Science / Year 8 / Science as a Human Endeavour / Nature and development of science

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Curriculum content descriptions

Scientific knowledge has changed peoples’ understanding of the world and is refined as new evidence becomes available (ACSHE134)

Elaborations
  • investigating developments in the understanding of cells and how this knowledge has impacted on areas such as health and medicine
  • discovering how people’s understanding of the nature of matter has changed over time as evidence for particle theory has become available through developments in technology
  • considering how the idea of elements has developed over time as knowledge of the nature of matter has improved
  • investigating the development of the microscope and the impact it has had on the understanding of cell functions and division
ScOT terms

Evidence,  Paradigms,  Observations (Data)

Video

Fossils and the evolution of life

Have you ever wondered how scientists know when the early mammals appeared on Earth, or how long ago dinosaurs died out? Watch this clip to discover the role of fossils, and the rocks they are found in, in revealing the order and history of life on Earth. This clip takes you to fossil sites in Queensland; and to Shark Bay ...

Video

Oil from super-greenhouse events

Why did most of the world's oil deposits form at a specific prehistoric time? Learn how overheated super-greenhouse climates caused vast stretches of the world's oceans to stagnate and become depleted of oxygen. Discover the connection between these anoxic events and Earth's oil reserves. Watch scientists investigating ...

Video

Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics are drugs used to treat infections and diseases caused by bacteria. Unfortunately, bacteria has an enormous capacity to adapt, which means they become immune to antibiotics. What are the repercussions of bacteria in our bodies becoming resistant to antibiotics and why could this present a big problem to human health?

Video

Graphene: the new wonder material

Graphene is perhaps the most significant new material produced in recent years. It has many potential applications in electrical devices, biomedical technology and solar energy. Graphene is a form (allotrope) of carbon with some special chemical and physical properties. Watch this clip to explore the molecular structure, ...

Audio

Puzzling migration of eels and monarch butterflies

Scientists have many questions about the migratory habits of eels and monarch butterflies, and new research uncovers some of the secrets. Watch this clip to discover how satellite technology is helping to track eels. You'll also find out what organs are involved in helping monarch butterflies find their way. You will be ...

Online

Tasty science: Connected Learning Experience

This Connected Learning Experience (CLE) students explore the digestive system in higher animals. In this investigation, the specialised structures and functions of cells in the tongue are explored to determine how this organ helps animals survive. Claims regarding the taste map of the tongue, published in 1901, are evaluated ...

Text

The Conversation - issues concerning self and identity - organ donation

This resource contains a series of articles about organ donation, including ethical consideration of the role of family; research methods available to increase donor rates; and examples from other countries (e.g. Spain) that have high organ donation rates. It can be used to consider a wide range of issues, evidence, and ...

Online

Cells and the molecules of life

Take a look at cells, and some of their components, starting from the very beginning of life on Earth. Speculate on the origin of the molecules of life and investigate how they combine to create the structure and function of cells.

Online

Earth rocks

Explore how forces and energy are continually shaping and changing the Earth's surface. Find out about fast and slow changes and the connection between them first observed by English scientist Charles Lyell. Discover the Earth's age, how rocks form, what they contain, and what they reveal about the Earth's long history.

Video

What are microbes?

What are microbes? What are the four major groups that most microbes belong to? Listen as Dr Taghrid Istivan explains where microbes are found. What is the name of the group of microbes she describes as beneficial to our health? Can you explain what happens when people get food poisoning?

Video

Testing the 5-second rule

When it comes to dropping food, have you heard of the 5-second rule? Or the 3-second rule? Watch this video to learn what really happens when you drop food. In order to cause disease, what must bacteria do? What circumstances allow bacteria and viruses to contaminate food more successfully?

Video

Diprotodon: fossils and extinction

When did Diprotodon die out? To answer this question, teams of scientists and volunteers are working together to excavate Diprotodon bones and study the landscape where they're found. Go on the road with Catalyst to the 'badlands' of South Australia and investigate the evidence behind Diprotodon extinction.

Video

Building new antibiotics

Scientists have been researching and tackling the problem of antibiotic resistance in recent years. Professor Andrew Myers and his team may have found one solution to this problem. What is it? See if you can find some other examples where scientists have come up with potential solutions.

Video

Combatting antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is developing into a big health problem in today's society. As we become more resistant to these drugs, it becomes harder for bacterial infections and diseases to be treated. What are some potential solutions to this problem? Find out in this clip from ABC Catalyst.

Video

Below Earth's crust

Imagine tunnelling deep, deep below the Earth's surface. What do you think you would find thousands of kilometres down? Watch this clip to find out what is inside the Earth, what it's made up of and how hot it is. Find out about earthquakes, volcanoes, and geysers, and how they help us to understand about the composition ...

Video

Understanding the causes of climate change

Did you know that climate change is not a recent phenomenon? In the past, natural events led to changes in the climate. Although natural events still affect climate, they're not enough to explain the big changes we've been seeing in the last 150 years. What changes on earth can account for such dramatic changes to our climate? ...

Video

Fossils and the Earth's past

Imagine what the world looked like hundreds of millions of years ago. Watch this clip to discover how fossils are preserved and what they tell us about the Earth's past. Find out about trilobites, an intriguing, ancient creature that lived in the sea during the Cambrian period. Their fossils are a piece of the past helping ...

Video

Formation of ancient rock layers

Discover how our understanding of rocks has developed over time and the role played by mining. The way rocks are formed, and what they are composed of, tells us a lot about what has occurred on Earth in the past. Watch this clip to find out about the formation of ancient rock layers, and what we find inside very old rocks.

Video

How big are extremely small objects?

Imagine how big you might be compared to an ant, a speck of dust, a molecule or an atom. Explore the world of the very small, and find out just what units scientists use to measure extremely small objects.

Video

How old is our Earth?

Have you ever thought about how old planet Earth is? Watch this clip to discover the age of the Earth, and the fast and slow changes that have been happening since its beginning. Find out about English scientist Charles Lyell and how his observations shaped our understanding of the Earth's geology today. The enormous scale ...