Year 4
STEM Unit Preview

How can I reduce waste?

School Overview

New Town Primary School is located in the suburb of New Town, Hobart, Tasmania and caters for students in Years K to 6 from the surrounding community. New Town Primary School is a very cosmopolitan school with an eclectic mix of world cultures.

Problem / Challenge

Lately, there has been a lot of rubbish generated through the school. Our groundsman commented that the skip bins are always full by the end of the week. All this rubbish ends up at the local tip and eventually, landfill.

How can we reduce what ends up at the tip?


In teams of three:

  • devise a way or plan to separate rubbish to be composted from general waste
  • design a compost bin that we could use in the school.


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
Engineering principles and systems
  • Electrical energy in controlling, movement, light and sound (ACTDEK020)
Materials and technologies specialisations
  • Suitability of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment (ACTDEK011)
Design Process

Digital Techologies

  • Digital systems and transmission of data (ACTDIK014)
  • Define problems in terms of data and functional requirements (ACTDIP017)
  • Design and modify algorithms and programs (ACTDIP019)
  • Implement digital solutions as simple visual programs involving iteration (ACTDIP020)


Number and Algebra
Measurement and Geometry
  • Units of measurement (ACMMG108)
  • 3D objects (ACMMG111)
  • Enlargement of 2D shapes (ACMMG115)
  • Estimating and measuring angles (ACMMG112)
Statistics and Probability