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.







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



Straw Scaffold

Straw Scaffold     


Subject: Design and Technology

Year level: 3/4

Strand: Knowledge and Understanding- Investigate how forces and the properties of materials affect the behaviour of a product or system.(ACTDEK011).

Strand: Processes and Production Skills- Generate, develop and communicate design ideas and decisions (ACTDEP015).

Children like to build, make and create. From building a tower or a city with lego or blocks, to building towers, this resource is sure to grab the attention of the students in the classroom. Straw scaffold provides the opportunity for the students to think carefully and creatively to produce a strong and stable scaffold, secure enough the hold a beaker of water. This challenging activity is sure to be a hit amongst the students, highlighting the design and technology aspects of their learning with a cross curriculum link to Mathematics.

Link of resource:

Links to other learning area: Mathematics- STEM design and technology

How to do this as a classroom activity:

Students are presented with a scenario in which they must produce the most efficient way of making a scaffolding

The only materials provided to the students are drinking straws and some sticky tape.

The straw scaffold must be able to hold a beaker of water and must stand alone without support.

The best design will be the scaffold which holds the greatest volume of water with the least amount of straws used. Students will record this.

Natasa Jovanovic






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)

Identify and explore a range of digital systems with peripheral devices for different purposes, and transmit different types of data (ACTDIK007)

Overview of Blue-Bot: Blue-Bot is a robot that can be programmed in a variety of ways providing progression for children. It is controllable via bluetooth which means you can control it with your tablet or PC. It provides children with a means of creating their own logical programming sequences in a fun and interesting way.

At the beginning the keys on the Blue-Bot’s back are pressed to control forward, backward, 90 degree turns, to pause and to stop. Using this approach children can build their first programs in simple logical steps. The Tactile Reader helps children further develop their programming skills by allowing them to visually create a linear programming sequence by placing cards into frame. For clarity, card sequences can be arranged either horizontally or vertically. Finally, it can also be controlled remotely by Apple, Android or Windows devices providing a wonderful practical example of programming a physical device.

The Blue-Bot comes ready to go with a rechargeable cell and USB recharging lead. Numerous other Blue-Bot resources are available, supporting its use in the classroom.

For more information and to purchase visit:

Links to other learning areas: Mathematics

Content Descriptors: Location and transformation

Give and follow directions to familiar locations (ACMMG023)

Identify and describe half and quarter turns (ACMMG046)

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


Lego Education

Subject: Digital Technologies

Year Level: 3

Strands: Digital Technologies

Image retrieved from

Links to the resource:

Links to other learning areas




As an educator, have you ever felt something missing from your teaching, that one thing that connects you to your students’ thoughts and imaginations? Do you facilitate students’ expression of creativity and inventiveness? Is your planning reflective of opportunities for students to articulate their inspirations and aspirations? For generations, Lego has endorsed the importance of accelerating childrens’ imaginations through creative play. With the mission statement of ‘Inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow’ Lego has moved from the confines of our homes and into the classroom with Lego Education.

Lego Education introduces WeDo 2.0, a valuable resource where students are encouraged to explore and build brick by brick, and then innovate through computers and coding. From the moment they begin building, students are engaged in the process of computational thinking, using digital software to problem solve as well as their curious imaginations to create. To begin with, students follow instructions of what to build, how to build it and step by step sequencing using the accompanying computer program. Once they understand the basic framework of Lego Education, they are then free to explore using their imaginations to create.

YOU are facilitating their learning of design and digital technologies as they imagine, create and play. YOU are providing valuable moments for your students to access digital technology in a meaningful way, with determination and purpose.

How to use this resource

Students follow the steps to assemble their creations.

Teacher assists in connecting to an iPad or laptop.

Log into the LEGO Education software.

Students use coding to manipulate and control their creation.



Scratch Project Editor

Coding using a sequence of steps

Subject: Technologies

Year Levels: 3-6

Strand: Digital Technologies: Processes and production skills

Sub strand: Digital Implementation: Use visually represented sequenced steps (algorithms), including steps with decisions made by the user (branching) (ACTDIP011)

Link to the resource:

Cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities:


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability

Critical and Creative thinking

Links to other learning areas:

Mathematics, Science

A classroom activity using this resource:

This resource is a great way to introduce, or extend, students’ ability to code and develop their design and computational thinking skills. The resource can be as simplified or extensive as each student requires, making it suitable for a large variety of age groups. Students maintain engagement as they create a sequencing of operations that are of interest to them, including character choice, setting, movements, etc. Students are required to generate a sequence of animations by choosing individual steps to create a whole animation. It encourages students to use their systematic, creative and logical thinking skills, and to identify how to break down and evaluate coding skills. Students can easily access this site using computers, iPads or mobile phones. It provides clear instructions and hints for how to create a wonderful animation.

How to use this resource:

Firstly, you will need to visit the website provided above. You will come to the home page.

