Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre

Leading environmental education to empower learners for a sustainable future.

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STEAM for Sustainability

S.T.E.A.M. for Sustainability is a half day (2 hr) incursion, using sustainability themes, designed to enrich and strengthen S.T.E.A.M. outcomes through participation in an authentic in-school task.

Students will learn about various aspects of their school’s energy use, and conduct a school energy audit in order to extend their understanding of the measurement outcome of the mathematics syllabus, and the 'Sustainability' Cross Curriculum Priority. 

Students will also learn how energy is used within the school, and develop a plan to minimise school energy use through inquiry, exploring and connecting mathematical concepts, choosing and applying problem-solving skills and mathematical techniques, and communicating solutions through persuasive texts and artwork. 

Key inquiry question

  •  How much energy does our school use, and how can we effectively manage school energy use to help improve the environment? 

Key syllabus outcomes

Key syllabus outcomes supported include:
  • Working Mathematically including; Communicating -describes and represents mathematical situations in a variety of ways using mathematical terminology and some conventions MA3-1WM ;
  • Problem Solving - selects and uses appropriate mental or written strategies, or technology, to solve problems MA2-2WM;
  • Reasoning - uses deductive reasoning in presenting arguments and formal proofs MA5.3-3WM;  
  • Working Scientifically Skills, including questioning and predicting, planning and conducting investigations, processing and analysing data, and communicating.
  • English - Responding & Composing, and Expressing Themselves.
And the Cross Curriculum Priorities and General Capabilities of Sustainability, Literacy, Numeracy, Critical and Creative Thinking & Information and communication technology. 

Skills outcomes

During the program, students will work scientifically by:

Questioning and predicting

  • make and justify predictions about scientific investigations (ACSIS231, ACSIS232)

Planning and conducting investigations

  • identify questions to investigate scientific ideas
  • plan and apply the elements of scientific investigations to answer problems
  • identify potential risks in planning investigations
  • manage resources safely (ACSIS086, ACSIS103)
  • reflect on and make suggestions to improve fairness, accuracy and efficacy of a scientific investigation (ACSIS091, ACSIS108)
  • manage investigations effectively, individually and in groups

Processing and analysing

  • compare data with predictions
  • present data as evidence in developing explanations (ACSIS218, ACSIS221)

On the day activities

During the incursion, students will:

  • Learn about the importance of sustainability and the wise use of school energy resources;
  • Undertake a school energy audit, to calculate the level of resource use efficiency compared to similar schools and present this information graphically;
  • Develop an action plan to improve school sustainability and communicate this strategy to the school.

Pre visit and follow up resources 

Pre visit activities

Activities prior to the delivery of the program will help prepare students for the day as well as link the program to the class program.

These could include:


Follow up activities

Pre and follow up activities PDF103K


  • DoE - $10 per student (GST free). 
  • Non Government School $15 per student (GST free). Minimum cost of $600.

Incursion program downloads

Download these documents to help with your incursion planning: