Stage 4


Welcome to the Stage 4 Technology Mandatory, Fire-Ed Up Unit of Work. This is a resource site setup to support teachers to implement the Fire-Ed Up Program.

Fire-Ed Up is funded by the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer, developed from Central Coast Council’s Award Winning program and produced by the Hunter Innovation and Science Hub.

Unit Background –
Australian Fire Danger Rating System

In 2022 Australia introduced a new fire danger rating system providing clearer and more accurate information to communities at risk of bush fire. The Australian Fire Danger Rating System brings together the latest science and knowledge of fire behaviour, is supported by extensive community research, and is the most significant change to the fire danger rating system in more than 50 years.

The previous fire danger rating system was found to be approximately 40% accurate whilst the new reporting system is now more than 60%, but there is room for improvement.

Design Brief

Utilising STEM technologies and local environmental insights to enhance your community’s bushfire danger rating system.

Get ready to be tech heroes for your town!


1. Design folio

Students are to complete a design folio that captures their journey through the iSTEM engineering design process in developing digital solutions related to making the Australian fire danger rating system more accurate.

2. Prototype design solution

Students are to produce a digital design solution prototype that can be used to improve the accuracy of the Australian fire danger rating system. This could include modifying the Fire-Ed Up kit or may involve the development of new or different technologies.

Digital technologies

Gear up to use Raspberry Pi microcomputers to recreate and improve how we predict bushfires with the Australian fire danger rating system.


  1. Tweak the Code
    Modify existing code to get better at predicting fires using local data.
  2. Explore the tech
    Discover how digital twins, satellites, and drones can help in bushfire safety.

You’ll become mini tech experts, using cool gadgets to make a difference in keeping our community safe from fires!

Field Measurements:
Becoming a Fire Researcher

Just like the real fire authorities in Australia, we’re going to become field researchers. Our mission is to gather important data from the great outdoors to help us understand the risk of bushfires in
our area.

Your Mission as a Field Researcher

Step into the shoes of these experts. With a keen eye and precise instruments, you’ll collect data that’s vital for predicting a simulated local FBI and AFDR.

Here’s what we need to know:

  • Temperature: How hot is it outside? Fire loves heat, so this is a big one.
  • Wind Speed: Strong winds can whip a small flame into a raging fire.
  • Humidity: Dry air means plants dry out, and dried-out plants burn faster.
  • Fuel Load: This is all about how much stuff could burn in an area.
  • Fuel Moisture Content: Wetter fuel doesn’t burn as easily, so we need to know how dry it is.
  • Land Slope: Fire climbs uphill quickly, so the steepness of the land matters.
  • Vegetation Type: Different plant types burn in different ways. Knowing what’s around is key.

You might be gathering this data at our school, a nearby field, or another interesting environment. Keep your eyes open and your instruments ready!

Using Your Data

Once you’ve collected our measurements, we’ll use this data
later in our program to simulate what the FBI and AFDR might be for our local area. It’s like creating a mini fire forecast station right in our classroom!

Downloadable Resources

Technology Mandatory – Student Resource Folio

Download the Fire-Ed Up Technology Mandatory student resource folio.

Download Brief Document >>>

Technology Mandatory – Student Design Folio

Download the Fire-Ed Up Technology Mandatory student design folio.

Download Brief Document >>>

Fire-Ed Up – Learning Sequence

Download the Fire-Ed Up Technology Mandatory teaching program

Download Teaching and Learning Program >>>

Fire-Ed Up Stage 4 Sample Assessment Task

Download the Fire-Ed Up Technology Mandatory sample assessment task.

Download Brief Document >>>

Sample Assessment Task Marking Rubric

Download the Fire-Ed Up Technology Mandatory sample assessment task marking rubric.

Download Brief Document >>>

iSTEM Engineering Design Process

The iSTEM process developed by the NSW Department of Education is an industry-recognised engineering design process and scaffolds the understanding and application of design thinking.

