Aussie Inventions Key Learning

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Episode 28

9th October 2012

Aussie Inventions

Key Learning

Students will learn about Australian inventions and design their own invention to solve a problem.

The Australian Curriculum > Science / Science as a Human Endeavour / Use and influence of science

Content description

General capabilities


Critical and creative thinking

Personal and social capability

Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to solve problems that directly affect peoples’ lives. Codes ACSHE083 ACSHE100

Focus Questions

  1. Discuss the BtN story with another student.

  2. Name one of the inventions in the BtN story.

  3. What is a prototype?
  4. Why was the scientific invention of the cochlear implant so important?

  5. Do you think anyone can be an inventor? Why or why not?

  6. Can you think of any other Aussie inventions that weren’t mentioned on the BtN story?

  7. If you could invent something what would it be?

  8. What surprised you about this story?

  9. Illustrate one of the inventions you learnt about in the BtN Aussie Inventions story.

  10. Create a timeline highlighting Aussie inventions over the last 100 years.


Begin with a class brainstorm asking students the following questions:

  • What is an inventor?

  • What do they do?

  • Can anyone be an inventor? Why or why not?

  • What do you know about the process of inventing?

  • What things might inventors have to do and think about in order to invent something?

Working in small groups, students list all the inventions they can in 1 minute. Students share their list with the rest of the class.

Students will research in depth an Australian invention (you can ask them to focus on a scientific invention). They can choose an invention from the BtN story or from the following website

  • Why did the object first come about? Was it intentional or accidental?

  • What problem or issue does the invention overcome or solve?

  • Who was the inventor?

  • When was the object invented?

  • How does the invention work?

  • How has it changed or affected people’s lives?
  • What if the object was never invented?

Students present their research to the class using multimedia or as a class, create a timeline of Australian inventions.

To take the investigation further, students can design their own invention or make a modification to an invention (to improve the design or function of a product). Ask students to:

  • Draw a picture of their invention

  • Name their invention

  • What problem does it solve?

  • How does it work?

  • What materials is it made from?

  • What is unique about the design?

Students can share their designs with other students in the school.

Further Investigations
Find out more about Indigenous inventions or the work of David Unaipon. Create a poster to display your research.
Leonardo da Vinci was a famous artist and inventor. Write a short biography of da Vinci and choose one of his inventions to draw and describe
Inventors often patent their inventions. What does it mean to paten an invention? How does patenting protect an inventor?

8 Related Research Links

ABC News – Aussie Inventions
ABC – The New Inventors
Questacon – Our Clever Country

Questacon – 100 years of innovation – Australian Inventions

©ABC 2012

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