Survivor: Plane crash on a deserted island

Year 6
Stem Unit Preview

Problem / Challenge

There has been recent plane crashes in the news lately.

Some students are worried about this. This provided an opportunity to allow students gain an understanding of flight mechanics.

Students were given a scenario that a plane has crash landed on an island. The air craft has been destroyed and it is quickly discovered that the island is deserted. The students are part of few survivors in this fictitious scenario. Now, they need to think of a way out of the island and back to civilisation.


In teams of four, use the existing aircraft parts to restore the aircraft control surfaces to working order to rescue yourselves and the rest of the survivors.


Australian Curriculum Links


Science Understanding
Science as a Human Endeavour
  • Science involves testing predictions to explain historical phenomenon and cultural contributions (ACSHE098)
  • Science is used to solve problems and inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE100)
Science Inquiry Skills
  • Questions and predictions (ACSIS232)
  • Plan an investigation (ACSIS103)
  • Variables, fair tests, measuring and recording data (ACSIS104)
  • Data representation (ACSIS107)
  • Comparing data with predictions (ACSIS2221)
  • Reflecting on the investigation (ACSIS108)
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information (ACSIS110)

Design and Technologies

Technologies and society
  • Design and technologies occupations and sustainability considerations (ACTDEK019)
Engineering principles and systems
  • Electrical energy in controlling, movement, light and sound (ACTDEK020)
Materials and technologies specialisations
  • Characteristics and properties of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment (ACTDEK023)
Design Process


Number and Algebra
  • Problem solving using whole numbers (ACMNA123)
    Measurement and Geometry
  • Solve problems involving the comparison of lengths and areas using appropriate units (ACMMG137)
  • Introduce the Cartesian coordinate system using all four quadrants (ACMMG143)
  • Investigate angles –  on a straight line, at a point and vertically opposite. Find unknown angles (ACMMG141)

School Overview

East Launceston Primary School is situated in the Eastern suburbs of Launceston. The school caters for children from Kindergarten to Year 6 from the surrounding community. East Launceston Primary School currently has 619 students.