Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit contributes to the development of background knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective primary school and early childhood teacher in science and technology. It builds upon the first science unit by broadening pre-service teachers’ understanding of a range of science and technological concepts. This unit again engages pre-service teachers with the themes of matter and energy within a sustainability framework, but with a particular focus on a range of concepts that are relevant to various primary school and early childhood curricula such as earth and space, life and living, ecosystems and biodiversity, matter and materials, energy and change, design and technology.

This unit aims to assist pre-service teachers to further develop deep knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective primary school and early childhood teacher in science and technology education, particularly focusing on the curriculum themes of matter and energy within a sustainability framework.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Explain the nature, role and importance of energy in the transition to sustainability in order to become active citizens who demonstrate community involvement and concern about the environment (GA8; APST 2.1, 7.4; ACECQA B3, B6)

LO2 - Research and analyse technological innovation and systems as a way of developing further knowledge and understanding (GA4, GA5; APST 2.1; ACECQA B3)

LO3 - Examine and understand a range of concepts that are relevant to the various school and early childhood curricula such as earth and space, life and living, ecosystems and biodiversity, matter and materials, energy and change, and design and technology to meet relevant professional requirements (GA4, GA5; APST 2.1; ACECQA B3)

LO4 - Demonstrate an understanding of and apply the processes of technology to design and evaluate an artefact or solution to an identified problem in order to meet relevant professional requirements (GA4, GA8; APST 2.1; ACECQA B3)

LO5 - Engage in independent and collaborative learning while using scientific skills and processes to investigate scientific questions or issues and provide evidence for making conclusions about investigations (GA4, GA6, GA7; APST 2.1, 6.2; ACECQA B3).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - Solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - Work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - Locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

6.2 Understand the relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers.

7.4 Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following specific knowledge:

B. Education and curriculum studies 

B3 Numeracy, science and technology

B6 Social and environmental education


Topics will include a range of the following topics, ensuring that all elements identified in the Unit Description and Learning Outcomes are addressed:

  • Energy, energy transformations, energy conservation
  • Design for sustainability e.g. house design, cars, eco-villages, permaculture
  • Design processes, systems and products
  • Materials and their structure and uses
  • Structure and function in living systems
  • Earth and Space
  • Relevant national, state and territory curriculum documents

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Pre-service teachers will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to progress and demonstrate their understandings in this unit. Participants will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to support learning, including: lectures, tutorials, project and fieldwork. Learning will be enabled by collaborative group work, student presentations; in particular those that require students to reflect on their learning, engagement in community project/field work in local sites.

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total with a normal expectation of 36 hours of directed study and the total contact hours should not exceed 36 hours. Directed study might include lectures, tutorials, webinars, podcasts etc. The balance of the hours then become private study.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed to allow students to progressively demonstrate achievement against the unit learning outcomes.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1:

A technology task: design, create and evaluate a presentation or investigation. (see details below)


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA6, GA7, GA8

Assessment Task 2:

  • Examination or
  • Presentation and Critical Essay (see details below)


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment Task 1

A technology task: Design, create and evaluate a presentation or investigation (50%)

Identify, design, create, trial and report on the effectiveness of a learning resource to enable an adult to understand the interplay of science and technology in the development of a concept drawn from relevant primary school and early childhood curricula documents.

This is an individual assessment task that incorporates a peer feedback component.

Part A (10%) Peer Review of Proposals

Each student will identify a problem and conduct background research into the associated science and technological concepts to inform the design of an artefact/solution to the problem. These design proposals, along with a set of criteria and a process for evaluating the final artefact/solution will be submitted/presented for peer feedback.

Peer feedback will involve each person reviewing the proposals of a number of other students and providing constructive feedback to assist them in addressing the assessment criteria in the task rubric.

Part B (40%) Final Report

Each student will implement their design and evaluation, which will involve constructing and testing their artefact/solution. The final report will include the design plan, incorporating any peer feedback from Part A; documentation/evidence of the construction process; data collected during the trialing of the artefact/solution; and a written evaluation based on evidence collected in the trial and critical reflection of the processes undertaken during construction.

Assessment Task 2

Examination OR Presentation and Critical Essay (50%)


A 1.5-hour examination including multiple choice and essay questions associated with the topics covered in this unit. (50%) OR

Presentation and Critical Essay This task has a group and an individual component.

Group Component (30%)

In pairs, students will plan and implement a 40-45 minute student-centred activity to develop understanding of the concepts associated with one of the topics covered in this unit. In addition, the partners will submit:

  • an 800-word referenced, critical essay outlining the scientific and technological concepts associated with their topic; and
  • a 300-word statement on how they worked co-operatively and collaboratively in their group.

Individual Component (20%)

On the completion of all presentations, individual students need to submit an 800-word essay that synthesises their learning of the range of concepts covered in class presentations. Appropriate references to the set readings and other literature should be incorporated.

Representative texts and references

Australian Academy of Science (2012). Push-pull:Primary Connections. Canberra: Australian Academy of Science.

Australian Academy of Science (2012). It’s electrifying: Primary connections. Canberra: Australian Academy of Science.

Devereaux, J. (2007). Science for primary and early years: Developing subject knowledge (2nd ed.). London: Paul Chapman Publishing.

Fleer, M., & Jane, B. (2011) Design and Technology for children (3rd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education.

Hollins, M., & Whitby, V. (2001) Progression in primary science: A guide to the nature and practice of science in Key Stages 1 and 2 (2nd ed.). London: David Fulton.

Howe, A., Davies, D., McMahon, K., Towler, L., & Scott, T. (2009). Science 5-11: A guide for teachers. (2nd ed.) London/New York: Routledge, 2009.

Macauley, D. (2004). The way things work. London/Melbourne: DK.

Sharp, J., Cross, A., Johnsey, R., Simon, R., Peacock, G., & Smith, S. (2012). Primary science, teaching theory and practice. (6th ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.

Skamp, K. (2012). Teaching primary science constructively (4th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic.: Cengage Learning.

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