Aboriginal Peoples’ and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ deep understanding of physics informed the design and construction of spears and spear throwers.

Curriculum content descriptors

Science understanding

Physical sciences
Changes to an object's motion is caused by unbalanced forces, including Earth's gravitational attraction, acting on the object (ACSSU117 )

Science inquiry skills

Questioning and predicting
Identify questions and problems that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge (ACSIS124 )

Planning and conducting
Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS125 )

Measure and control variables, select equipment appropriate to the task and collect data with accuracy (ACSIS126 )

Processing and analysing data and information
Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys and models to represent and analyse patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS129 )

Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions based on evidence (ACSIS130 )

Reflect on scientific investigations including evaluating the quality of the data collected, and identifying improvements (ACSIS131 )

Communicate ideas, findings and evidence-based solutions to problems using scientific language and representations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS133 )

New elaboration - investigating the effect of forces through the application of simple machines, such as the bow and arrows used by Torres Strait Islander Peoples or the spear throwers used by Aboriginal Peoples (OI.5, OI.7)

Inquiry questions to be investigated?
Scaffolded inquiry

  • Is a ball throw more effective than throwing by arm alone?

Guided inquiry

  • Investigating how the length of the ball thrower affects the distance travelled by the ball.
  • Investigating how the weight of the ball affects the distance travelled when thrown with a ball thrower.

Indiginous Australian throwing spear

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