Year 5
Stem Unit Preview

Getting switched on to light

School Overview

Riverside Primary School is a government school catering for over 690 students from Kindergarten to Year 6. It is situated in Riverside, a suburb of Launceston in Northern Tasmania.

Problem / Challenge

The school’s power bill is too high and the cost is about to increase with our new development. This context invites the question: How does the design of a building impact the power bill?


In teams, design a classroom that uses more sustainable lighting sources.


Australian Curriculum Links


Science Understanding
  • Light – absorption, reflection & refraction (ACSSU080)
Science as a Human Endeavour
  • Science explains historical phenomenon and cultural contributions (ACSHE081)
  • Science is used to solve problems and inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE083)
Science Inquiry Skills
  • Questions and predictions (ACSIS231)
  • Plan an investigation (ACSIS086)
  • Variables, fair tests, measuring and recording data (ACSIS087)
  • Data representation (ACSIS090)
  • Comparing data with predictions (ACSIS218)
  • Reflecting on the investigation (ACSIS091)
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information (ACSIS093)

Design and Technologies

Technologies and society
Engineering principles and systems
  • Electrical energy in controlling, movement, light and sound (ACTDEK020)
Design Process


Number and Algebra
  • Solve problems involving division (ACMNA101)
  • Problem solving (ACMNA291)
  • Extension of place value beyond hundredths (ACMNA104)
  • Compare, order and represent decimals (ACMNA105)
  • Financial plans (ACMNA106)
Measurement and Geometry
Statistics and Probability