The Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI) - Homepage is a partnership of the Australian Government, the States and Territories that supports schools to work towards a sustainable future.
This website provides resources for teachers and links to various websites which provide background information. The activities on a range of topics related to the Drfat Technology curriculum - design and technologies strand and the general capability of sustainability include waste, recycling, climate change and global warming. The site also provides opportunities to join as an AuSSI school.
Case studies, areas of activity and related programs make this site a comprehensive resource for teachers planning to teach design processes that promote sustainability and preferred futures for all.
This is a fantastic website for all teachers. It provides design briefs for seasonal activities, Maths and Science activities and technology and children. The design brief uses the context, challenge statement, parameters (such as materials) and evaluation format which clearly sets out the design problem. In conjunction with the ready to use design briefs, teachers are provided with alternative contexts and extension ideas, as well as a list of resources to assist in developing the activities for the classroom. The activities are based on pedagogy of STEM education and are easily aligned with the new Draft Technologies curriculum which encourages students to design, create and evaluate solutions that will address needs in an ethical and socially responsible way while adhering to sustainable patterns of living. The resources are free and are definitely worth adding to your favourites list.
This webquest has been designed to introduce students in year 5 to the concept of sustainability. The webquest provides students with background information on recycling, climate change, the effects this has on our plants and animals and environment in general. Factual accounts of inspirational young Australians contributing to a preferred future are a highlight and would be a great motivational tools for students. Although the webquest does not ask the students to create solutions it does plant the seed and prompt students to improve our way of life, thereby lending itself as a preliminary activity to designing a solution. This webquest could be used in alignment with the Draft Technology curriculum to encourage students to plan and create solutions for sustainability as a need for preferrable futures.
If sustainability in all design is the goal, then the client-designer relationship will be crucial to delivering this. Here are three ways to make sustainability a default in design:
• Design briefs
Getting the briefing process right is an obvious first step. We've seen sustainability written into briefs in such unspecific ways that it will be of little use. This risks it being sidelined or dropped off the priority list. The more specific clients are in briefing, the better the results will be.
Many advocate lifecycle assessment (LCA) or other product footprinting as an essential or mandatory part of design, which companies such as Levis, Danone or Kraft reportedly do. While in principle this may be effective, a broader set of sustainable design tools may be needed.
• In design processes
Individual products or projects are usually part of a strategic portfolio, which is carefully managed and can be another point of influence. Companies such as DSM, which aims for 80% of pipeline from sustainable product by 2015, and IKEA, with its goal of 90% eco-improved products by 2015, are building sustainability systematically into design. If targets are set to move the portfolio towards sustainability, the projects and products will follow.
• Through design persuasion or stealth
Designers cannot control briefs or what clients do, but they can influence. That kind of creative disruption is often why clients turn to designers – because they think differently, stretching the client and the brief beyond what they see today. Why not do this on sustainability, either through persuasion or stealth?
Given that the dynamics of power resting with clients, industry programmes and design standards can help, such as WRAP's excellent Product Sustainability Forum, looking to unify the way we design products across different industries.
Next generation design
All this may sound like good housekeeping, rather than the imaginative, creative, inspirational processes normally associated with design. But even if its not glamorous, it can certainly be effective. In future, doing design without sustainability being, at the very least, a consideration in the brief or process, will be as inexcusable as designing dangerous or unsafe products is today.
Avoiding sustainable design considerations now could also mean building-in future environmental or social risks for the very clients that designers are serving, or even for the next generation of users. That really would be 'off-brief' and the exact opposite of the added value service that clients have come to expect from good design.
This resource has been rescooped from my PLN as it clearly relates to the resources I am curating. The importance of sustainability considerations in all design and creative endeavours is an importanat aspect that needs to be incorporated in planning for teaching the Design Technologies strand in the Draft Technologies curriculum.
The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent.
Fantastic idea that could be used in the class without needing to be confined to the set timeframe of this event. Students could learn about the birds in their own surroundings looking at factors that may affect the birds and create solutions to assist in increasing bird numbers in certain regions of Australia. This would be a great introductory exercise that most students would enjoy participating in. It could also include watching for different bird species within the school environment as well as home.
Getty Images Design thinking can seem a bit abstract to teachers. It’s not part of traditional teacher training programs and has only recently entered
As part of my PLN I have been following MindShift, they provide a fantastic range of articles and resources that are suitable for teachers of both the digital and design technology strands in the Draft Technologies curriculum. This resource discuss the importance of teachers embracing design thinking in their classrooms. The design thinking approach to learning considers real world problems, research, analysis, conceiving original ideas, experimentation and building of things by hand. There are examples for a Kindergarden, Year 4 and 6 class, however these could be adapted for use in other classes. In alignment with the Draft Technologies curriculum the process of design thinking highlights the importance of designing for the community in a sustainable way and advises teachers that in order to promote these skills in our classrooms, we need to be flexible and resourceful in our planning and pedagogy.