Download Poster >>>

iSTEM Process Guide

In this document, each stage/cog of the iSTEM process is outlined with key questions to ask students and possible actions your students would need to undertake when completing each stage of the process.

Download PDF >>>

Selecting Your Team

In this document, we discuss what makes a good team and students undertake a skills audit. Teachers may use the Multiple Intelligences survey to help inform the skills audit. Students then select their team and assign roles based on skills.

Download PDF >>>

Australian Fire Danger Rating System

Australian fire danger rating system – Fire Behaviour Index Technical Guide V2.1 Oct 2023.

Download PDF >>>

NSW RFS Firefighters Pocket Book

The NSW Rural Fire Service Firefighters Pocket Book Dec 2010 edition.

Download PDF >>>

Mathematics in nature

Understanding bushfire activity handout – Indigenous knowledge from the University of Melbourne.

Download PDF >>>

Grassland Curing Guide

The grassland curing guide from the Country Fire Authority CFA Victoria.

Download PDF >>>

Video Based Resources

The following are a mixture of Fire-ED Up original video resources and others that you might find useful.

Dr David Clarke, Fire Behaviour Analyst at the NSW Rural Fire Service explains the science behind the AFDRS (14:53 minutes)


Dr Meaghan Jenkins, AFDRS Manager at the NSW Rural Fire Service discusses the reasons for the update of the AFDRS (14:03 minutes)


New technologies in bushfire management

Deb Sparkes from AFAC National Projects and Innovation speaks about the upcoming technologies being used to manage, predict and prevent bushfires (21:36 minutes).


Ben Newsome from Fizzics Education demonstrates some scientific experiments that explain the basics of fire and a fun and educational video. (15:27 minutes)

Sandra Whight – A/Director National Projects and Innovation at AFAC explains the work done by AFAC in bushfire management (11:01 minutes)


Sandra Whight – A/Director National Projects and Innovation at AFAC describes some of the bushfire management career opportunities (3:48 minutes)


How to use a Kestral to measure wind speed, humidity and temperature, thanks to Rumbalara Environmental Education Centre (0:45 minutes)


How to use a clinometer to determine the slope of the land, thanks to Rumbalara Environmental Education Centre (0:15 minutes)


Ted Tagami CEO of talks with Dr Nick De Leon from the Royal College of Art in the United Kingdom about design thinking for space.  Nick discusses the importance of finding the right team and understanding the constraints on your design. (9:20 minutes)


For tens of thousands of years Australian Aboriginal peoples have actively managed the savanna using fire. Their knowledge of the seasons and local conditions enable them to produce the most effective cool burns. These cool burns benefit both the environment and the Aboriginal traditional way of life. (2:28 minutes)


Other Resources


Australian Fire Danger Rating System 

Core Electronics Fire-Ed Up Guide

NSW RFS – Fires Near Me Website

Bushfire Prepare WA Government

CSIRO Guide to rate of fire spread models for Australian Vegetation

Australian Bureau of Meteorology

NSW Rural Fire Service – Neighbourhood Safer Places

NSW Department of Education – Bushfire and Grassfire Risk Ratings Categories

Mindtools – Brainstorming

iTEachSTEM Resources


iTEachSTEM – Orthogonal Sketching 

iTEachSTEM Pictorial Sketching

iTEachSTEM Annotated rendered sketches

iTEachSTEM – Making a Prototype

iTEachSTEM – Iterate and Test

iTEachSTEM – Communicating Design Solutions

Other Resources

Bushfire Survival

Online RFS Bushfire Survival plan

Bushfire Survival Plan PDF version


NSW RFS Firefighter Pocketbook – Android

NSW RFS Firefighter Pocketbook – IOS

Hazards Near Me – Android

Hazards Near Me – IOS


Himawari-8 Satellite Viewer Introduction Video

Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s Satellite Viewer Site


Spatial Information eXchange

NSW Department of Education – Digital Learning Selector



Splat3D – Drawing the core 3D Shapes Playlist

Other Videos

AVA Define and Identify – Dr Nick De Leon from the Royal College of Art