Inventions: Sustainability Incursion (Levels 3 – 6)

Theme: Science as a Human Endeavour
Levels: 3-6

Students will develop an understanding of how inventions and discoveries have affected the environment. They will explore alternative uses for waste materials.


  • Identify reasons for inventing.
  • Sort materials to understand that sustainability has many meanings.
  • Make a “plastic” from different materials.
  • Act as an environmental scientist testing water samples.
  • Observe the effect of burning different materials.
  • Investigate and test products that are biodegradable.
  • Explore water sustainability.
  • Make a motor that uses clean energy from recycled materials.
  • Be inspired to invent something that is useful and environmentally friendly.


Victorian Curriculum: Content Descriptions


  • Natural and processed materials have a range of physical properties; these properties can influence their use (VCSSU060)
  • Science knowledge helps people to understand the effects of their actions (VCSSU056)
  • With guidance, identify questions in familiar contexts that can be investigated scientifically and predict what might happen based on prior knowledge (VCSIS065)
  • Suggest ways to plan and conduct investigations to find answers to questions including consideration of the elements of fair tests (VCSIS066)
  • Safely use appropriate materials, tools, equipment and technologies (VCSIS067)
  • Use formal measurements in the collection and recording of observations (VCSIS068)
  • Use a range of methods including tables and column graphs to represent data and to identify patterns and trends (VCSIS069)
  • Compare results with predictions, suggesting possible reasons for findings (VCSIS070)
  • Reflect on an investigation, including whether a test was fair or not (VCSIS071)
  • Represent and communicate observations, ideas and findings to show patterns and relationships using formal and informal scientific language (VCSIS072)


“Jenelle was fantastic with the students and kept them engaged with a good mix of information and hands-on activities.” Laburnum Primary School

“Our presenter was very organised and had all the materials necessary for each activity. She explained the task clearly and the children LOVED the hands on experiences. THANK YOU!” Benton Junior College


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