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)

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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 ...

Interactive Resource

Energy: student digital

This is a student digital resource that contains interactive materials exploring many aspects of energy including the different forms of energy, the energy of moving things, heat, electricity, energy in food, and sources of energy used by modern societies. This resource contains a rich array of digital interactive activities, ...

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Energy: student guide

This is a student guide that explores many aspects of energy including the different forms of energy, the energy of moving things, electricity, energy in food, and sources of energy used by modern societies. It is divided into different parts with each containing information, images and diagrams, hands-on inquiry activities, ...

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Light sound action: student guide

This is a student guide that explores many aspects of light, sound and electricity including how they are each transmitted and their contribution to modern societies, as well as material on the wave and particle models. This resource is divided into different parts with each containing information, images and diagrams, ...

Teacher resource

Energy: teacher guide

This is a teacher guide that contains an overview of lessons relevant to a unit on energy. It contains resources to assist planning and implementing a study of the different forms of energy, the energy of moving things, electricity, energy in food, and sources of energy used by modern societies; and includes a unit outline, ...

Teacher resource

Cells

This is a unit of work designed to help students investigate the link between the structure of a cell and its function. Students explore how the development of microscopic technology has assisted the examination of common cell structures. They compare the cell structures of plants, animals, fungi and bacteria. Additional ...

Interactive resource

Colossal fossils: the dig

Join a team of palaeontologists working on an Australian megafauna dig site. Dig up and describe a megafauna jaw bone or skull. Use tools such as a pick, rock hammer and scraping knife. Prepare the fossil for removal using tools such a fine brush, glue and plaster. See how the features of the bone are used to identify the ...

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Space storms

This 11 minute video segment from Catalyst explains how the sun can impact on Earth's power grid and satellite communications. This program also describes recent technology to study the sun and understand the causes of coronal mass ejections.

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Genetics, inheritance and epilepsy

Explore genetics, the patterns of inheritance and disease-causing mutations. Find out about Gregor Mendel's historic pea-plant breeding experiments showing that traits are inherited in particular patterns. See how Australian scientists discovered the gene mutation responsible for a type of epilepsy.

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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 ...

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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.

Teacher resource

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.

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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?

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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?

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Paintball tag: white blood cells vs allergens

See how a game of paintball tag is used to explain the immune system's reaction to an allergen entering the body. Find out why allergies are on the increase. Discover why your doctor may one day prescribe a dose of parasitic worms to improve your health!

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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 ...

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Chemicals on the Great Barrier Reef

This program deals with a range of human impacts on the Great Barrier Reef. Herbicides from land runoff have been traced to algae and sea grasses in river mouths and coastal zones along the Great Barrier Reef. Effects include retardation of photosynthesis and growth of corals. Other pressures on the reef include high water ...

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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, ...

Interactive Resource

Science Talk 2007: Tim Entwistle

An interview and tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney and its herbarium with Dr Tim Entwistle, a plant scientist and the NSW Government Botanist. Tim talks to a pre-service teacher from Macquarie University about his love of plants, in particular freshwater algae. In the herbarium we find out why it is so important ...

Teacher resource

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.