Information taken from Ministry website – Applied Design, Skills and Technology


The ability to design and make, acquire skills as needed, and apply technologies is important in the world today and a key aspect of educating citizens for the future.

The Applied Skills learning area has been re-envisioned as a K–12 program and renamed. The new Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies (ADST) curriculum is an experiential, hands-on program of learning through design and creation that includes skills and concepts from traditional and First Peoples practice; from the existing disciplines of Business Education, Home Economics, Information Technology, and Technology Education; and from new and emerging fields. It envisions a K–12 continuum fostering the development of the skills and knowledge that will allow students to create practical and innovative responses to everyday needs and problems.

K–5 Foundations

Students in Kindergarten to Grade 5 will have opportunities to develop foundations in Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies within the context of existing curricula.

The curriculum provides Big Ideas and Curricular Competencies for Kindergarten but does not include any Content learning standards. The intent and requirement is that teachers use the learning standards for Curricular Competencies from Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies
K–5 with grade-level content from other subject areas to provide students with cross-curricular opportunities to develop foundational mindsets and skills in design thinking and making.

In the early years, students will be given opportunities to develop foundational skills in Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies through exploratory and purposeful play. As they get older and develop an interest in knowing how things work and making things that work, they will have opportunities to develop foundational skills in activities that have a practical and real-life focus. Students in Kindergarten to Grade 5 will develop the skills for design thinking and a maker mindset in cross-curricular contexts that they will bring to future explorations in Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies.

Grades 6–9 Explorations

Students in Grades 6 to 9 will have opportunities to explore specific areas of Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies while continuing to build their design thinking and foundational skills.

The Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies 6–9 curriculum encompasses content from the four existing Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies disciplines (Business Education, Home Economics, Information and Communications Technology, and Technology Education) and new and emerging fields, and provide opportunities for choice, modularization, and a variety of delivery options. This approach provides provincial recognition of the variety and scope of existing locally developed middle years programs and a template for the development of additional
local programs.

As a result of their explorations in Grades 6 to 9, students may begin to show particular interest in and aptitude for specific Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies areas and set more specialized learning goals.

Grades 10–12 Specializations

Students in Grades 10 to 12 will have opportunities to specialize in a specific area or to continue to explore their interests in more than one area. The specialization might be within the disciplines Business Education, Culinary Arts, Home Economics, Information and Communications Technology, Media Arts, Technology Education, or Tourism, across these and other areas, or in emerging disciplines. The specialization might be driven by students’ desire for practical skills in a particular area, their interests and passions, or their plans for post-secondary education or careers. This will allow students in Grades 10 to 12, who are becoming increasingly independent, to personalize their learning by pursuing interests that are relevant to them.

Features of the ADST curriculum

  • There is a renewed focus on designing and making, the acquisition of skills, and the application of technologies
  • The ADST curriculum is now a provincial curriculum for K–12 that can be delivered in different ways at different grade levels
  • There is a common set of curricular competencies for all of the ADST (formerly Applied Skills) curricula that can also be used as a template for locally developed options now and in the future

Design of the ADST curriculum

Big Ideas

The Big Ideas of the ADST curriculum are derived from the Curricular Competencies. The Big Ideas are intended to capture a progression of learning in applying design processes, skills, and technologies, as shown in the chart below.

K–3 4–5 6–8 9–10 11–12
Applied Design Designs grow out of natural curiosity. Designs can be improved with prototyping and testing. Design can be responsive to identified needs. Social, ethical, and sustainability considerations impact design. Products can be designed for lifecycle.
Applied Skills Skills can be developed through play. Skills are developed through practice, effort, and action. Complex tasks require the acquisition of additional skills. Complex tasks require the sequencing of skills. Personal design interests require the evaluation and refinement of skills.
Applied Technologies Technologies are tools that extend human capabilities. The choice of technology and tools depends on the task. Complex tasks may require multiple tools and technologies. Complex tasks require different technologies and tools at different stages. Tools and technologies can be adapted for specific purposes.

Curricular Competencies

The Curricular Competencies are organized under three headings:

  • Applied Design
  • Applied Skills
  • Applied Technologies

The Curricular Competencies under Applied Design are further organized under subheadings that reflect general stages of designing and making. For Grades 4 to 12, these are:

  • Understanding context
  • Defining
  • Ideating
  • Prototyping
  • Testing
  • Making
  • Sharing

Elaborations for the Curricular Competencies provide definitions for clarity.

The subheadings for Kindergarten to Grade 3 are simplified in order to be developmentally appropriate; for example, young children do not prototype, test, and make as discernibly separate stages when they are designing and making through exploratory and purposeful play. The three stages of Applied Design that are identified for Kindergarten to Grade 3 encompass all of the stages of designing and making that are identified at higher grade levels, but in a naturalistic and developmentally appropriate way. They are:

  • Ideating
  • Making
  • Sharing

An important feature of the ADST curriculum is that the Curricular Competencies do not change for every grade. They remain the same for Kindergarten to Grade 3, and then there are sets for Grades 4 to 5, 6 to 8, 9 to 10, and 11 to 12. Even then, the changes are quite incremental. This aspect of the curricular design is intended to provide a consistent focus for both students and teachers on the “doing” aspect of the curriculum and to encourage student metacognition.

Students use and develop the core competencies of creative and critical thinking, communication, and the personal and social competencies through the Curricular Competencies of ADST. The chart below gives some examples (but not an exhaustive list).

Please see the following poster resources courtesy of the Langley School District ADST team: 

Grade K-3 ADST Process & Mindset

Grade 4-5 ADST Process & Mindset

Grade 6-7 ADST Process & Mindset




Download: K-3 ADST Poster
Download: 4-5 ADST Poster
Download: 6-7 ADST Poster

Grade 8 ADST Process & Mindset


​Grade 9 ADST Process & Mindset


Brainstorming for Design Thinking