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91348: Demonstrate understanding of advanced concepts related to structural frameworks


Updated May 2015. This document has been updated in its entirety to address new issues that have arisen from moderation.

Exploring structures

Students should explore a range of structural frameworks within different contexts to identify where, how and why pin and moving joints are used; and to understand how these structures derive their structural integrity. For example, students could show their understandings through bridges, cranes, trusses, shelters (e.g. gazebos) or playground equipment (e.g. swings and see-saws), or a combination of these.

Developing understandings

Understandings of advanced structures requires students to:

  • be able to develop and use vector diagrams to explore and explain the magnitude, direction and type of forces acting on members of a framework structure that is subjected to known gravitational loads
  • recognise the terminology as it is described in the Explanatory Notes (that is, structural frameworks, framework member profiles, framework member forms, safety factor, forces, loads)  
  • know the different types of structural members and joining methods (fixed and moving) used in structural frameworks and how different structural components transfer forces, resist loads, and contribute to ensuring the integrity of frameworks
  • be aware of how ‘safety factor’ is applied across framework structures (from different contexts) to ensure integrity is maintained.


Understandings could be demonstrated through annotated drawings and photographs, text, website links, mock-ups, functional modelling, flow and vector diagrams, quotes (referenced) and/or video clips. Students could collaborate with others to research and investigate, but they must present their own work that articulates their individual understandings.

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