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Science / Year 6 / Science Understanding / Physical sciences

View on Australian Curriculum website Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Curriculum content descriptions

Electrical energy can be transferred and transformed in electrical circuits and can be generated from a range of sources (ACSSU097)

  • recognising the need for a complete circuit to allow the flow of electricity
  • investigating different electrical conductors and insulators
  • exploring the features of electrical devices such as switches and light globes
  • investigating how moving air and water can turn turbines to generate electricity
  • investigating the use of solar panels
  • considering whether an energy source is sustainable
ScOT terms

Electricity,  Energy conversion,  Electric circuits

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Year level 5-6
Resource type
Learning area Science
Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

Energy chains: make electricity

Build up to six energy chains that make electricity. Select from different energy sources and choose energy converters to match. Examine the type of energy change that happens in each converter. Arrange the converters into the correct chain so that the energy can be delivered as electricity. For example, construct a chain ...

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

Energy chains: energy use

Select energy sources and energy converters to build energy chains to power appliances and vehicles. Examine how each energy converter in a chain loses some energy and reduces the energy available for use. For example, show that using a solar panel and an electric motor to drive a car delivers only 16% of the original energy ...

Interactive resource

Wiring: the series circuit

Investigate current flow in series electrical circuits. Explore the effects of switches and breaks in the circuit. Relate circuit diagrams to actual circuits. See how circuits can be modelled by water flow. This learning object is one in a series of three objects.

Interactive resource

Wiring: the parallel circuit

Add components to complete parallel electrical circuits. Explore the effects of switches on current flows. Relate circuit diagrams to actual circuits. See how circuits can be modelled by water flow. This learning object is one in a series of three objects.

Interactive resource

Conductors and insulators in circuits

Test different materials for electrical conductivity using an electric circuit. Insert each of the four materials into the contact point in turn. Determine which materials are electrical conductors by noting which ones make the light globe glow. Record data for each material. Sum up your findings by answering the conclusion ...

Interactive resource

Electrical conductivity

Test the electrical conductivity of four different materials by connecting them to an electric circuit. Insert the first material into the contact point to complete the circuit. Then observe the light bulb to see whether the material has acted as an electrical conductor and lighted the bulb. Record your results in a data ...

Interactive resource

Electrifying concert

Set up wiring and stage lighting for a rock band. Add components to complete electrical circuits: simple, series and parallel circuits. Explore the effects of batteries and switches on current flows. Relate circuit diagrams to actual circuits. Test the direction that light rays travel. Assemble a spotlight and position ...

Interactive Resource

Light sound action: student digital

This is a student digital resource that contains interactive materials relevant to a study of light, sound, and electricity. This resource contains a rich array of digital interactive activities, simulations, video clips, supportive information and notebook questions, and is divided into several parts including sections ...

Interactive Resource

Sites2See: Exploring energy for Primary

One page with links to websites with interactive resources, information and activities to support primary students investigating energy and the Climate Clever Energy Savers program.

Moving Image

How do solar panels work?

The Earth intercepts a lot of solar power: 173,000 terawatts. That’s 10,000 times more power than the planet’s population uses. So is it possible that one day the world could be completely reliant on solar energy? Richard Komp examines how solar panels convert solar energy to electrical energy. This TedEd animation (4:58 ...

Interactive resource

Electromagnetism: magnetic fields

Investigate the magnetic field surrounding an electromagnet. Use a compass to find the direction of the field at different places. See how field lines can be used to map the field’s strength and direction. Vary the current through an electromagnet and observe how this affects the field. For example, notice that there are ...

Teacher resource

Backyard Science: circulating charges

This resource, including student videos, provides opportunities for students to investigate the movement of electricity through electrical circuits. Students explore different ways to form a closed circuit to light a bulb, and classify materials as conductors or non-conductors (insulators) of electricity. Students research ...

Interactive Resource

Syllabus bites: Electricity

This resource is designed to support science teachers in addressing concepts in electricity in the BOS NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum in Science - Stage 3. Making decisions about the use of electricity is approached from an understanding of circuits, sources and sustainability.

