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Science / Year 8 / Science as a Human Endeavour / Use and influence of science

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

Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology, may impact on other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations (ACSHE135)

Elaborations
  • investigating requirements and the design of systems for collecting and recycling household waste
  • investigating strategies implemented to maintain part of the local environment, such as bushland, a beach, a lake, a desert or a shoreline
  • investigating how energy efficiency can reduce energy consumption
  • investigating the development of vehicles over time, including the application of science to contemporary designs of solar-powered vehicles
  • discussing ethical issues that arise from organ transplantation
General capabilities
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
ScOT terms

Environmental management,  Technology,  Ethics,  Energy resources,  Farming systems,  Medicine,  Social influence

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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 ...

Video

Shrinking and expanding metals

Explore with the Surfing Scientist team what happens when metals are heated and cooled. Find out what happens to a metal ring when it is immersed in extremely cold liquid nitrogen. What do hinges on the Sydney Harbour Bridge have to do with all this? Find out.

Online

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, ...

Online

Destination Moon: more missions, more science resource book

Produced for National Science Week 2019, this resource aims to inspire primary and secondary students about space science just as the Apollo program to the Moon did in the 1960s and 1970s. The book features past and emerging space-related research, technologies and ideas from the worlds of science, design, technology, engineering, ...

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Could cyborgs really exist?

A cyborg is a human or animal body incorporating robotic or computer technology. Could cyborgs ever exist outside film or television? Watch this clip to discover how cyborgs, or cybernetic organisms, are already being used to treat medical conditions like colour blindness. What future applications might there be for cybernetics ...

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Check the pH before jumping into this wetland!

Can you imagine a wetland so acidic that its pH levels are similar to the acid in a car battery? It's part of a problem that scientists call acid mud. In this clip from 2008, see how it forms and what scientists are doing to better understand this environmental disaster.

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Building cells synthetically

A cell's own genetic material provides the instructions for how it works, but what if we could design our own set of instructions? Synthetic biology combines biology and engineering in the design of new systems and functions for cells. Watch this animated clip for an explanation of this new, innovative technology. See examples ...

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Cancer - when the baddies take over

Cancer is a major disease in Australia and there are many different types, including leukaemia, and breast and skin cancers. View this clip to discover more about how cancer forms, why it occurs, and what cancer research is being done.

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Fingerprinting school students

Have you ever been fingerprinted on your way into class? In this clip, you will explore one school that trialled a fingerprinting system for its students. Find out who supports this system, who doesn't, and why.

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Advances in nuclear power technology

Imagine our world if nuclear power generation could be made safer. Discover how Chinese scientists have developed a new nuclear reactor that reduces the chances of the reactor overheating to the point of meltdown. To do this the pebble bed reactor uses advances in technology to replace the traditional water-cooled system. ...

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Donuts and exercise

Peter Rowsthorn visits Dr Deborah Kerr at the WA Institute of Sport to answer the question 'How long does it take to walk off a donut?' Join Pete as he walks, jogs, rows and swims to burn off the energy from a single iced donut. As Dr Kerr takes Pete through his paces, learn how metabolic rate and muscle mass affect weight gain.

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Addicted to oil, automobiles and petrochemicals

See how crude oil became indispensable to modern life as the transport industry developed and our 'thirst' for oil developed. Find out how petrochemicals derived from oil are contained in virtually everything, from plastics and paints, to pesticides and painkillers.

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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 ...

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Dams and dolphins on the Mekong?

If the Lao Government's plans are realised, nine hydropower dams will be built across the Mekong River in Laos, and more across its tributaries. The government wants the country to become the 'battery of Asia'. With this dream comes a host of issues. Listen to reasons why the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) suggests hydro-dam ...

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Proposed coal mine raises environmental issues

Explore the possible benefits and impacts to the environment and community of a proposed new coal mine, called the Wallarah 2 Coal Project. In this clip from late June 2013, find out some viewpoints that landowners, community members, mine representatives and politicians present about the proposed underground mine.

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3D food printing

What do you think 3D food printing is? Watch and listen as Dr Kjeld van Bommel explains what it is. What is needed, other than the 3D printer, to print food?  Why does Dr van Bommel think it is unlikely that people will print an apple, or other naturally grown food?

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Is the fish you buy sustainably caught?

How sustainable are Australia's fisheries? According to recent reports, Australia's management of fish stocks is among the best in the world. Watch this clip to find out why some countries certify wild-caught fish as sustainable and hear why this may not be necessary in Australia. Why are some large supermarket chains in ...

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What is Hovermap?

Hovermap is a self-contained unit that can be mounted on top of a drone to map 3D spaces and objects from above, below and all around simultaneously. What are some of the benefits of having an unmanned robot do this kind of work? Can you think of some of the applications for this technology?

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Kitchen science

There are many different chemical reactions at work when we cook food. Watch this video to discover how some chefs have turned their kitchens into laboratories to experiment with food to create the perfect dish!

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Film distributor or taste maker?

Madman Entertainment co-founder Paul Wiegard isn't sure if his organisation, which was set up to distribute films, has become a taste maker or simply mirrors a natural shift in Australia's tastes. One thing is certain though, as program host Marcus Westbury says, 'Madman is the '500 pound gorilla' of Australian niche culture.'