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Listed under:  Engineering  >  Tools

Stonemason's tools, c1880

This is a collection of seven metal stonemasonry tools, some with wooden handles. They comprise two chisels, a bolster, a scutch comb, a Lewis pin, a mallet and a hammer.


Aboriginal science tools: the morah stone

This is an article about morah stones, incised grinding stones from the tropical rainforests of northern Queensland, and how they were used by the local Aboriginal peoples to process toxic starchy seeds and kernels. Written by Kudjala/Kalkadoon Elder from Queensland Letitia Murgha and intended mainly for teachers, it describes ...


Whale harpoon

This is a harpoon used in the New Zealand whaling industry between 1830 and 1840. It is 229.5 cm long and 7.5 cm wide at its widest part, is made from iron and wood and has a rope attached. It was designed to be thrown from a whaleboat.


Gum scraper

This is a gum scraper used in the New Zealand whaling industry in about 1840. It is made from a semi-circular iron blade and has wooden handles, one of which is bound with string. It is 25 cm high and 17 cm wide.


Mincing knife

This is a mincing knife used in the New Zealand whaling industry in the mid-1800s. It is made from iron and has two wooden handles. It is 93 centimetres long and 9 centimetres wide.


Designers support changing societies

It is the job of designers to support us as society evolves and changes. Watch designers invent tools that could make our lives easier in the future and learn how products such as smartphones have evolved over time to meet changing requirements and technical capabilities.


James Phillips with his baby daughter outside his hardware store in Abbotsford, c1867

This sepia photograph features James Phillips in the doorway of his Abbotsford store, J. Phillips Hardwareman, in the late 1860s. Phillips is holding one of his daughters (Mary, born 1862, Amelia, born 1866 or Milly, born 1868). The photograph was collected as part of Museum Victoria's Melbourne's Biggest Family Album project ...


First the base, then the frame

Come and see Hugo's house getting built. Find out how the concrete foundations are laid. What comes next? Carpenters build a wooden frame. Spot the tools used to build the house. How is each tool used?


How does a reflecting telescope work?

The Hale Telescope is a reflecting telescope. What are some of the basic parts of a reflecting telescope? What does the astronomer Amy Mainzer compare a telescope to? Do you think this comparison is appropriate? Why/why not?


Introduction to 3D printing

This lesson plan provides a simple introduction to the design and production process of creating an familiar object using a 3D printer. The lesson is divided into three steps: introducing 3D printing, developing a graphical representation of a 3D object using design software and printing the object. The resource refers ...


'Gold digging in Australia 1852: bad results'

This is the first of a pair of oval watercolours, measuring 20.2 cm x 26.4 cm, painted by Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-80), a famous colonial artist. It shows two gold miners sitting dejectedly beside their mine, probably on the Victorian gold fields. Behind the men is a windlass, as well as their wheelbarrow, pick and spade. ...


What is an abacus?

An abacus is a tool that helps people solve maths problems. Why might some people still use, and encourage the use of, an abacus when there are more contemporary tools like calculators?


Patterns for personalising your clothes

If you use paper patterns to make clothes that fit your body size and shape correctly, you get the added advantage of a unique garment that you won't see others wearing. See how to make a garment by downloading patterns from the internet and using them as a template for the fabric you have chosen.


Weaving shuttle with rollers

This is a wooden 'boat' shuttle used for weaving. It has a simple wooden roller at each end of the shuttle that enables it to pass more smoothly through the 'shed', the space between the warp threads. The dimensions of the shuttle are: length 4.0 cm, width 2.5 cm, height 30.5 cm.


Blood, sweat and stones: convict builders

Visit a working farm in Tasmania that uses buildings made by convict workers in the early 1800s. See the stones they carried and the tools they used. Find out how farm work has changed since colonial times. This clip is one in a series of four.


Revolving plier punch

This is a pair of pliers with a revolving end on one jaw, on which six punch bits in graduated sizes are mounted. The pliers measure 23.0 cm long x 6.5 cm wide x 2.0 cm deep.


What is a joggobot?

Robots have traditionally been used to perform tasks that humans don't want to or cannot do. In recent years, however, robot technology has looked at robots as companions. How do you feel about this? Do you think robots could ever replace human or even animal companionship? Why/why not?


Bee habitat lesson

This lesson plan introduces students to some of Australia's native bee species. Organised in five stages, the lesson plan includes links to videos, scientific and bee-related websites, an information sheet, and downloadable versions of a pictorial slideshow, lesson plan and an assessment rubric. The resource includes suggestions ...


School robot rescue!

Could you create a robot for a dangerous rescue mission? As part of the Da Vinci Programme at Holy Cross College, students built and programmed their own robot to follow a line through obstacles and rescue a ‘casualty' at a simulated chemical spill.