Engineering Technology is a course of study that provides an opportunity for students to gain an understanding of the underlying principles of engineering in its broadest sense. It is concerned with the theoretical concepts and practical applications related to technology, industry and society, engineering materials, engineering mechanics, and control systems. Integrated throughout is the development of technical communication skills applicable to engineering. The course draws upon the fundamental principles of science, mathematics and technology, reinforcing conceptual ideas through practical workshop and laboratory activities.
Integral to the study of Engineering Technology is an understanding of the engineering design process — the creative, iterative process used by engineers to help develop products and to devise systems, components or processes that meet human needs. This is a decision-making process in which science, mathematics and engineering knowledge is applied to convert resources to meet a stated objective.
A course in Engineering Technology meets the needs of students in a modern society increasingly concerned with social, economic, humanitarian and environmental issues such as sustainability, renewable energies and Indigenous perspectives. Sustainability concepts will influence almost all engineering developments in the future. Awareness of Indigenous knowledges, especially as they relate to sustainability issues and care of the land, have developed over time. Local Indigenous communities are therefore integral to the consultation processes during the design, planning and construction of engineering projects.
Students will develop critical thinking skills through researching and analysing the concepts of sustainability using environmental, social and economic criteria, and by exploring the perspectives that Indigenous knowledges and practices bring to the field. Students will consider and apply sustainability concepts and Indigenous knowledges as they plan and design solutions to engineering problems.
In Engineering Technology students are required to undertake a variety of engineering design challenges which include activities such as testing of materials, formulation of problems, analysis of engineering solutions, modelling solutions and prototyping. These activities provide a framework by which theoretical principles can be investigated and tested. Through the engineering design process, students are encouraged to understand and appreciate the interaction and interdependence among engineering technologies, industry, society and the built and natural environments.
Engineering Technology is designed for students in the senior phase of learning who have an interest in the practical application of science, mathematics and technology. The course will provide them with the opportunity to pursue a wide variety of professional career pathways, especially those that involve scientific research and problem-solving skills. These include degree courses in all engineering streams1, the built environment, industrial design, and applied sciences and technology. A course of study in Engineering Technology will also be of benefit to students pursuing post school pathways in diploma and advanced diploma courses in the technical and paraprofessional areas of engineering, applied science, drafting, technology, aviation, electronics, mechanisms, and manufacturing and construction.
1.1 Indigenous perspectives
This syllabus recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their traditions, histories and experiences prior to colonisation through to the present time. To strengthen students’ appreciation and understanding of the first peoples of the land, relevant sections of the syllabus identify content and skills that can be drawn upon to encourage engagement with:
Indigenous frameworks of knowledge and ways of learning
Indigenous contexts in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples live
Indigenous contributions to Australian society and cultures.
In Engineering Technology there is opportunity to explore Indigenous knowledges concerning sustainable environmental practices, the use and management of natural resources, and the conservation and protection of animal and plant life. Consideration should also be given to spiritual connections to country, native title, access to specific places and spaces, and the complex relationships with these places.
The general objectives for this subject are those that the school is required to teach and students have the opportunity to learn. The general objectives are grouped in four dimensions, i.e. the salient properties or characteristics of distinctive learning. The first three dimensions are the assessable general objectives. The fourth set of general objectives, attitudes and values, is not directly assessed as it is achieved through the teaching and learning approaches offered to students.
Progress in aspects of any dimension at times may be dependent on the characteristics and skills foregrounded and developed in another. The process of learning through each of the dimensions must be developed in increasing complexity and sophistication over a four-semester course.
Schools must assess how well students have achieved the general objectives. The standards are described in the same dimensions as the assessable general objectives.
The general objectives for a course in this subject are:
knowledge and application
investigative and analytical processes
evaluation and technical communication
attitudes and values.
These four dimensions reflect the engineering design process (see Section 4.1).