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  • Question

    I have a student who has trialled a range of materials to inform selection. However, the material (fabric) she has selected to construct her prototype in was not used to complete her prototype. The student tested a range of different materials and then selected a cotton pink polka dot fabric to use for her final prototype. After testing, when she went to purchase the fabric, the fabric store did not have her original selection. She still picked a cotton material with the same properties as the fabric she originally planned to use, however the pattern and colour were completely different from her original selection, changing from a pink polka dot design to a blue striped pattern. She meets all of the other criteria of the standard to gain an excellence but because she did not use the fabric she selected after trialling, does that mean that she fails the standard with a Not Achieved grade?


    See Technology clarifications AS 91047
    When selecting materials and/or components, and tools and equipment, as required for Achieved, some evidence of informed selection is required. For example, informed selection may involve evaluating past and current practices, considering the availability of tools, equipment, and materials, and evaluating fitness for purpose for the nature of the intended outcome.
    For higher grades, students need to undertake trialling to inform the selection of materials and/or components, and techniques and processes.

    The fact that the student was unable to purchase the exact fabric selected through trialling should not limit access to the higher grades. The student would need to provide evidence that further trialling was carried out to take into account any changes required to tools and equipment, and the application of practical techniques as a result of the material change. For example, they may have had to consider matching stripes during construction.

    There will also need to be evidence that colour and print on the material is not a requirement of the brief. If so, the student needs to provide evidence that they have gone back and consulted with the stakeholder and adjusted the brief to ensure that the new material meets the aesthetic requirements.

  • Question

    I am embarking on AS91611 Develop a prototype considering fitness for purpose in the broadest sense and will be using a food context in which students are to design a prototype from a given recipe. What is the best way to explain fitness for purpose in the broadest sense in this situation? The context that I am giving to the class is one based on street food. We have a number of pop-up type caravans around Christchurch mostly post earthquakes. As the class is Year 13 I will ask them focus on their age group and get them to develop a product as if they would set up and sell it onsite at school.


    Fitness for purpose in its broadest sense relates to the outcome itself as well as to the practices used to develop the outcome. This is a curriculum level 8 concept and is referred to in the generic achievement standards at NCEA Level 3. Some of the areas students could consider when demonstrating understandings of this concept and/or applying this within practice are shown in the table below. These suggestions should not be considered exhaustive and students will find other ideas that relate to particular outcomes.

    Some teachers have found that, when developing a brief that allows fitness for purpose in the broadest sense, it works well to have students develop specifications for the two aspects. That is, students categorise their specifications as either being for the outcome itself or for the practices to be undertaken to develop the outcome. This helps to reinforce that students must consider more than just fitness for purpose (as is the practice at NCEA Level 2).

    Examining and critiquing the practice of technologists within the framework of fitness for purpose in its broadest sense can also assist students to develop their understandings of this concept. Students could examine and critique the practices of a technologist by inviting a technologist to speak to the class (e.g. a food truck vendor) and/or students in groups interviewing a variety of street food vendor and sharing their findings with the class.

    Fitness for purpose in its broadest sense: Possible considerations Food
    Sustainability of resources

    Do the resources used to make the outcome meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs?

    As part of sustainability we need to also consider the difference between recycling, reusing and upcycling of materials and components. Is there an element of the project that could be addressing:

    • food waste (in production and also food not sold)  
    • composting
    • further processing of already used ingredients into other food (e.g. used oil for frying, vegetable skins)

    What do we know or are able to find out about the production and processing of the food ingredients?

    Will locally grown ingredients be a consideration?


    What preparation of the product can be done away from the pop-up caravan? What will need to be done nearer the time of service? Is this realistic for the vendor?

    How will the product be stored? What limitations will a food truck have in food storage – both in space and equipment?

    Are the storage requirements for the product realistic for a food truck? How easy will this be? Who will do it?

    What is the expected product life?

