Science Challenges: Energy and Change

Science Challenges

Science Challenges: Energy and Change are a series of challenges designed to support Imagination Factory: Invent & Play. Working together, students use their understandings of pulleys, gears, cams, levers and concepts such as energy conversion, forces and motions and simple machines to design a device that solves the challenge.

Science Challenges are designed to be completed back in the classroom, after students have visited the exhibition. Science Challenges have been designed for Middle School (years 6 – 9) however the concept of Science Challenges can be modified for any year level.

Six challenges are presented as part of the Science Challenges: Energy and Change (351 KB) pdf document icon teacher and student kit.

Before your visit

  • Read information about visiting the Sciencentre and making a booking. Bookings are essential for all schools and groups
  • Students and teachers read about Imagination Factory: Invent & Play 
    - Things to see and do 
    - Discover more about the science behind the exhibition 
    - Education Materials including: quirky facts, everyday examples, extras for expert explorers, glossary and summary of exhibits.
  • Discuss Science Challenges with students, including: the purpose of the challenges, how to find and collect information and evidence and solving the challenges back in the classroom.
  • Assign Science Challenges: Energy and Change (351 KB) pdf document icon. One per small group.
  • Working in small groups, students discuss their challenge, brainstorm scientific understandings they already know, that may help them to solve their challenge and record any initial solutions and ideas.
  • Assign one adult helper per small group (if relevant) as part of the excursion preparation.

During your visit

  • Spend 10 minutes exploring the exhibition Imagination Factory: Invent & Play.
  • Student groups spend the remaining 20 minutes focusing on their Science Challenge: investigating the suggested exhibits and information panels for their challenge and following the instructions on their challenge sheet.
  • Remember, evidence, results and information can be collected in a variety of ways, including photographs, written notes, drawings or diagrams.

After your visit

  • Solve the Challenge – students work in their groups, following the instructions on the worksheet. Information and material collected from a range of sources, including evidence collected from their visit to the Sciencentre, can be utilised in formulating and designing their solution.
  • Groups present their solutions to the class.
  • Class discussion about concepts and solutions.
  • Real life applications and solutions investigated.

Queensland Curriculum Links

Science Challenges: Energy and Change, engage students in the Ways of Working component of the Science Essential Learnings. Organisers within the Knowledge and Understanding components are also supported by these activities.

Essential Learnings

By the end of Year 5:

Ways of working

Students are able to:

  • collect and organise data, information and evidence
  • evaluate information and evidence to support data gathered from activities and investigations
  • communicate scientific ideas, data and findings, using scientific terminology and formats appropriate to context and purpose
  • reflect on learning to identify new understandings and future applications.

Knowledge and understanding
Science as a human endeavour

Science relates to students’ own experiences and activities in the community.

  • Scientific ideas can be used to explain the development and workings of everyday items.
  • Science can contribute to people’s work and leisure.

Energy and change

Actions of forces, and forms and uses of energy, are evident in the everyday world.

  • The greater the force on an object, the greater the change in shape or motion.
  • Forces may act at a distance or may need to be in contact with an object to affect it.
  • Energy can be transferred from one object to another.
  • Different forms of energy used within a community have different sources.


By the end of Year 7:

Ways of working

Students are able to:

  • collect and analyse first- and second-hand data, information and evidence
  • communicate scientific ideas, data and evidence, using scientific terminology suited to the context and purpose
  • reflect on different points of view and recognise and clarify people’s values relating to the applications and impacts of science
  • reflect on learning, apply new understandings and identify future applications.

Knowledge and understanding
Science as a human endeavour

Science impacts on people, their environment and their communities.

  • Scientific knowledge has been accumulated and refined over time, and can be used to change the way people live.

Energy and change

Forces and energy can be identified and analysed to provide explanations that benefit community lifestyles and decision making.

  • The motion of an object changes as a result of the application of opposing or supporting forces
  • Energy can be transferred and transformed.


By the end of Year 9:

Ways of working

Students are able to:

  • research and analyse data, information and evidence
  • evaluate data, information and evidence to identify connections, construct arguments and link results to theory
  • select and use scientific equipment and technologies to enhance the reliability and accuracy of data collected in investigations
  • communicate scientific ideas, explanations, conclusions, decisions and data, using scientific argument and terminology, in appropriate formats
  • reflect on learning, apply new understandings and justify future applications.

Knowledge and understanding
Energy and change

Forces and energy are identified and analysed to help understand and develop technologies, and to make predictions about events in the world.

  • An unbalanced force acting on a body results in a change in motion
  • Objects remain stationary or in constant motion under the influence of balanced forces
  • Energy can be transferred from one medium to another
  • Energy is conserved when it is transferred or transformed