Design & Tech

Marshmallow task - In 20 minutes, build the tallest tower out of spaghetti and tape that can support a marshmallow on top.

History Performance Costume Making
We bought 2nd hand sheets and quilt covers from an op shop. We cut out a pattern from a piece of brown paper and cut out fabric. The children hand sewed their costumes.

We also made some from plastic table cloths.

Moving Desert Animals Projects

Spinifex mice were shot into their cave by a catapult made with an elastic  band.
 An eagle on a balloon shot along a taut string and flew across the room.
A jack in the box kangaroo jumped out with an ingenious design using elastic bands, pegs, and pencils.

Travel from the air! Nic constructed many aircraft over the term.

 This design allowed water to drip onto the Thorny Devil and move towards his mouth so he could drink.
These hopping mice jumped as they had superballs for bodies.

Using sticks and grooves cut into a box allowed the kangaroos to jump along.

Some more of Nic's designs.

Rubber Band Cars and Ladders
First we made some ladders out of Coreflute so that we could learn some simple techniques and how to use side cutters safely. 

Then we made rubber band cars out of "Coreflute". (Coreflute is available in large sheets at Bunnings for around $6) We also used skewers, straws, cds, string, rubber bands, wire for hooks, plastic milk lids and some sticky tape. Children explored many interesting techniques.

Children had to make many modifications to make their cars work. Accuracy of measurement impacted on their designs, as well as sizes of axle holes, tightness of wheels on axles etc. Sometimes the string got caught and caused resistance. Some of the cars warped because the angles were not exact. Modifications corrected the problems. 

Zak suggested putting a skewer sideways along the car to strengthen it. This worked very well. Spiro and Zak also modified the design in different ways to get the cars moving more efficiently! Spiro used a rubber band connected from the back axle to the front wheel axle and got rid of the string. The car went for greater distances as the rubber band had a longer distance to stretch, and this resulted in greater stored energy. Zak used a pull start idea, (similar to a lawnmower) and this wound the string around the axle quickly, enabling his car to run. We learnt a great deal from each other!


Some students enjoyed experimenting with the car wheels and axles and these became spinning tops. Some very creative and enthusiastic experimentation occurred in this project and I was most impressed with the students ability to design alternative applications and solutions.

Boat Building Experiments -
This page may take a few minutes to load due to the videos!
 Zak's Paddle-steamer was amazing! He modelled it on the ones he had seen on the Murray River. He had a flexible pole attached to the front of the boat, with string connected from the top of the pole to the axle of the back propellor. As he wound up the axle of the propellor, the string circled around it and pulled back the flexible pole. When he released his grip on he axle, the propellor started slowly spinning as the string unwound. It went for quite a while. We were very impressed! (Zak had first experimented with using an upright pole and bolts to attach the string to, but the bolts got stuck half way, so this is how he changed his design to get it to work.) GREAT JOB ZAK!
Zac put the axle inside some hollow tubing so that it would turn. 

 Here are a few other designs made by students!

This is a boat that Patrick made. His way of making the boat move with a propellor at the top was interesting. When he wound the propellor in a clockwise motion, it made the rubber band twist. When he let go, it pushed air against his sail and made the boat move forward. Interestingly, if he wound the propellor in an anticlockwise direction, we found the boat did not move. Patrick made many interesting modifications to his boat to get the final product. He even thought about painting the bottle, but left parts unpainted, and these were windows. Very effective! To get his popsticks to bend for the sail, he put them in hot water. We learnt a lot from you Patrick! Well done! Patrick's boat also crashed to the ground last week when he was due to do his presentation. Patrick didn't give up! He rebuilt the boat and brought it back in to try again! 100 points for resilience!
Lily made another interesting boat that had 2 sources of power. She used a peg to wind up the rubber band, as well as a balloon attached to the bottom of the boat. She also mentioned that you need to wind the peg towards you, or the boat goes the wrong way. Great job Lily! Here is a video of Lily's boat on the left and Beau's fabulous boat on the right:

These are some more boats and prototypes designed by other students!

Spiro made a hovercraft and then turned it into a boat! Amazing effort!

This boat was made with a CD, pump bottle nozzle, blu tak, a balloon, straws and tape. The straws were placed on the CD underneath, to help float the boat more evenly. It worked very well!

Some Sketches


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  2. Thanks for visiting our blog and for your important comments about safety and boating.

  3. these are some great ideas for design and technology classes I will use some of them for my year seven class and I think they will really enjoy it

    1. Thanks for your feedback. We would love to find out what wonderful ideas your class comes up with too. Let us know how you get on.