    Determination of life cycle

    What will be the life cycle be of all of the components of the outcome (food and packaging, serviettes, if applicable)?

    Will there be any opportunities for reuse?

    Ultimate disposal

    What are the plans for disposal of the food product and any packaging when no longer safe for consumption?

    What will the impact on the environment be?

    Practices used in manufacturing

    Where relevant outcomes should comply with legislation, e.g. with Food Safety and intellectual property law and using the ideas of others.

    What are the requirements of a food truck vendor in terms of the Food Act and how do these translate into all stages of the food product development?

    Does the product address any special dietary requirements including allergies?

    What information is provided to the consumer on the nutritional and ingredient content of the food product developed?

    Do the practices comply with expected codes of practice and any relevant legislation both at the site of production and the site of sale?

    Where do the ingredients and other materials originate from and what are the working conditions of employees?

    Are the manufacturing practices used efficient?

    What determinants are used to quantify efficiency and manage yield?

    Food costs and profitability are vital in street food. Listen to: Are food trucks over?

    Is waste minimised, managed, exploited for profit?


    Are there cost/benefit relationships to be considered in developing the outcome?

    Is the proposed product likely to be profitable?

    Are there local food outlets that will be impacted by the street food?

    Are wider unseen costs included in feasibility calculations? What other costs do the street vendors need to consider (rent, power, maintenance of the vehicle, insurance, etc.)?

    Cultural appropriateness of trialling procedures

    Have other cultures or age groups been considered for how they may view the food product and designs and imagery within packaging (if applicable)? How will this impact on their willingness or not to be involved in trialling as a result of this?

    Were cultural beliefs around food choices and behaviour considered when trialling?

    Ethical nature of testing practices

    Ergonomics – was the outcome tested on a range of expected users including those with disabilities?

    Is valid sensory testing for the product carried out?

    Was the outcome tested in the environment that was intended for its use?

    Safety How has safety in the workplace been considered in the methods developed for processing of the food product?
  • Question

    Can you explain to me what students should consider in fitness for purpose in its broadest sense in a programming context?


    An answer to this question has been posted in the Ask an Expert facility.

    See: Search result for Fitness for purpose digital technologies

    The resource Top scholar 2016: A monitoring system for the Orokonui Ecosanctuary includes a discussion of fitness for purpose in its broadest sense as applied to this project which included programming.

  • Question

    I have been asked by another teacher to clarify ways in which fabrics/textiles can be used as examples of Technological Systems. Can the development of a patchwork quilt be considered a system – with inputs of fabric pieces, wadding and backing transformed into the final patchwork quilt design?


    A technological system within the Technology learning area is generally defined as a system that works independently or automatically of human input. After the system has been started or switched on it works automatically. A clock on the wall is a good example of a technological system. It works independently of human input once the batteries are put in and it is switched on. Humans are not required to turn the actual handles of the clock, it’s doing the turning of the hands of the clock by itself. Other examples commonly used are toasters, stoves, hot water systems, and electronic systems generally.

    The development of the patchwork quilt would not be considered a system. However, technological systems can be embedded in textile products.

    Here is an example of a quilt that includes a lighting system (a technological system):

    Here is an example of a simple interactive quilt with multiple sensors:

    Some textile teachers will also support students to add electronic lighting systems to wearable art products.

    Here is an example of a dress that has a technological system embedded in it that allows the butterflies to fly off the dress:

    There is also mention of embedding circuits in textiles in this video clip:

    Technological systems such as body sensors may also be added to clothing. This is very prevalent with military clothing. See The Rise of Smart Clothing and Body Sensors for Military Use.

    There are various courses available for textiles teachers to learn about embedding soft circuits in textiles such as Soft Circuits and Sensors.

  • Question

    Are there any articles that I can read that explain the link between teaching Technology and incorporating the teaching of literacy and numeracy?


    Here are some resources on Technology Online that may help.

