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Year 7 Scientists Embrace Ancient Techniques

Cultural exploration meets lab learning in the Year 7 science unit on forces.

In Term 3, All Saints' Year 7 students built on their knowledge and understanding of what force is, and how simple machines and levers can amplify it. 

In understanding this interaction, the students specifically looked at the woomera, an early First Nations Australia example of a simple lever being used to intensify and direct the force of a spear throw.

“We learned how the woomera works, and also about our history and science in the process, which was really fun,” says Year 7 student Toby Pearson. 

“In our science class, we experimented with levers and angles like those used by Indigenous Australians to achieve the furthest possible throw while hunting.”

Year 7 teacher Jess Kindt says incorporating traditional concepts like this into classroom learning is so valuable for the students.

“Indigenous science is an ancient and dynamic body of knowledge,” says Ms Kindt. 

“When students can engage with Indigenous knowledge and knowledge systems it strengthens their cultural identity and deepens the value and relevance of science. Incorporating Indigenous knowledge, plus being able to get out into the sunshine and move our bodies, helped make the learning meaningful.”