How can we help people move around town in floods?

Year 4
Stem Unit Preview

Problem / Challenge

In June 2016 Launceston experienced severe flooding with water reaching levels not experienced for many decades. Some homes in Invermay were threatened and traffic was disrupted because parts of the city were impassable.


Design and make a model of a bridging structure that allows access for public transport and withstands extreme environmental factors such as flooding.


Australian Curriculum Links


Science Understanding

Science as a Human Endeavour

  • Science helps people understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE051)

Science Inquiry Skills

  • Questions and predictions (ACSIS053)
  • Plan an investigation (ACSIS054)
  • Elements of fair tests, measuring and recording data (ACSIS055)
  • Data representation (ACSIS057)
  • Comparing data with predictions (ACSIS215)
  • Reflecting on the investigation (ACSIS058)
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information (ACSIS060)

Design and Technologies

Technologies and society

  • Occupations and factors impacting on the design of products, services and environments (ACTDEK010)

Engineering principles and systems

  • Force and properties of materials (ACTDEK011)

Materials and technologies specialisations

  • Suitability of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment (ACTDEK011)

Design Process


Measurement and Geometry

  • Use scaled instruments to measure (ACMMG084)
  • Compare areas of regular and irregular shapes (ACMMG087)
  • Compare and describe 2D shapes (ACMMG088)
  • Compare angles (ACMMG089)

School Overview

Invermay Primary School is a government school located in Invermay, a suburb of Launceston in Northern Tasmania. It has an enrolment of around 280 students.