ADST Lesson Ideas

To support teachers with the new Applied Design, Skills & Technology (ADST) curriculum, we have created a Google Site that features lesson samples and resource links. Please contact Laurie Petrucci ( or Glen Longley ( if you have lesson samples to share.

ADST Lesson Ideas 

“A turning point came for me in the early 1960s, when computers changed the fabric of my own work. What struck me most forcibly was that certain problems that had been abstract and hard to grasp became concrete and transparent, and certain projects that had seemed interesting but too complex to undertake became manageable” (Seymour Papert, 1993, p. 14).

The evolvement of technology has always supported concrete, hands-on learning  from the invention of paper, pencils, and ballpoint pens to sewing machines, desktop computers, laser printers, and robotics. BC’s new curriculum area of ADST centres around the acquisition of skills and concepts from the four disciplines of Business Education, Home Economics, Information Technology, and Technology Education. The big ideas and curricular competencies focus on the “doing” aspect of the curriculum.  Students problem solve and create through the concrete manipulation of various media such as wood, metal, food, art, textiles, robotics, and information technologies.

ADST learning standards incorporate designing and making, the acquisition of skills, and the application of technologies. The process of building a concrete product can be quite complex requiring several steps, such as learning know-how along the way, acquiring necessary tools, materials and expertise, as well as reflecting throughout. It is important to determine what works and what does not, what adjustments and adaptations need to be made along the way, and whether or not there is application for using such a product. In other words, the process is as important as the product.

Hands-on learning is further enhanced when students collaborate with each other. When students engage in participatory activities and construct learning artifacts collaboratively, instead of only consuming content, they are actively learning.  Along with developing curricular competencies in ADST, students gain skills in the core competencies of creative and critical thinking, communication, and the personal and social competencies.

Students better engage in learning when it is authentic and connected to real-world application.  Stevens stresses that “the next generation will need to be highly adept (even more so than the current generation) in critical thinking, holistic thinking, practical reasoning, creativity and imagination.” (Stevens, 2012, p123). Our students will face new challenges in the workplace as emerging technologies continue to expand. Our students need to learn how to problem solve in applied areas within collaborative contexts to be successful.


Papert, S. (1993). The children’s machine: rethinking school in the age of the computer. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Stevens, R. (2012). Identifying 21st century capabilities, International Journal of Learning and Change, 6(3-4), 123-137.