Interactive resource

Light and reflection: light rays: shadow animals

Make shadows by placing a range of objects between a light source and a screen. Position shapes to make a shadow animal. Notice that shadows are larger when more light is blocked. This learning object is one in a series of six objects. Some of the objects are also packaged as two combined learning objects.

Interactive Resource

Thermal comfort – sustainability action process (Years 3–6)

This thermal comfort learning resource will guide students through an extended school based investigation. Students will develop and implement a chosen sustainability action and then evaluate and reflect on their success and their learning.

Interactive resource

Light and reflection: light rays: seeing through walls

Investigate whether light rays can travel around corners. Rotate circular walls, each of which has a single opening. Position the walls so that light from a central bulb can be seen by a person outside the walls. Notice whether light always travels in a straight line. This learning object is one in a series of two objects. ...

Interactive resource

How a rheostat works

Find out how a rheostat may be used to control the current in an electric circuit. Explore two differently designed rheostats in your investigation: a dial rheostat and a slider rheostat. Connect the dial rheostat into the electric circuit, adjust the knob and note the brightness of the light bulb. Do this for three variations ...

Moving Image

Supercapacitors: new battery technology

Discover how nanotechnology is contributing to the creation of new, improved batteries that may soon be used in all our mobile phones and portable music devices - even in cars and trams. Catalyst's Tanya Ha looks at how traditional batteries produce electricity and how their efficiency may be increased by tiny devices known ...

Interactive resource

Energy chains: build an energy chain

Build an energy chain for a power station. Find out about fuel and how the energy converters work. Examine the type of energy change that happens in each converter. For example, see how a turbine changes the heat energy in steam into spinning motion. Arrange converters into the correct chain so that the energy in fuel can ...

Interactive resource

Energy chains: side effects

Build energy chains that make electricity. Select different energy sources and choose energy-converters to match. Arrange converters into the correct chain so that the energy can be delivered as electricity. Examine the waste products and side effects that occur with each converter. For example, find out the environmental ...

Interactive resource

Energy calculator: How much energy do I need?

Use this calculator to find out how well your energy intake in the form of food matches the energy required for your level of activity in a day. Experiment with adjusting your food and your level of activity and discover the effects of your intake energy being lower or higher than your energy requirements for various activity ...


Circuits - upper primary

This collection of 11 digital curriculum resources is organised in three categories - types of circuits; circuit applications; and conductors and insulators. Interactive learning objects enable students to build and manipulate simple series and parallel electric circuits. Students investigate how current flows, effects ...


Series Circuits

In this simulation students select and move a battery, switch and two light bulbs to positions around a circuit so that the light bulbs are in series with each other. Students receive feedback if their circuit is not a functioning series circuit. Students drag and drop a battery, switch, and two light bulbs into position ...


Energy efficiency in homes

Find out how to save energy at home and reduce your carbon footprint. This fact sheet describes strategies that can be used in the home to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.


Gas-fired power

Find out how gas-fired power stations work. This fact sheet describes the generation of electricity in gas-fired power stations, which typically produce 50 per cent less carbon dioxide than conventional coal-fired power plants. Information is provided about the Daandine Power Station located west of Brisbane, which uses ...

Teacher resource

Primary science: authentic contexts

These seven learning activities, which focus on 'authentic contexts' using a variety of tools (software) and devices (hardware), illustrate the ways in which content, pedagogy and technology can be successfully and effectively integrated in order to promote learning. In the activities, teachers engage their students' interests, ...

Interactive Resource

Copper processing

This interactive activity allows students to explore the processes involved in the mining and processing of copper ore and the production of copper. Students initially put the processes in the correct sequence and then select each stage to animate it and access relevant information. The smelting stage includes an activity ...

Interactive resource

Energy chains: power up!

Build energy chains to power appliances and vehicles. Find out about energy sources and how energy converters work. Select the energy converters that suit each source and vehicle. For example, work out how to drive a car using the energy from sunlight. This learning object is one in a series of five learning objects.