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Science / Year 9 / Science as a Human Endeavour / Nature and development of science

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

Scientific understanding, including models and theories, is contestable and is refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community (ACSHE157)

Elaborations
  • investigating the historical development of models of the structure of the atom
  • investigating how the theory of plate tectonics developed, based on evidence from sea-floor spreading and occurrence of earthquakes and volcanic activity
  • considering how ideas about disease transmission have changed from medieval time to the present as knowledge has developed
  • investigating the work of scientists such as Ernest Rutherford, Pierre Curie and Marie Curie on radioactivity and subatomic particles
  • investigating how models can be used to predict the changes in populations due to environmental changes, such as the impact of flooding or fire on rabbit or kangaroo populations
General capabilities
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
ScOT terms

Evaluation,  Theories,  Paradigms,  Dissent,  Peer review

Video

Lured by fossils

Dinosaur fossils capture the imagination of all kinds of people, leading some to a lifetime of research and theorising. Find out about the devotion of two families whose examination of Australia's fossil record has contributed to understanding the geology and evolution of life here.

Video

Earth's extremes sheds light on life on Mars

Join astrobiologist Louisa Preston as she explores extreme environments on Earth to better understand the potential for life on Mars. Find out what types of microscopic organisms survive in these hostile environments. Discover why Rovers sent to Mars are looking for evidence of carbon. What might be found at a site on Mars ...

Video

Stem Cells Repair

This 11 minute video segment from Catalyst is a case study of research in the use of stem cells. It demonstrates the structure of the knee joint and the role of bones and cartilage. Stem cells from bone marrow are collected and used in attempt to prevent the onset of arthritis. This program distinguishes embryonic from ...

Video

Climate Seals

This five and a half minute video segment form Catalyst outlines how scientist are utilising two species of seals to obtain temperature and salinity profiles from below the ice. This is helping scientists to find answers to questions about ocean circulation that cannot be addressed by robotic sensors.

Video

Stems Cells in the Brain

This seven and a half minute video segment from Catalyst outlines how the discovery of stem cells in the brain marks a potential breakthrough in understanding the process of ageing in the brain. If brain stem cells can be regenerated through exercise or mental activity, can ageing be delayed?

Video

Future of the moon

This 4 minute video segment from Catalyst describes how Moon rocks may hold clues about the beginnings of life on Earth because of the lack of weathering and erosion.

Audio

Green glow of radiation

Coming into contact with a large dose of radiation is known to be hazardous. But will it make you light up like a car dashboard at night? Some anecdotes that will engage the students to learn about radioactivity while dispelling a few myths.

Audio

CERN legend stuff of angels and demons

This ABC article or podcast by Dr Karl describes and outlines the role of the particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider and how it is helping to research the nature of mass. This article is dated (2008) as some significant results from the Large Hadron Collider have since been announced.

Video

Complex pain

This 15 minute video segment from Catalyst describes Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, condition where pain never goes away after an injury and even gets worse. The pain becomes a disease in its own right.

Video

Devil in the Detail

This twelve and a half minute video segment from Catalyst explains how the Tasmanian Devil is afflicted by a unique type of contagious cancer what's never been seen in nature before. Unless the spread of the cancer can be stopped, the Devils could be wiped out with devastating effect to Tasmania's ecosystems. New research ...

Video

Coral bleaching: solving the scientific puzzle

Scientist Dr Ove Hoegh-Guldberg describes his work as one of solving mysteries and puzzles. In the early 1980s, samples of bleached corals came from around the world, causing Dr Hoegh-Guldberg to question the cause of the problem. Follow his investigation as he puts pieces of the puzzle together. Find out about the problems ...

Video

Atoms and organic compounds

Can you imagine someone who lived over 2400 years ago saying that all matter is made up of atoms? Democritus, an ancient Greek, did. Explore the history of this scientific idea with chemist Amanda Tilbury. Hear how Swedish scientist Jöns Berzelius postulated much later that only living tissue could make an organic compound ...

Video

Megafauna fossils

Travel back in time in outback Australia and investigate the giant lumbering beasts of the past - the megafauna. Visit a fossil site in Cuddie Springs, New South Wales, where megafauna bones have been discovered. Explore the connection between Aboriginal peoples and megafauna, and theories for the extinction of Australia's ...

Interactive

SmartGraphs: African Lions - Google Play app

Investigate population modelling by studying the renowned African lions of the Ngorongoro Crater including real-life scientific data. Analyse graphs and data to answer questions and make predictions about changes in the lion population and other population models. Find out about important ecological and modelling concepts. ...

Interactive

SmartGraphs - African Lions: Modeling Populations - iTunes app

Investigate population modelling by studying the renowned African lions of the Ngorongoro Crater including real-life scientific data. Analyse graphs and data to answer questions and make predictions about changes in the lion population and other population models. Find out about important ecological and modelling concepts. ...

Video

Too cold for cane toads

A new study reported in this video segment has looked at how temperatures impact cane toad movement and has aided in the development of a model that indicates that their geographical spread is limited. An excellent example of the use of mathematical modelling in scientific research and how scientists have tried to address ...

Video

Cloud seeding

This nine and a half minute video segment from Catalyst describes how researchers from Monash University have hard evidence that cloud seeding can produce good amounts of extra rainfall. Data collected over a long period of time has give hope to scientists and environmentalists who are trying to reduce the impacts of droughts ...

Interactive

Science Talk 2007: Jeremy Leggett

An interview with Dr Jeremy Leggett, global environmental expert from Solarcentury in the UK. Jeremy talks to a teacher from Leumeah High School about global warming, fossil fuels and the design of carbon neutral buildings.

Audio

Diabetes type 2 cured by surgery ABC Radio national

Download the audio or view the transcript of this ABC radio program. It is an excellent example of how approaching a problem from a different perspective and with an open mind may result in an amazing solution. Richard Stubbs, and New Zealand scientist, claims type 2 diabetes is a disease of the gut. If his hypothesis is ...

Video

Argo floats

This minute video segment from Catalyst decade ago describes the Australian initiative, Argo, that has become a major international collaborative project to look at the world's oceans and help understand processes at depth - monitoring the pulse of the global heat balance and giving us vital information on the ocean's role ...