Science / Year 9 / Science as a Human Endeavour / Use and influence of science

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Curriculum content descriptions

Values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE228)

Elaborations
  • considering how technologies have been developed to meet the increasing needs for mobile communication
  • investigating how scientific and technological advances have been applied to minimising pollution from industry
  • considering how choices related to the use of fuels are influenced by environmental considerations
  • investigating the work of Australian scientists such as Fiona Wood and Marie Stoner on artificial skin
  • considering safe sound levels for humans and implications in the workplace and leisure activities
  • investigating contemporary science issues related to living in a Pacific country located near plate boundaries, for example Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand
General capabilities
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
ScOT terms

Values (Psychology)

Video

Native plant seed bank

Did you know there is a special bank in which Australian native plant seeds are deposited? In this clip, Gardening Australia presenter, Angus Stewart visits the Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan to investigate the work of a seed bank. Find out about the process the scientists at the seed bank use to obtain and prepare ...

Video

Make no bones about ocean acidification

Extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is posing a real problem for the world's oceans. It's leading to ocean acidification and coral reefs are the big losers. See how acidification of the water leads to less calcium carbonate, a vital ingredient corals use to build their skeleton. Watch this clip to find out more.

Video

Microscopic pollen helps catch a criminal

An expert in plant pollen finds herself working in forensic science, helping police solve crimes. Find out how Dr Lynne Milne's knowledge of plant pollen was used in a criminal investigation. See how soils have a 'signature profile' based on the types and abundance of pollen.

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

Feverish activity stops dengue's spread

Why have the number of cases of dengue fever in Australia quadrupled in recent years? The disease is spread by mosquitoes, so will injecting the 'Wolbachia' bacterium into mosquitoes solve the problem? Follow the scientists on the case.

Video

Tsunami prevention in the Pacific

By investigating sediments and debris left by devastating tsunamis throughout history, Japanese scientists are making discoveries that change the way we understand disaster prevention in the Pacific. Watch as research teams examine rocks and mud layers; create digital simulations of past tsunamis; and investigate the seabed ...

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, ...

Video

Endangered Mala returned to natural habitat

Have you ever heard of the Australian marsupial called a Mala? Perhaps not, because this creature (also known as the Rufous Hare-wallaby), has been extinct in the wild for decades. Find out about a project to re-introduce the Mala into Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park. Learn also about the significance of this marsupial ...

Video

Going to school on sardines

Why might scientists research sardines by sampling schools of these pelagic fish? In this clip, find out about the links between knowing reproduction rates of sardines, their population numbers and sustainable fishing.

Video

Protecting exposed lake beds during drought

Visit the Lower Lakes near the mouth of the Murray River in 2009. Step onto the dried-out lake floor and watch what the wind does to the sand. How can planting rye grass help to stop erosion and to control a toxic environment in the mud beneath the sand? Find out in this clip.

Video

How do touchscreens work?

Ever wondered how swiping your finger makes a touchscreen work? In this animation, see how invisible electric fields mess with your finger so your phone can pinpoint what you're touching.

Video

Humans: will science and technology change us?

Human evolution has produced the most powerful and resourceful species on Earth. What makes us human and what might we be like in the future? Through different types of representation this video traces how scientific and technological developments in the past have influenced what it means to be human now. Will emerging ...

Video

Plants and increased levels of carbon dioxide

We know that most plants use carbon dioxide to make their own food. So what might plants look like in 100 years if carbon dioxide levels continue to increase - will they become enormous and overtake our backyards? View the possible effects of changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide on plants and, in turn, humans and other animals.

Video

Assisted Finger Orthosis

Rehabilitation from hand tendon surgery, one of the most common types of surgery in Australia, is set to benefit from new technology. Assisted Finger Orthosis will help recovering patients by restricting the movement of the fingers so as not to damage the work done by the surgery, while at the same time restoring strength ...

Video

Can photons and atoms generate laser?

Electrons around atoms can absorb and emit photons of particular colours of light – see three different atomic models explain what's going on.

Video

Predicting earthquakes

Will scientists ever be able to accurately predict earthquakes? Imagine the number of lives that could be saved if this were possible. Dr Maryanne Demasi joins a group of researchers drilling into one of the most earthquake-prone regions on Earth as they try to improve earthquake prediction to add precious seconds to earthquake ...

Video

Why are chillies hot?

Do you enjoy spicy foods? What sensations do you experience when you eat something with chilli in it? Listen as professor Peter McIntyre explains why chillies cause us pain. How else can scientists apply this knowledge?

Video

How high will sea levels rise?

Much of the world’s population will eventually have to deal with the consequences of sea-level rise, but the question is: how high will the water get? Dr Graham Phillips investigates how scientists are turning to the distant past to predict the impact of rising sea levels. Watch scientists explore 120,000-year-old coastlines, ...

Video

Innovation to improve underwater photography

The way light moves through water presents some challenges for underwater photographers. Watch this clip to find out how cinematographer Pawel Achtel may have solved the issues of distortion and loss of sharpness sometimes observed in underwater images. See his innovative design at work.

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.