You then need to select “Create” at the top

Then it is simple. Select your aviator, and plan a sequence of animations for this aviator by using the codes available. You can change the settings, change the aviator, change the type of actions performed by the aviator.

There are tutorials on the right hand side if you need assistance.

Add aviators, movements and sounds to create your fun animation.

You will require wifi to operate this website.


Using Plastimake in the Classroom


Design and Technology


Year Level

3/4 and 5/6



Design and Technologies Processes and Production Skills


Sub strand

Processing and Implementing

Select, and apply safe, procedures when using a variety of components and equipment to make solutions


Link to Resource


Cross Curriculum Priorities and General Capabilities

Numeracy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capacity, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capacity and Sustainability


Links to other Learning Areas

Science, The Arts


A classroom activity using this resource

Plastimake is a great resource to have and use in a classroom. An example of the many activities you can do with the Plastimake is linking it to the Science Curriculum when teaching Biological Science. In Year 4, students will be learning about features and adaptations an animal has to help them survive in their environment (ACSSU043). Getting the students to actively create the features and adaptions of different animals is a great way to introduce the topic and spark student interest. For example when students are creating a bird, pose the question what features do birds have? Why are those features important for their survival? Students will be following the procedure of how to use the Plastimake safely as well as creating something they have thought actively about. This hands on lesson is a great way for students of all levels to participate in as well as using the Technologies (Design and Technologies) Curriculum and the Science Curriculum together.


How to use this resource

In order to use this resource in the classroom, you will simply need to order the Plastimake from the website (linked above) and have a bowl of hot and cold water. Plastimake is non-toxic, very strong and biodegradable so is safe for students to use right at their desks, no newspaper required! The only danger in in using Plastimake in the classroom is making sure students do not put their hands in the hot water and they wait for their Plastimake creation to cool before touching it (only takes a few seconds to cool).

When you get the Plastimake you will notice they start off as small white pellets. These small pellets, when put in the warm water, will become transparent. Once the pellets have stuck together, use a fork or other implement to take the Plastimake out of the water and let it cool for a few seconds. Once cool, students can then mould and create the Plastimake into the shape they want. Once students are happy with their creation, it gets placed into the cold water until it hardens. Once it hardens, students can paint their creation and have a well presented final product.

The great thing about Plastimake is how lightweight but highly durable it is. Another great thing about Plastimake is if you are unhappy with the creation, simply place it back into the warm water to reuse and then remould. Plastimake is quick and easy to use, reusable, strong, non-toxic, versatile and clean and is a great resource to use when teaching Design and Technologies.



KidzVuz and the Technologies Curriculum

KidzVuz and the Technologies Curriculum

Looking for a fun, innovative, and interactive way of introducing vlogging to the classroom?

Look no further!

Kidzvuz is a safe, carefully monitored site where students from ages 7-12 can Vlog on 🙂


What is this term ‘Vlog’?

A vlog is in fact, a Video Blog. 

As defined by Cambridge Dictionary:

[It is] “a record of your thoughts, opinions or experiences that you film and publish on the internet.

So what is Kidzvuz?

Kidzvuz is a site that facilitates the skills and knowledge for vlogging. Students can use this site to watch, review and create their own vlogs to express their passions and ideas. KidzVuz heavily promotes their philosophy of “letting kids have their say.” Prior to being uploaded, every video and comment is reviewed and approved by the site administrator to ensure a safe, appropriate and positive online environment is kept.

A classroom activity for this resource:

Vlogging opens up many opportunities in the classroom for students to express their interests and opinions confidently through technology. The subject students decide to vlog about can be chosen by the educator or by the students and it can be done individually or collaboratively. In the year 3/4 band description, it is outlined that students need to “develop an understanding of why it is important to consider the feelings of their audiences and apply safe practices and social protocols agreed by the class that demonstrate respectful behaviour.” When introducing Kidzvuz to the classroom, these areas are great to cover and for students to understand the power of influence they can have in their vlogs.

How to use:

Students will need to primarily sign up with the educator/parental consent since this site is heavily supervised. This will then grant access for students to upload vlogs they have created in class to the site for teachers, parents and peers to view. Students can provide encouragement, question or provide constructive feedback to their peers (peer assessment) by commenting on others’ vlogs.

Additional Resources:

Although this may seem like a ‘kid only’ zone, don’t be deceived! There are many resources available for teachers and parents alike! There is a parent blog associated with the site here. In this section, educators and parents can share ideas, resources, advice etc.

The ‘Nitty Gritty’

In alignment with the Australian Technologies Curriculum:

Subject: Technologies

Year Level: 3/4

Strand: Digital Technologies

Sub-strand: Collecting, Managing and Analysing data

Collect, access and present different types of data using simple software to create information and solve problems. (ACTDIP009)

Link to resource:

Cross Curriculum Priorities and General Capabilities:

  • Literacy (LIT)
  • Numeracy (NUM)
  • Communication Technology (ICT Capability)
  • Critical and Creative Thinking (CCT)

Links to other learning areas:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy