Close message

Science / Year 6 / Science as a Human Endeavour / Use and influence of science

View on Australian Curriculum website Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Curriculum content descriptions

Scientific knowledge is used to solve problems and inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE100)

  • considering how personal and community choices influence our use of sustainable sources of energy
  • investigating how understanding of catastrophic natural events helps in planning for their early detection and minimising their impact
  • recognising that science can inform choices about where people live and how they manage natural disasters
  • considering how guidelines help to ensure the safe use of electrical devices
  • discussing the use of electricity and the conservation of sources of energy
  • researching the scientific work involved in global disaster alerts and communication, such as cyclone, earthquake and tsunami alerts
  • investigating how electrical energy is generated in Australia and around the world
  • researching the use of methane generators in Indonesia
  • considering how electricity and electrical appliances have changed the way some people live
General capabilities
  • Personal and social capability Personal and social capability
ScOT terms

Decision making


Scientists in Antarctica

Explore the driest, windiest, coldest place on Earth. Discover why scientists flock to Antarctica every year. This clip explains how studying the tiny bubbles buried in the Antarctic ice can teach us about what the Earth was like long ago.


Home energy use

Reducing carbon dioxide emissions and sustainable energy use and are two of the major issues facing the world today. This project explores energy use in homes, and compares individual energy use with the class average and calculate and graph CO2 emissions.


Bee habitat lesson

This lesson plan introduces students to some of Australia's native bee species. Organised in five stages, the lesson plan includes links to videos, scientific and bee-related websites, an information sheet, and downloadable versions of a pictorial slideshow, lesson plan and an assessment rubric. The resource includes suggestions ...


Assisted Finger Orthosis

Rehabilitation from hand tendon surgery, one of the most common types of surgery in Australia, is set to benefit from new technology. Assisted Finger Orthosis will help recovering patients by restricting the movement of the fingers so as not to damage the work done by the surgery, while at the same time restoring strength ...


Tracking heatwaves in Australia

A database tracking the last 60 or so years of heatwaves shows that they are getting longer, more frequent and more intense in Australia. In this clip, climate scientist Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick explains how and why. Overall, she describes that the biggest increase has been in the frequency of heatwaves in Australia, ...


Game changers and change makers: resource book of ideas for National Science Week 2018

This resource book includes ideas to support students’ involvement in investigating, exploring, experimenting, designing, creating and communicating their understandings about game changers and change makers from the past who have solved some of the seemingly unsolvable problems, to game changers and change makers of today, ...


Finding scientific solutions

This Teacher resource focuses on the work of scientists. Investigate how scientists work together to find solutions to problems that directly affect the lives of people and other living things.


Discovering the secret life of bees

What's life like for a honey bee? That's exactly what Tasmanian scientists are interested in finding out. They've been busy gluing tiny sensors between the wings of bees, so their movements can be tracked and we can learn more about bee behaviour. What are some of the reasons scientists give for wanting to better understand ...


Predicting earthquakes

Will scientists ever be able to accurately predict earthquakes? Imagine the number of lives that could be saved if this were possible. Dr Maryanne Demasi joins a group of researchers drilling into one of the most earthquake-prone regions on Earth as they try to improve earthquake prediction to add precious seconds to earthquake ...


Cow pow-er

This resource is a web page about using animal waste as a energy source. It contains a brief introduction to the topic and a link to a video that describes a small community project that generates biogas for use in cooking and lighting in homes in a village in Honduras. The resource also contains another link to a web page ...


Marla Spivak: Why bees are disappearing

This is a video of a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talk by Professor Marla Spivak about the dramatic decline in the number of bees. The 16-minute video begins with a discussion of why humans should care about bees, including their critical importance for the world's food supply. Professor Spivak explains that ...


CSIRO: reducing livestock methane emissions

This is a CSIRO video of almost 7 minutes that describes the challenge for scientists of increasing meat and milk production to feed a hungry world at the same time as minimising carbon dioxide production from ruminant digestion. The video briefly describes how microbes in the rumen convert some of the incoming feed into ...


CSIRO: protecting cereals from cold and drought

This is 2-page CSIRO information sheet that describes the difficulty of producing consistent rice yields in Australia as a result of low-temperature sterility and a shortage of irrigation water. Scientists discovered that their strategy of genetic manipulation for improving cold tolerance in rice also resulted in improved ...


Algae oil

Could algae be used to create an alternative to crude oil? It's not straightforward - but it is possible. This video describes how algae and waste products from other industries could be used to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and play a part in controlling climate change.


Volcanoes and people

Imagine living in the shadow of a volcano? Well, millions of people do in Naples, Italy, where a massive volcano called Vesuvius exists. This clip explores the dangers posed by volcanoes and investigates some recent and ancient eruptions. Find out some misconceptions about volcanoes and discover how science is helping prevent ...


Growing plants indoors

How would you create a tropical jungle in the middle of a cold, windy city? How can you grow plants from cold climates in a place with a hot climate? Could you trick a plant into flowering whenever you want it to? Watch this clip to discover how to create suitable conditions for growing plants indoors.


Cyclone Yasi

Imagine your house being battered by 285 km per hour winds! That is what happened when Cyclone Yasi, a category 5 cyclone, hit far north Queensland in 2011. Watch this clip showing Yasi unleashing its fury. Find out about how the locals prepared themselves, and what they found in the aftermath.


Solar power

Have you ever imagined how much energy the Sun outputs every day? Listen as Dr Charles Lineweaver, from the Planetary Science Institute at ANU, describes why a solar farm based in space can capture and use more of the Sun's enormous energy potential.


Supercapacitors: new battery technology

Discover how nanotechnology is contributing to the creation of new, improved batteries that may soon be used in all our mobile phones and portable music devices - even in cars and trams. Catalyst's Tanya Ha looks at how traditional batteries produce electricity and how their efficiency may be increased by tiny devices known ...


Ecological effects of bushfires

Did you know that Australia is the most flammable continent on Earth? Watch this clip to discover how bushfires impact natural ecosystems, and how the increasing global threat of bushfires may affect Australia. Australian scientists explain the ecological consequences of fire and a US expert describes his concerns for the future.