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Ministry of Education.
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  • Question

    It is the simpler technological items that have me stumped when it comes to whether they are a technological system or not. I read one unit on this site that said a bottle of glue is a technological outcome as was a glue stick but the glue stick was also a technological system. I get that you can twist the end and the glue winds up so you can use it but how does that make for a technological system? Also, what about a pair of scissors and a rotary egg beater - they are mechanical systems but do they meet the criteria to be a technological system?


    This is a common question that is a good starter for team discussions when designing local curriculum to support students' critically thinking about the world around them. The technological systems component of the technological knowledge strand is essential for students to understand how and why systems operate in the way they do.

    Technology is about transformation of energy, information, and materials, intervening by design. The technological systems component looks more closely into what this transformation is and how we can design systems to be efficient, equitable, and inclusive. A technological system is a set of components or parts that serve to perform a function to make life easier or simpler. A system transforms an input into an output.

    Your glue bottle versus glue stick is a great example of a technological outcome. A glue stick is also a technological system. This is because it transforms the input (human energy) by a twisting action of the simple, hidden, thread mechanism that pushes out the glue (the output).

    Sometimes we can see the process part of the system with our own eyes. For example, the bevel gear in a hand operated egg whisk or the pivot part of the lever system in scissors. But mostly the process part is hidden, like in a door lever mechanism. This hidden stage or the process part, is referred to as the black box of a system (see achievement objectives level 2 - approximately year 3 and up).

    Yes, mechanical systems like scissors, whisks, doors, and engines are all technological systems. Anything which performs a function and changes/transforms energy as it does its job, is a technological system. It's lots of fun to have a quiz with students to look at everyday technological outcomes around them and discuss which are systems and which are products, and which are both. For an example of teaching and learning on technological systems in years 1–3 see the snapshot: Exploring technological systems and computational thinking using household appliances.

  • Question

    I have a student working on 3.21 and 3.23. The intention was to create an applied design for the formal garment he is making for 3.21. We have a delay whist waiting for the client's fabric to arrive and i was wondering whether 3.23 could be assessed with the final design being on a sample of similar fabric rather than the finished garment - with the intention that it would eventually be repeated onto the finished garment but possibly not within the assessment timeframe.


    The only expectation of the standard affected by a delay in not receiving the actual final fabric is whether the complex applied design enhances the final product (in this case a garment.) (AS91621 Explanatory Note 3)

    The standard expects the student to interpret and apply a complex design to a specified product.

    This includes how students have trialled and decided upon the equipment and materials for the applied design and how they use complex techniques (while complying with health and safety regulations) to create the (applied) design.

    Due to the delays with COVID 19 in 2020, if the student has evidence of the complex design being trialled and applied to a similar fabric and can explain how this would enhance the final product, the standard could be considered as met in 2020.

  • Question

    AS 91611 Food Technology - students are developing food products for a Food Business. They work in groups and come up with a menu for a restaurant. They run the restaurant with at least 30 people. When presenting the written work, should they just have the HACCP and Flowcharts for the final dishes or should they hand in the trial stuff as well. How many HACCPs and Flowcharts should they have at in this Level 3 assessment?


    The consensus of teachers and industry professionals, including chefs who are teachers, is that each student should be developing the HACCP plan for their own food product that they had developed as a prototype/item being assessed by the standard.

    That the group are then producing multiple dishes in a restaurant situation and will require multiple HACCP schedules seems to be a separate issue.

    No one could find a justification for requiring every student to develop multiple HACCP schedules in order to cover all the menu options. Each student could produce one food product (developed through prototyping) and HACCP plan. In order to run a restaurant scenario, everyone shares recipes and HACCP plans. This is a situation that the assessor needs to manage carefully and be very mindful not to over assess the students.

  • Question

    AS91628 Does the exhibition space have to be a physical space? Or can it also be a virtual space e.g. a website to exhibit your work?


    It can be difficult to meet the audience interactivity component of the standard using only a website. By choosing a website, with only basic navigation, takes away the ability of the viewer to control their own movement throughout the site. The website becomes essentially two dimensional (although movement is possible). The student designer is expected to consider and plan for how the viewer could interact with the exhibition; this could include the ergonomics of the viewer in relation to the screen, whether they are sitting or standing, and for example, what choices they can make about within the website.

  • Question

    Hi, is the Achievement Standard 91611 still valid? I cannot find the achievement standard on the NZQA website. Could someone please help me out. Thanks


    Yes the standard 91611 is still valid. See NZQA resources exemplars and commentary (PDF, 1.8MB). The standard can be round on NZQA here.It is currently available for assessment and is due to be reviewed at the end of 2020.

  • Question

    Can we still use Unit Standards in high schools, such as 18239, 18240, 198242, 18243, 5934 etc with year 12 classes?


    The standards mentioned are all currently available on the NZQA site for assessment by education organisations who have consent to assess.

    If this applies, please be aware the National Certificate in Electronics Technology for Level 2 (of which most of the standards listed above comprise) is expiring at the end of the year. The last date for assessment is 31st December 2020.

    See NZQA electronics technology for further details. There is no information available at this point, as to whether the unit standards will be available after this time.