Sir David Attenborough talks about the global amphibian crisis. The Zoological Society of London is working alongside Amphibian Ark (AArk), which was founded...
Sir David Attenborough talks about the global amphibian crisis and how the loss of all frogs can impact the ecosystem. Frogs are the base to many other species and this can have a flow on affect to us as humans. This is a useful introduction for students to understand the need to protect the frogs and the importance of sustaining the environment and working together as a human species to find creative ways to save these critical amphibians. The call to look for solutions to solve this threat will hopefully motivate students to act.
Heidi asks teams at the 2012 FLL World Festival to help her answer the question: "What is the Project?"
This video introuduces the First Lego League project. The projects are based on STEM and this video focuses on the Science aspect. Each year students are given a different theme and are asked to research the challenege theme; this could be food, transport, health, etc. Once students research the theme they then talk to real life professionals and experts in the choosen field. Students are then asked to create a solution to one of the problems they have found during their research and through talking to experts. Once students have created a solution students then present their solution as if they are selling it or marketing the idea to the public. Through students finding everyday problems in a global context that they then develop innovative solutions for, students are engage in all steps of the design process.
This is a fantastic watch and could be an exampler of a project that could be undertaken in the school community. Great inspiration for the future!!
Education resources on ARKive including science teaching resources, biology teaching resources and science games.
ARKives teaching resources have been developed with the UK curriculum and US National Standards in mind, however these units could be adapted for use with the Australia curriculum. The units cover Maths, ICT, English, Art and Science for years 3 to 6 approximately. Two units I have selected are 'The Marvellous Mini-beast' and 'Adaptation' units. These units require students to use their knowledge to design a new species. I would use these units for the Design and Technologies strand of the Draft Technologies curriculum. The processes and production skills descriptors for years 3 and 4, 5 and 6 could be addressed using these units by asking students to design a creature that could live sustainably in a certain environment based on their planning and evaluation of the information presented in the unit.
Students could use the knowledge from the units and process of design to evaluate the impact of our decisions on the environment and implement some community-based solutions for species in their local area.
This webquest asks students to explore the problems and possible solutions to designing a natural habitat for an animal. Students participate in all aspects of the design process by first identifying the problems and needs of the animals and then designing possible solutions that address these issuse. Students design, create and evaluate the habitats created for their animal. This process is inkeeping with the Draft Technologies curriculum and would be suitable to be used in year 3 to 6 classrooms. This resource will be beneficial to a variety of students as it lends itself to diverse learning styles as well as providing students with the option of working individually or in small groups. I look forward to using this resource in my own classroom.
This resource has been rescooped from my PLN, as I felt this is a vital skill that I need to develop. The lesson plan focuses on developing appropriate design briefs for technology students. The site provides activities that assist the user to determine the appropriateness of task statements for activities, formats for design briefs and various examples of design briefs.
This resource is a valuable tool in assisting tecahers to write effective design briefs that have a clear task statement and evaluation process.
The Draft Technolgies curriculum states that all young Australians should develop a critical appreciation of the processes through which technologies are developed, they will do this by evaluating how their own solutions and those of others affect users, equity, sustainability, ethics, and personal and social values (ACARA, 2013).
As teachers if we provide students with challenging and effectively written design briefs we will be better eqipped to contribute to achieving this goal.
The Virginia Children's Engineering Council website
I am particularly looking at the design brief for year 3 - Exploring Animal Environments for the theme of my curated collection however this resource has examples of design briefs for all year levels that can be saved as PDf's and adapted for use in your classroom. Great examples that could be used to engage students in the process of writing their own design briefs.
By Melanie Kahl Designers are privileged to work within a fascinating collision of fields at a time when the conversation could not be more pertinent. The in
This article provides an abundance of resources for teachers of both strands of the Draft Technology curriculum; design technology and digital technology. The site reminds teachers of the importance of solving design problems as a community. The numerous links in the article lead to videos, lessons and ideas from real design studios. The underlining message from this site is the promotion of design thinking which is an important factor in the Draft Technology curriculum. Critical collabortaion, problem solving and critical thinking, understanding failure as part of the design process and finding a balance between digital and analog platforms are highlighted as prime considerations in planning for teaching design technology to students.
I've always coveted my friend Melissa's fabulous terrarium, which is the centerpiece of her stylish, cozy Brooklyn apartment. I've secretly wanted one of
Simple step by step instructions on how to build a terrarium. Although the resource outlines the steps to build the terrarium, this reource could be used as an example to show students before they design and create there own terrarium. Scaffolding of students knowledge and expectations will help students to understand the task without diminishing their inspiration to create their own design.