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

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Curriculum content descriptions

People use science understanding and skills in their occupations and these have influenced the development of practices in areas of human activity (ACSHE136)

Elaborations
  • describing how technologies have been applied to modern farming techniques to improve yields and sustainability
  • investigating how Aboriginal people recognise relationships in ecosystems by burning to promote new growth, attract animals and afford easier hunting and food gathering
  • describing the impact of plant cloning techniques (asexual production) in agriculture such as horticulture, fruit production and vineyards
  • investigating the role of science in the development of technology important to the economies and communities of the Asia–Pacific regions, for example car manufacture, earthquake prediction and electronic optics
  • recognising the role of knowledge of the environment and ecosystems in a number of occupations
  • considering how engineers improve energy efficiency of a range of processes
  • recognising the role of knowledge of cells and cell divisions in the area of disease treatment and control
  • investigating how scientists have created new materials such as synthetic fibres, heat-resistant plastics and pharmaceuticals
General capabilities
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
Cross-curriculum priorities
ScOT terms

Environmental management,  Technology,  Industries

Text

Sustainable table: meet your meat

This is a website about the environmental and animal welfare issues related to the consumption of meat. It contains sections on the amount of meat we eat; the environmental impacts of consuming meat; cattle, chicken, egg-laying-hen and pig-farming factories; and what can be done to improve the current state of the meat ...

Interactive

Oresome world

This interactive resource takes students on a journey of discovery in the energy and mining world. Oresome world contains five games or modules: Coal, Energy, Gas, Low emissions and Mining, and within each of these there are several facilities to explore, such as the Underground mining site, Hydroelectric power station, ...

Video

Water reservoirs as climate change adaptation

This is a video about water availability for people living in the Peruvian Andes. It includes vision and information about water scarcity in this region and details of a Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations funded project involving the creation of a sustainable water management program. The program involves ...

Online

Stellar scintillation

In this module, teachers and students will learn ways Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people observe the twinkling of stars to predict weather and seasonal change. Students will learn the science of scintillation (twinkling) and see how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander understood and utilised this principle long ...

Video

Upholding cassava's potential in Africa

This is a video about the importance of cassava for food security in Africa and how the Regional Cassava Initiative supported small-scale farmers whose crops were affected by viral diseases. Plant virologist James Legg explains the extent of the problem and how the viruses are transmitted, and Burundi farmer Aoron Sebomana ...

Video

Gaps and opportunities for perennial crops

This is a video about the scientific breeding of perennial crops as described at a 2013 workshop, 'Perennial crops for food security', held by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). After giving the big picture regarding perennial crop research, the 16-minute video focuses on the breeding of perennial wheat and its ...

Video

TEDMED: What is the source of all life?

This is a video clip of a TEDMED speaker, Howard Shapiro, presenting ideas about improving the nutritional value of plants to address malnutrition and the food requirements of a growing world population. The clip emphasises that poor nutrition has negative health and developmental effects on children, particularly those ...

Video

Towards food security in Afghanistan

This is a video about the progress towards food and water security in Afghanistan. It includes images and information about how the global economic crisis has affected the people of Afghanistan; the value of investment in agriculture production to reduce poverty in this region; and a water security project that is jointly ...

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, ...

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ACMF: Effects of selective breeding

This resource is a web page providing information about an experiment on the growth rate of different chicken breeds carried out by students at James Ruse Agricultural High School in NSW, which shows the influence of selective breeding on chicken weight. It includes a side-by-side column graph comparing the weight of egg ...

Video

Precision Sheep Management: video

This is a video (4:09 min) about the University of New England’s Kirby Research Station and how its work with sheep has been transformed by technology, particularly the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag. The video is presented by members of the Enhanced sheep wellbeing and productivity research program and includes ...

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Sustainable table: the coming famine

This is a website about the key issues related to global food insecurity. It contains sections on the scarcity of primary resources; land degradation; land scarcity; waste; climate change; consequences of inaction; and proposed solutions. Photographs, statistics, graphs, maps and figures support the information. This resource ...

Audio

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 ...

Interactive

Science under the microscope

A student-focused mobile web application that tests students? knowledge of the NSW Science curriculum. It will reuse videos and other components of 2010 Murder under the Microscope (Shockwave on the Shoreline) to provide a series of clues that unfold as the student answers science questions correctly. After receiving all ...

Interactive

Syllabus Bites: Caring for Country

A webpage with information and resources on how the traditional knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is being used to make better land management decisions. Fire-stick farming is demonstrated and explained.

Text

The price of peak fuel

This ABC In Depth feature article discusses the projections of how long will our energy resources will last given that our need for fossil fuels is insatiable, but coal, oil, gas and uranium reserves are finite and some may even be in decline. This article is comprehensive, but it is dated at 2008.

Video

Solar Prints

This 6 minute video segment from Catalyst is an excellent introduction to the science behind photovoltaics. A useful comparison of the efficiency of energy conversion. Discussion of other issues considered in producing devices to use renewable energy to make electricity.

Audio

Solar thermal electricity

This program gives an update on research into solar thermal electricity. Liddell Power Station in the Hunter Valley, NSW is a hybrid power station using solar energy to pre-heat water and so reduce the use of coal and the production of carbon dioxide. Some scientists claim that harnessing the solar heat in an area 50km ...

Interactive

Energy game: SMART Notebook

Interactive game to be played following the 'What is energy?' Notebook and assessing students' knowledge of energy sources - renewable and non-renewable and the possible effect on the environment. The game may be played by two groups on IWB, or pairs of students on a computer.

Online

Bringing Engineering to Life: STEM careers

This is a unit of work on engineering, the range of possible occupations in engineering and the future and ethics of engineering. The resource includes: An introduction with teacher notes, student tasks, embedded videos and links to additional resources. The resource aims that students learn broadly about engineering and ...