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Assessment Resource Centre (ARC)

  1. Stage 3
  2. Science and Technology
  3. Activities
  4. Investigating dyeing a fabric
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Investigating dyeing a fabric

Grade Work Samples
End of Stage 3 (end of Year 6)
Grade C Pat  
Grade D Morgan  

Foundation Statement strands

The following strands are covered in this activity:

Investigating Scientifically, Designing and Making, The Made Environment

Description of activity

Students design a test to investigate a question about dyeing fabric.


  1. Students are asked to design a test to investigate the question: “What is the best way of dyeing cotton flannel?”
  2. They select from the equipment provided by the teacher and set up the test they have designed.
  3. The safe and careful use of equipment and resources as the students conduct the test will be checked by the teacher.
  4. Students use a flow diagram to present the steps they used and the findings from the investigation.

Suggested materials

Shallow plastic dishes, plastic cups, salt, hot water, plastic measuring jugs for collecting and pouring water, paddle-pop sticks or plastic spoons, non-toxic red and blue dyes, small pieces of cotton flannel of the same size, clock or stopwatch, rubber bands, aluminium foil, tongs, newspaper.

Prior learning

This task is a small part of an integrated Science and Technology and Human Society and Its Environment unit of work about Bali. The Science and Technology focus in this unit is on students' first-hand experiences in investigating, designing, making and using technology to develop their understanding about the made environment. Students' understanding about factors that effect dyeing of natural and synthetic fabrics eg temperature, time, dye concentration and using a mordant (salt) to fix the dye is developed as they design and conduct fair tests. Working safely and careful use of resources has been an important part of student learning when undertaking first-hand investigations in this unit.


Products and Services (PS S3.5)
Creates and evaluates products and services, demonstrating consideration of sustainability, aesthetic, cultural, safety and functional issues.
Investigating (INV S3.7)
Conducts their own investigations and makes judgements based on the results of observing, questioning, planning, predicting, testing, collecting, recording and analysing data, and drawing conclusions.
Using Technology (UT S3.9)
Evaluates, selects and uses a range of equipment, computer-based technology, materials and other resources to meet the requirements and constraints of investigation and design tasks.

Criteria for assessing learning

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • Identify the steps used in conducting the test.
  • Select and use safely appropriate resources and equipment to conduct the test.
  • Use a flow diagram to record observations and findings.
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