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About the Video Clip:

Video Clip Synopsis:
When our troops were sent off to war in 1914, industry in Australia boomed. Steel was necessary for guns and ships.

1min 17sec

The Effects of World War 1 on the Australian Economy is an excerpt from the film Cavalcade of Australia 1901-1951 (34 mins), produced in 1951.

Cavalcade of Australia 1901-1951: Produced by the Australian National Film Board to celebrate the Jubilee of Federation, Cavalcade of Australia 1901-1951 provides an historical review of the development of the nation between 1901 and 1951. The film opens with the visit of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George V and Queen Mary) to Australia in 1901 to open the first Commonwealth Parliament. Through the use of historical footage, the film not only covers notable events in the Commonwealth story but also social development, fashions and economic growth over the period.

Cavalcade of Australia1901-1951 was produced by the Department of the Interior.

Study Module

Curriculum Focus: Science
Year: 7-8
Strand: Natural and processed materials
Theme: Science Work

Key Concepts

Materials; Technology

Curriculum Applicability Notes

ACT:Working scientifically: Investigating, Natural and processed materials: materials and their uses
NSW:Science 4.7, 4.11, 4.16, 4.18
NT:Science Band 3: CC3.1, WS3.1, WS3.2, WS 3.5
Qld:Science and society 4.1, Natural and processed materials 3.1, 3.3, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4
SA:Matter 3.7, 3.8
Tas:Investigating the natural and constructed world. Standard 4
Vic:Chemical Science 4.1, 4.2, 5.2
WA:Learning outcomes: Natural and processed materials, Science in daily Life

Context / Background Information

In 1914, World War I broke out and many Australians went to fight the war in far-off lands. Australia's main involvement in the war was at Gallipoli where Australian troops were part of an Allied invasion to try and force Turkey out of the war. Unfortunately the invasion failed and many Australian lives were lost. Our men will always be remembered for their bravery. At home in Australia, there were many manufacturing industries where work was now available. Many of these industries were based around steel production for ships, guns and railways. Most of this steel production was focussed in the Newcastle area of New South Wales. Australia's geographical isolation made it a safe place for these industries. While these industries were profitable they also helped the war effort.

Discussion Pointers

  1. Use the fact that this video clip was set nearly 100 years ago to discuss the types of materials that were used in everyday life then, as compared with now.
  2. Discuss the raw materials used to produce everyday materials. What are they? Where do they come from?
  3. How important was steel then? What materials have replaced steel today? (eg aluminium for cans, plastics etc)
  4. In the video clip you can see molten steel being produced. Use this as a context to discuss how steel was made.

Suggested Classroom Activities

  1. Before watching the video clip students should think about metals that are important in their lives. Where are the metals used in the home, in transport, in communication and in the workplace? What are the properties of metals that make them useful? Look up the meanings of the following words: molten, malleable, ductile, ore, alloy, blast furnace, haematite, ingot.
  2. Then students should think about different sorts of metals in their lives and in particular, where steel is important.
      Research the following:
    • Make a table to contrast the different properties of iron and steel.
    • Find out about stainless Steel.
    • Find out about the raw materials for iron/steel production and mark on a map of Australia where they are found.
  3. Make a poster showing the steel production process including relevant chemical reactions.
  4. Produce flow charts to compare the production of steel with the production of other important metals such as aluminium and copper.
  5. Interview an older person to find out about things that were made of steel in the early 1900s, but that are now made from more modern materials.

Modules That Use This Clip

SOSE/HSIE Year 9-10, Science Year 7-8, English Year 9-10