Drones in the Victorian Curriculum

Activity #1 – Investigate the materials that a drone is made of

Drones can be made of various plastics, metals, carbon fibres and include a rechargeable battery that contains chemicals such as lithium.

Science Understanding – Chemical Science
F to Level 2 Objects are made of materials that have observable properties (VCSSU044)

Everyday materials can be physically changed or combined with other materials in a variety of ways for particular purposes (VCSSU045)

Level 3 and 4 Natural and processed materials have a range of physical properties; these properties can influence their use (VCSSU060)
Level 5 and 6 Solids, liquids and gases behave in different ways and have observable properties that help to classify them (VCSSU076)
Level 7 and 8 The properties of the different states of matter can be explained in terms of the motion and arrangement of particles (VCSSU096)

Differences between elements, compounds and mixtures can be described by using a particle model(VCSSU097)

Level 9 and 10 Chemical reactions involve rearranging atoms to form new substances; during a chemical reaction mass is not created or destroyed (VCSSU124)

Different types of chemical reactions are used to produce a range of products and can occur at different rates; chemical reactions may be represented by balanced chemical equations(VCSSU125)

Activity #2 – Investigating flight

Science Understanding – Physical Science
F to Level 2 The way objects move depends on a variety of factors including their size and shape: a push or a pull affects how an object moves or changes shape (VCSSU048)
Level 3 and 4 Forces can be exerted by one object on another through direct contact or from a distance (VCSSU064)
Level 5 and 6 Energy from a variety of sources can be used to generate electricity; electric circuits enable this energy to be transferred to another place and then to be transformed into another form of energy (VCSSU081)
Level 7 and 8 Change to an object’s motion is caused by unbalanced forces acting on the object; Earth’s gravity pulls objects towards the centre of Earth (VCSSU103)

Energy appears in different forms including movement (kinetic energy), heat, light, chemical energy and potential energy; devices can change energy from one form to another (VCSSU104)

Level 9 and 10 Electric circuits can be designed for diverse purposes using different components; the operation of circuits can be explained by the concepts of voltage and current (VCSSU130)

The interaction of magnets can be explained by a field model; magnets are used in the generation of electricity and the operation of motors (VCSSU131)

The description and explanation of the motion of objects involves the interaction of forces and the exchange of energy and can be described and predicted using the laws of physics (VCSSU133)

Activity #3 – A research project about the current and possible future uses of drones

Science Understanding – Science as a Human Endevour
F to Level 2 People use science in their daily lives (VCSSU041)
Level 3 and 4 Science knowledge helps people to understand the effects of their actions (VCSSU056)
Level 5 and 6 Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to inform personal and community decisions and to solve problems that directly affect people’s lives (VCSSU073)
Level 7 and 8 Scientific knowledge and understanding of the world changes as new evidence becomes available; science knowledge can develop through collaboration and connecting ideas across the disciplines and practice of science (VCSSU089)

Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations (VCSSU090)

Level 9 and 10 Scientific understanding, including models and theories, are contestable and are refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community (VCSSU114)

Advances in scientific understanding often rely on developments in technology and technological advances are often linked to scientific discoveries(VCSSU115)

The values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (VCSSU116)

Activity #4 – Programming a drone to navigate a cross-country course

Digital Technologies – Creating Digital Solutions
F to Level 2 Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (VCDTCD017)

Explore how people safely use common information systems to meet information, communication and recreation needs (VCDTCD018)

Level 3 and 4 Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions involving branching and user input (algorithms) needed to solve them (VCDTCD023)

Develop simple solutions as visual programs (VCDTCD024)

Explain how student-developed solutions and existing information systems meet common personal, school or community needs (VCDTCD025)

Level 5 and 6 Define problems in terms of data and functional requirements, drawing on previously solved problems to identify similarities (VCDTCD030)

Design a user interface for a digital system, generating and considering alternative design ideas (VCDTCD031)

Design, modify and follow simple algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English, involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (VCDTCD032)

Develop digital solutions as simple visual programs (VCDTCD033)

Explain how student-developed solutions and existing information systems meet current and future community and sustainability needs (VCDTCD034)

Level 7 and 8 Define and decompose real-world problems taking into account functional requirements and sustainability (economic, environmental, social), technical and usability constraints (VCDTCD040)

Design the user experience of a digital system, generating, evaluating and communicating alternative designs (VCDTCD041)

Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English, and trace algorithms to predict output for a given input and to identify errors (VCDTCD042)

Develop and modify programs with user interfaces involving branching, iteration and functions using a general-purpose programming language (VCDTCD043)

Evaluate how well student-developed solutions and existing information systems meet needs, are innovative and take account of future risks and sustainability (VCDTCD044)

Level 9 and 10 Define and decompose real-world problems precisely, taking into account functional and non-functional requirements and including interviewing stakeholders to identify needs (VCDTCD050)

Design the user experience of a digital system, evaluating alternative designs against criteria including functionality, accessibility, usability and aesthetics (VCDTCD051)

Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in structured English and validate algorithms and programs through tracing and test cases (VCDTCD052)

Develop modular programs, applying selected algorithms and data structures including using an object-oriented programming language (VCDTCD053)

Evaluate critically how well student-developed solutions and existing information systems and policies take account of future risks and sustainability and provide opportunities for innovation (VCDTCD054)


Activity #5 Modern food production and increasing automation/drone use in agriculture.

Design and Technologies – Food and fibre production
F to Level 2 Explore how plants and animals are grown for food, clothing and shelter (VCDSTC015)
Level 3 and 4 Investigate food and fibre production used in modern or traditional societies (VCDSTC025)
Level 5 and 6 Investigate how and why food and fibre are produced in managed environments (VCDSTC035)
Level 7 and 8 Analyse how food and fibre are produced when creating managed environments and how these can become more sustainable (VCDSTC046)
Level 9 and 10 Investigate and make judgements on the ethical and sustainable production and marketing of food and fibre (VCDSTC057)


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