Design and Technologies / Year 7 and 8 / Knowledge and understanding / Technologies context: Engineering principles and systems

Curriculum content descriptions

analyse how force, motion and energy are used to manipulate and control engineered systems (AC9TDE8K03)

  • analysing how wind turbines harness the motion of propellers to transform wind energy into electricity, and how this energy is used to sustainably power communities classified as remote, such as on Waiben (Thursday Island) in the Torres Strait Islands and in Gawa on Elcho Island near the northern Arnhem Land coast
  • investigating the technologies in a control system for an identified need or opportunity and user, for example the Corriong or Millowl (Phillip Island) penguin weighbridge that enables collection of data about penguin weight and foraging duration
  • experimenting to select the most appropriate principles and systems on which to base design ideas, for example testing structural components for strength
  • testing functionality of an idea by producing prototypes and jigs, including the use of rapid prototyping tools such as 3D printers
  • calculating an engineered system’s outputs, for example speed, brightness of light, volume of sound to determine when the system might fail
  • experimenting with control systems to understand motion, for example programming a microcontroller or an object-based programming application to control a system such as a remote-controlled car or robotic arm
  • investigating components, tools and equipment in terms of force, motion or energy, for example testing the durability of batteries or determining the effective range of wireless devices
General capabilities
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Literacy Literacy
ScOT terms

Materials,  Motion,  Mechanical energy,  Electromagnetism


Balancing Sculptures

This activity invites students to explore balance and stability by designing and building whimsical kinetic sculptures that tilt, slide, and suspend everyday objects and ordinary materials into surprising arrangements. Students explore stability, centres of gravity, balanced forces and symmetry through this hands-on, tactile ...


Industrial design challenge – separating materials lesson

is lesson provides a great introduction to the idea of separating mixtures and enables students to consider separation as a process that operates on macroscopic levels. Students also learn about waste management and recycling processes in Australia. The lesson provides students with an opportunity to engage in hands-on ...


Stomp Rocket Design Challenge

This resource provides a scaffold for students to complete a design challenge. The design challenge requires students to create a stomp rocket that can travel to a chosen planet in the solar system. The design challenge can also be used to investigate forces and energy. It can be delivered over a number of lessons, or it ...


Drone search lesson

This lesson plan introduces students to the practice and applications of using drones to take aerial photographs. Students learn safety procedures regarding the use of drones then capture images of simulated disaster areas. Students observe the use of drones in science and technology-based endeavours and suggest new applications ...


All about engines

What does 'horsepower' really mean? And how do engines work? Join Luke and Abhi from MIT to find out! As Abhi explains, engines produce power by forcing a mixture of fuel and air into a tight space and then burning it. Piston engines and turbine engines do this in similar, yet different ways. After watching this video, ...


Thermal comfort – sustainability action process (Years 7–10)

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.