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PAT STEM, Middle Years A, Q2

Linked from: Science Understanding 105-114

PAT STEM Contexts question difficulty: 112

PAT STEM Contexts description: Identifies indicators of wind speed by making observations in a series of images.

Curriculum code: ACSSU076


  • Recognises that the way objects move depends on a variety of factors including size and shape.
  • Recognises that objects are moved by pushing and pulling.
  • Recognises that wind can push an object.
  • Understands that the strength of a force directly affects the speed and movement of an object.


Sally is at the beach at three different times of the day.

The wind is different each time she is there.

The wind is pushing and pulling the things around her.




Key concepts and skills

The correct response is:

Yes: the movement of her ribbon

No: the direction of the shadows

Yes: how much the tree bends

Key concepts:

  • The force of the wind causes the ribbon to move and trees and other plants to bend.
  • The amount of force directly corresponds to the degree of ribbon and tree movement.

Cognitive skills: Applying

  • Recall how wind moves certain objects and then apply the understanding that a strong wind will move different objects more than a gentle wind. Relate this knowledge to the pictures to infer which objects have been affected by the strength of the wind.

Common errors and misconceptions

Option reasoning the movement of her ribbon No Might not realise that the wind is a pushing force that moves objects. It moves the ribbon. A strong wind moves it more than a gentle wind.
the direction of the shadows Yes

Might think that shadows are moved by the wind. Shows that the student does not understand what shadows are and how they are created.

Misunderstanding that a shadow is something that can be moved by force.

Does not understand that a shadow movement is due to the rotation of the earth.

how much the tree bends No Might not realise that trees bend in the wind. A strong wind bends a tree further than a gentle wind.

Linked items

  • PAT STEM, Middle Years A, Q2
  • PAT STEM, Middle Years A, Q3
  • PAT STEM, Middle Years A, Q4

Moving forward

  • Make predictions about how wind will effect different objects.
  • Measure the direction and speed of wind.
  • Observe how the speed of an object is affected by the size of the force applied to it (e.g. push on a toy car.)
  • Investigate the effect of forces on the behaviour of an object through actions such as throwing, dropping, bouncing and rolling.