Example Year 3 STEM unit – Save the Ice Duck!

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Challenge / Inquiry Focus

Students watched an ice duck melt in the teachers hand (Kmart Novelty Ice Cube Tray) in the warm Summer air. They were then issued with the challenge of ‘How can you save the ice duck from melting?’.

Kmart Novelty Ice Cube Tray.

Unit duration

One term @ 45 minute lesson per week

Targeted outcomes / Activities

  • Understand that ‘Heat can be produced in many ways and can move from one object to another’ (Australian curriculum / Science / Physical Sciences (ACSSU049))
  • Compare how different materials conduct heat (paddle pop stick and metal spoon in ice water and warm water).
  • Correctly use term conduction and identify real life examples of it.
  • Conduct a ‘fair test’ to compare the melting rate of ice (when placed on the ground vs. in a coffee cup)
  • Correctly record data from above fair test, use a column graph to visually represent the data and then interpret that data.
  • Using their understanding of conduction and the properties of different (familiar) materials, design make and appraise a container that will stop an ice duck from melting (Australian curriculum / Design and Technologies / Knowledge and understandings Investigate the suitability of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment for a range of purposes (ACTDEK013)).