (ACSSU046)

Science – Science as a Human Endeavour – Nature and development of science – Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and relationships (ACSHE050)

A classroom activity using this resource

This is a well structured resource that allows the teacher to teach a lesson exploring the process of food from the paddock to the plate. It involved the students working through learning stations where they explore the ways in which food changes from the raw state to make it suitable for consumption. The stations offer different processes such as chemical changes in food or the processing of a food item. The stations are inquiry based and hands on allowing for addressing student misconceptions and creating thought and discussion to promote ideas.

How to use this resource

This useful learning resource includes the lesson plan, power-point and all the printable classroom support resources to match. It is very easy to follow and provides opportunities for extension activities and further research. It is clearly laid out with suggested assessment and student reflection sheets for reporting the groups findings back to the class. This lesson links well with the Science curriculum when investigating states of matter and the changes that occur.