  • Question

    In regards to AS 91621 complex procedures I'm looking for some clarification as to how many complex procedures a garment should have? I have a few students who have designed a sweatshirt with a front kangaroo pocket. The pocket requires iron on fusing to stabilise its two openings and top stitching to hem the opening edges. We will be experimenting with twin stitching and cover seaming for this pocket. Would this be of sufficient rigour for the student to qualify as implementing complex procedures or would the garment require more procedures? Many thanks.


    The standard requires students to have at least two complex procedures from the list indicated in EN3. Patched Kangaroo pockets is equivalent to patched pockets, which is below a level 2 skill. However, students could develop a welt/side pocket type kangaroo pocket, constructed using two different materials (a step up from level 2). To stabilise the garment, before the insertion of the welt and pocket, students could trial various types of interfacing and methods of applying interfacing. This would meet the requirements of a second complex procedure as indicated in EN3.

  • Question

    I am reading through the resource for AS 91096 – making basic adaptions to a pattern. I was wondering – you talk about a toile, but are students required to make a final product, or a finished product? Or do they just make a toile or mock up to show the pattern adaptions?


    A toile is a fully finished garment that reflects the style and measurements of the user, but made with cheap materials. The final product will be constructed to the style and measurements of the toile but with the actual material selected to make this product.

    The purpose of the toile is to realise the 2D changes made into 3D so that the pattern adaptations can be tested and perfected.

    This process often requires student to undertake ongoing testing of the garment and note changes on the original pattern. For example, the student may make a sleeve and test for fitting on the user. The different parts would finally be sewn together and final fitting tests made.

    This iterative process also involves making ongoing changes on the pattern’s construction guide. Students are expected to add and remove instructions to reflect the construction details and order of construction of the toile.

  • Question

    Hi I am a horticultural science teacher and I am looking at trying to bring in some more value-added learning into the course. Unfortunately, most of the ag/hort standards are limited to the farm gate i.e. primary products, so we can’t look at how value is added to products once they are produced. The standard AS 91643 caught my eye. We currently do an investigation on attributes of apples and I am looking at how value can be added by turning the juice into a flavoured cider. The Head of Technology is concerned that cider production might not have the complexity and depth of processing required for a level 3 tech standard. The process I am looking at with my students is roughly as follows. • Inoculate nutrient broth with yeast (student selected) and culture until cell count reaches desired level • Juice apples (students select varieties, quantities and ratios for desired flavour profile). • Pour must and sugar (sugar type and quantities determined by students to reach final alcohol concentration/flavour). Acid levels can also be adjusted here with malic acid. • Oxygenate must • Add oak chips/brewed tea • Add cultured yeast broth • Ferment at set temperature. Temperature may need to be controlled using heating pads) • Determine when fermentation has been completed (determined by hydrometer) • Flavouring added depending on the flavouring this can also be added midway through fermentation, the flavouring will be made by the students • Back sweeten with nonfermentable sugar to desired level • Bottle prime with priming sugar. I see plenty of opportunities for feedback loops, cell counts, original gravity, final gravity, back sweetening, fermentation temperature. Is this method complex enough to satisfy the requirements of this standard? It has both subjective testing and objective testing, taste tests, as well as OG, FG, brix levels, acid levels, temperature, masses. I see in the standard that their method needs to be repeatable. Is having the students produce two batches sufficient and comparing the outputs based on flavour, colour, alcohol levels etc okay? When calculating costs, do students only look at variable costs or do we need to take fixed costs into consideration? Would this process meet the requirements of the standard? Cheers


    It is important to consider the ethics of developing an alcoholic product in a school environment in a general sense as well as the procedures around sensory testing of alcohol. The processing of the cider would meet the requirements of complex procedures if further emphasis is placed on the way the techniques and processes are selected for final implementation.

