Engineering Fundamentals

Enabling more effective teaching of aspects of the Engineering Focus of the Stage 5 Industrial Technology syllabus

Great for
STEM learning!

The aim of this introductory course is to equip participants with skills and understanding to enable more effective teaching of aspects of the Engineering Focus of the Stage 5 Industrial Technology syllabus, but at a level that encompasses requirements of the Stage 6 Preliminary Engineering Studies course.

There is global recognition of the importance of effective STEM education in preparing our students for the technology rich environment in which they will be living and working in the future.

Current teacher training initiatives are available that have a technology focus, especially relating to programming and robotics, but there is a dearth of appropriate professional learning content that furthers teachers’ understanding of basic engineering concepts. Familiarity with these engineering concepts is relevant to the real-world application of a wide range of science and technology related knowledge and understanding.

The aim of this introductory course is to equip participants with skills and understanding to enable more effective teaching of some significant concepts introduced in the Engineering Focus of the Stage 5 Industrial Technology syllabus that are studied in greater depth in the Stage 6 Preliminary Engineering Studies course and are fundamental to engineering analysis. Participants will become acquainted with engineering concepts through activities that can be used both in the classroom, and in the delivery of the Stage 5 course. These activities will be augmented by skills and knowledge that encompass the requirements of, and provides expertise with, engineering concepts as they are presented in the Stage 6 Engineering Studies course.

This course will cover:

  • Why STEM? A background in the current need for a more STEM capable population
  • Why Engineering? Why the discipline of Engineering is pivotal to effective STEM implementation
  • Secondary Syllabus links: Engineering in the NSW Secondary curriculum
  • Definitions and data: Introducing and explaining terminology and definitions basic to the understanding of the engineering concepts in this course
  • Tools for analysis: mathematical and graphical tools for the analysis of concurrent force systems using vectors. Simulation tools to aid visualisation and computation
  • Design Challenge 1: practical application of the learning to date trough the designing, construction and testing of a model
  • Moments and Reactions: introducing a method for the analysis of non-concurrent force systems and analysing and resolving challenges in applying forces to structures
  • Simple Machines: definitions and tools for analysis
  • Design Challenge 2

Course components

This is a 10 hour course consisting of pre-reading (1 hour); activities, skill building and experiments on site in a one-day workshop (5 hours) and a follow-on component to be submitted via Edmodo (4 hours).

The follow-on component involves designing and using a lesson activity focusing on the application of a current engineering simulation tool, and engaging in a reflection task.

Read more about follow-on components, and see the criteria for successful completion in the FAQ below.

Audience: Stage 5 and Stage 6 teachers.

Keywords: Secondary, STEM, Creative & Critical Thinking, Computational Thinking, Design, Engineering

Developer and Facilitator

Peter Dawes

Peter Dawes

Developer & Facilitator

Peter is a facilitator for Engineering related disciplines. He has 35 years experience as a TAS teacher and Head Teacher and has experienced the evolution of TAS from its traditional vocational roots to its current design centred, technology rich framework. Peter considers design-based, cross-curriculum STEM exposure fundamental to a contemporary education.

An early adopter of Technology in the KLA, Peter has extensive experience in graphics, CAD, and digital technologies such as CNC machining and 3D printing. In addition to having taught a broad range of design-based subjects to year 12 level, he has extensive teaching experience in Engineering Technology and Engineering Studies and has had several of his student placed in the top ten in the state in the Engineering Studies HSC. His classroom experience has been augmented through involvement with HSC examination development and assessment in Engineering Studies, and through advisory and curriculum development work for NSWDET Curriculum Support unit and for ACARA.


Unfortunately there are no plans to run this course again. Apologies for any inconvenience.


How do I enrol?
Enrolment is through the MyPL system. Click on the Event ID provided and it will take you to the enrolment page. NSW Department of Education (DoE) teachers can log in using their credentials. Non-DoE participants need to sign up for a MyPL account in order to enrol. Click here for instructions, and click here for more information about MyPL for non-DoE participants.
How is payment taken?
If you are from a NSW DoE school, payment will be via direct debit and appear on your school's Sundry Tax Invoice Statement. Non-DoE schools and individuals will be invoiced. Please contact us to confirm your billing details.
How do I get there and do I need to bring anything?
There are many transport options. See our Contact page for more information. We will send out an email to all participants with parking information two days before the event. Please look out for this email and read the instructions carefully. All equipment will be provided unless otherwise advised.
What if I cancel or don't show up?

You can delete your own enrolment through MyPL, however keep in mind any cancellations made within 2 days of the event or no-shows will incur the full cost, charged to your school. Please contact us if there are any issues with your attendance.

What's a follow-on component?

Some of our courses include a follow-on component to be completed by the participant in their school context with the aim of transferring the new practice to their teaching and learning repertoire. These deliverables are included as part of the course hours and are designed to engage teachers in real ‘learning through doing’ leading to improvement in the skills and capabilities of teachers. This is an opportunity for you to have some time to take what you learned during the workshop and apply it to your own context and your own students. Details of the follow-on will be emailed out to all participants. The deliverables must meet the following Criteria:

  1. Product (this may refer to lesson plan, unit of work or other digital product)
    1. evidence of creativity;
    2. planning and/or design;
    3. incorporation of key ideas in the course;
    4. integration of technology; and
    5. a published/shared product that is appropriate to audience, purpose and context.
  2. Online Interaction
    1. peer feedback; and
    2. community building.
  3. Personal Written Reflection (200 words):
    1. Reflect on the learning experience gained by participating in this course, including the deliverables, OR reflect on your classroom practice (including a description of the pedagogical approach, delivery and implications for the future); AND
    2. Reflect on how you achieved one or more of the specified professional learning standards.
More questions? Contact us.

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