  • Question

    Hi there, I'm a STEM specialist teacher. I'm doing a project that compares human and digital senses. In one of my lessons, students use an Arduino and a DS18B20 waterproof temperature sensor to observe a temperature change in a reaction between baking soda and citric acid. The students use code already in the Arduino library (so it's all done for them). They are simply doing the wiring and learning the roles of the components in the temperature measuring system. I'm trialling the Arduino's after a recommendation from an outreach coordinator from Victoria Uni Engineering Dept. The issue is, because the coding is done for them, students are not working within the computational thinking technological area. Would this lesson fit within 'designing digital outcomes' technological area? I feel like the digital nature of this, and the fact that computer engineers use Arduino's frequently in the real world, should mean this fits into the digital technologies content somewhere? Just struggling to see the links?


    The project and aims for the learning you have described, is a rich, student-centred, local, and authentic project. This is because the students/school community are doing the setting up, testing, and evaluating when they create the digital outcome that compares the digital and human senses.

    By doing this, the students are designing and developing digital outcomes for a specified purpose – to test, compare, and produce results. Arduino are excellent tools for delivering the intent of the revised technology learning area. This project fits well within the context of designing and developing digital outcomes (DDDO) area of technology learning. If students were to extend their learning and make changes to the existing, given code, that would then also include the computational thinking for digital technologies (CTDT) area. It is also okay that it doesn't.

    Schools should ensure that students are learning across all five contexts/technological areas in years 1 to 10. Look for natural connections to issues that require solutions in your local environment. Look for where those issues require the students to draw knowledge from the contexts (materials, processing, DVC, or digital), in order to solve that issue or problem. In other words, when designing curriculum, start with the issue and then guide the students to see which of the five contexts are needed to solve it.

    The rich nature of your project lends itself particularly well to integrating the not optional technology strands, alongside the digital areas. The nature of technology strand looks at the relationships between people and technology. Have a look at the indicators of progression for characteristics of technology to see if your students, at their year and curriculum level, are achieving their learning outcomes. There are eight components across the three strands. Maybe consider discussing with your colleagues to see who is delivering learning in which context so that you can together ensure students are learning across all three strands and the five areas/contexts.

  • Question

    Unit Standard 18734 asks students to "Enter text and graphics media". Question: Do they have to compose their own text and get their own graphics or can the teacher give this to the students?


    There is no requirement for students to create their own text and graphics for US 18734.

  • Question

    I have taken over the teaching of a class who have been assigned AS91345. The students have been given the choice of Papercut Patterns - Sapporo Jacket, Stacker Jacket, and the Kobe Dress / top. I am unsure that these patterns will meet the requirements in terms of the skills they require students to demonstrate. Confirmation or not please.


    The three patterns listed meet the requirements of the special features as outlined in explanatory note 7 that is:

    "Special features are those that rely on the application of advanced skills. These include but are not limited to: style features, such as set in sleeve, fly front, tailored collars and cuffs, welt pockets and/or decorative features such as pin tucking, embroidery, and shirring and/or structural features such as 3D felting and combining different fibres in felting and different materials e.g. nuno felting."

    (NZQA.govt.nz AS 91345

    The style features noted in each of the patterns are:

    • Sapporo Jacket: Angled seaming and pockets hidden in the front seams.
    • Stacker jacket: Choice of flapped in-seam pockets or oversized patch pockets, plus a tailored collar and set in sleeve.
    • Kobe dress/top: Set in sleeve, pleats overlapping and a keyhole neckline. 

    Lining the jackets is not necessary to meet the requirements of AS 91345 Implement complex procedures using textile materials to make a specified product with special features, but it is one of the features that may be considered for complex procedures at level 3 using AS 91621 Implement complex procedures using textile materials to make a specified product.

  • Question

    Standard 91351 Planning to do this standard with students: would the following products be acceptable at Level 2; gourmet cupcake (will have two or three components); ice-cream (integration of local and seasonal ingredients); students design pie for a food truck.


    The assessment schedule for the TKI NCEA technology assessment resource, Process a lemon meringue pie, provides examples of acceptable evidence for each grade.

    To find this resource, The Microsoft Word file is on the NCEA TKI site, Level 2 Technology assessment resources page. It is towards the bottom of the page under Processing Technologies 2.60 (AS91351), in the middle row of the table, and entitled "2.60 Food".

    The teacher guidelines are also very useful in explaining requirements. 

    Within this assessment task it states:

    "For this assessment the students are given the ingredients, the processing operations, the tests, and a HACCP plan. They must determine the sequence of processing and testing to produce a successful meringue pie and follow the HACCP plan when processing and testing."

    All three of the products listed could meet the requirements of the processing operations listed in explanatory note 9 of the standard, Standard 91351 on NZQA.govt.nz.

    The students will also need to be familiar with testing in food processing so that they are able to self select tests that are appropriate to their product.

    The Technology Online teaching snapshot, Testing in food processing, provides guidance on helping students understand and apply authentic testing while food processing in a school classroom setting.

    Explanatory note 7 states :
    "Advanced procedures are those that require the student to perform a self-determined sequence of processing operations and tests to make a successful product. The specifications of the product, the materials to be processed, and the processing operations and tests to be undertaken will be provided to the student. The sequencing will not be provided."

    Students will also need to be familiar with processing operations for their product and to be able to self select a sequence to follow to produce a successful product.

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