    One of the step ups to level 3 in the processing standards is that the student is required to select their own techniques and processing operations, including tests, and sequence these in an order (create the flow diagram). At level 2, the techniques and processing operations maybe provided by the teacher, but the students are required to sequence them (flow diagram). To meet the requirements of the standard students, need to do more than just follow a standard method. The specifications must clearly define the expected outcome. These could include but are not limited to quantity to be produced, sensory attributes such as sweetness, colour, alcohol content, density (concentration), fermentation requirements, etc. Specifications for the finished cider would need to be developed to allow for the selection of a method, ingredients and the type of testing during processing to have a meaningful impact on the decision-making process. specified before the students begin to establish the process. Trialling should occur and adjustments also be made to the amount of ingredients to produce the desired yield (calculate yield). Calculation of actual costs should be carried out as per explanatory note 9 within the standard.

    If the students produce their cider twice by following their flow diagram (including processing techniques and tests) and then compare the results with their specifications, then they meet the requirements for replicate measurements. This will play a key role in determining whether they have produced an accurate outcome, as required for achievement at merit. Other requirements for achievement at merit include students showing independence as they go about determining their process, and comparing actual cost with predicted cost. Independence is described in the TKI assessment resources.

  • Question

    A teacher at our school teaches both a Construction course assessed using Unit Standards and a Multi Materials course using Achievement Standards. The teacher would like to increase the complexity of the technological outcomes being produced for the students who are doing both courses by using the same outcomes in each course. To clarify, for the unit standards they have to manufacture 3 outcomes and their assessment is workbook based. Could those three outcomes also be used as the context for the achievement standards? E.g. conceptual design, brief, prototype? The idea being that the students are not manufacturing more than required and that they could use the time they have available in both courses to create more complex outcomes. I am of the belief that this should not be an issue since the assessments in each course cover different skills and aspects of the design and manufacturing process.


    The intent of the listed unit standards is different to the generic technology standards being considered for assessment purposes. Therefore, there is no issue regarding duplication of assessment. However, the BCATs standards would probably be appropriate to use as assessment tools during the construction phase such as prototyping and/or constructing the outcome. The evidence for the BCATs standards could drop out of the achievement standards. Unit standard (US)12927 and US 25330 could align with AS 91357 and US 24354 and US 24350 could align with AS 91344. The combinations will also depend on the nature of the student’s projects. If existing BCAT’s projects are used, then the assessor needs to ensure that students projects meet the advanced technique criteria of AS 91344. This maybe a good way to offer differentiated assessment to cater for everyone in the class.

  • Question

    Hi there, I'm a new teacher this year. I'm doing the Construction and Mechanical Technologies 2.21; Implement advanced procedures using textile materials to make a specified product with special features with my level 2 students. Can I use Applique and Needle Felting as advanced procedures? One student is doing Nuno felting with a complex blanket stitch - can the blanket stitch be counted as the 2nd advanced technique (it is embroidery). Thanks in advance for your help.


    The standard defines special features and advanced procedures in the standard as per the explanatory notes below:

    Ex 7 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 eg nuno felting. 

    Ex 5 Advanced procedures are those that require advanced skills and the student to select and perform techniques that need scheduling to achieve the special features. 

    All 4 of the techniques are advanced and meet the requirements for the standard. Nuno felting is considered a special feature as it requires the application of advanced features as described in explanatory note 7. The complex blanket stitch could be considered a separate decorative feature. Applique and needle felting would each be considered separate decorative features. 

    In both instances the student would need to provide evidence that they have selected and scheduled the techniques (applied in a certain order) to ensure that they achieved the special features. 

    Students need to select an appropriate technique to use. There may be a variety of ways in which a technique could be applied. This could be done by trialing. Other selection processes such as researching, considering existing experience and skill level and advice from experts could also be used. 

    For scheduling, they should decide what is the best stage of construction to apply these to the garment bag to achieve a quality outcome. They will also need to determine an order in which they will carry out the techniques for their special features –that is nuno felting, needle felting, applying the complex blanket stitch and applique.

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