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SLH and the Material World

This online PD session recorded on 24 June 2015 shows primary teachers how to navigate the Science Learning Hub using the example of fire as a teaching and learning topic. Fire may be part of the Physical World (when talking about heat) or the Material World. When focusing on the Material World, we look at combustion – the visible effect of a chemical reaction between oxygen and a fuel. We also look at how various materials might affect combustion – particularly the addition of chemical fire retardants to slow the fire down.

The candle activity will definitely appeal – I always get asked by year 9 – ‘When are we going to blow things up?’


Video: SLH and the Material World

Download (MP4, 215 MB)

The PD session explores other resources with strong Material World science ideas, such as the contexts Toxins and Enviro-imprints and the science stories Strange Liquids and Observing Water. Various sections of the Hub are also introduced such as the Nature of Science section. Teachers are encouraged to teach their Material World science enquiry, focusing on science capabilities to help increase science literacy in their students.

The Biospife story has some great aspects for primary children – my daughter’s class looked at it in year 3, and it was a hit.


See links above to view the video of this professional development session (we recommend downloading the video) and also links to download the:

  • PowerPoint presentation
  • treasure hunt
  • index for the PowerPoint and video.

Activity idea

In this activity, students take a closer look at a candle flame as an example of a flame that occurs in most natural fires and observe and investigate the flame and the process of burning.
Light a candle