Science / Year 10 / Science Understanding / Biological sciences

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Curriculum content descriptions

The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence (ACSSU185)

Elaborations
  • outlining processes involved in natural selection including variation, isolation and selection
  • describing biodiversity as a function of evolution
  • investigating changes caused by natural selection in a particular population as a result of a specified selection pressure such as artificial selection in breeding for desired characteristics
  • relating genetic characteristics to survival and reproductive rates
  • evaluating and interpreting evidence for evolution, including the fossil record, chemical and anatomical similarities, and geographical distribution of species
ScOT terms

Evolution,  Biodiversity

Interactive resource

The Circle: biology

Explore how Antarctic plants and animals are adapted to life in a polar environment. Look at species descriptions of animals such as penguins, whales and krill. Examine specific adaptations to the environment such as the dense feathers and layers of body fat of the emperor penguin. Compare feeding pathways within a food ...

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

Genes

See how genes and genetic engineering work. Build models of DNA, and work out how it is copied as cells divide. Discover how the codes carried in the genes are copied and used to build proteins. See how gene splicing can be used to benefit human lives. For example, model the transfer of a human gene into bacteria, so they ...

Interactive Resource

Evolution and heredity: student digital

This is a student digital resource that contains interactive materials for a comprehensive study of evolution and heredity including species variation, adaptation, selection and biodiversity, evidence for evolution, the structure of DNA, meiosis and sexual reproduction, inheriting genes and traits, and mutations. This resource ...

Interactive resource

Down to Earth: palaeotraveller

Travel back in time and see how the Australian continent has changed. For example, find out when glaciers were common on the Australian mainland. Look at maps, landscapes, living things and environments over the last 545 million years. Compare past temperatures and sea levels with those of today. Explore which forces are ...

Moving Image

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 ...

Interactive Resource

Natural selection

This is an interactive resource in which students explore natural selection by controlling an environment and causing mutations in rabbits. Students can select vary environments, selection pressures, mutations and associated genetics, and then observe the populations change. This interactive resource is supported by tips ...

Interactive resource

The Circle: the frozen laboratory

Explore how Antarctic plants and animals are adapted to life in a polar environment. Look at species descriptions of animals such as penguins, whales and krill. Examine specific adaptations such as the dense feathers and layers of body fat of the emperor penguin. Compare feeding pathways within a food web. Explore the geological ...

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Evolution and heredity: student guide

This is a student guide that takes an in-depth look at evolution and heredity. It begins and ends with students arguing their stances on contentious topics concerning evolution and genetics. The chapters on evolution provide the evidence for evolution and show how species chance. The section of heredity introduces the history ...

Teacher resource

Evolution and heredity: teacher guide

This is a teacher guide containing material to support the planning and implementing of lessons for a unit on evolution and heredity. It covers topics such as natural selection and species variation; evidence for evolution; DNA, genes, mitosis and meiosis; patterns of inheritance and gene technologies. The guide contains ...

Interactive resource

Travel back in time: time map

See how the land masses of Australia and New Zealand have changed over the last 110 million years. Learn about past climates. This learning object is one in a series of two objects.

Teacher resource

Animal Health: the science of healthy animals

This study guide considers the science behind breeding, genetics, health and animal welfare in the cattle and sheep industries - keeping animals free of disease and parasites, improving biodiversity and protecting against feral animals. A range of articles and student activities explores how farmers and scientists are working ...

Teacher resource

Control: far afield - lesson plan

This is a plan for a lesson that encourages discussion about human alteration of plants, the importance of agricultural biodiversity, the problems associated with monoculture and the different approaches to pest control including the use of genetic engineering in food production. Topics include the origin and development ...

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The spread of people to Australia

This is multilayered resource about the theories and evidence of how modern human beings reached Australia. It includes five sections: Origins of the first Australians; The Asian connection; Gateways into a new continent; The first Australians; and Important sites that hold archaeological evidence. The Related links section ...

MovingImage

Ancient DNA

This 9 minute video segment from Catalyst explains the role of Australian Centre for Ancient DNA.It is an internationally recognised research centre for the study of minute traces of preserved genetic material - species studied date from a million years ago to more modern day mysteries... from mammoths to the Tassie devil, ...

Moving Image

Decoding the platypus genome

Find out what scientists have discovered from decoding the platypus genome. Learn how these discoveries provide some surprising insights into this unusual animal's underwater feeding, number of sex chromosomes, protection of its young and evolution of the male platypus's venomous spur.

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Pedigree Dogs

This 12 minute video segment from Catalyst demonstrates how scientific knowledge can improve the well-being of our domestic pets and change public opinion. This show exemplifies the benefits of the application of our understanding of genetics and evolution.

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Treetop kangaroos

This ABC In Depth feature article includes everything you wanted or needed to know about tree kangaroos. This article describes their reproduction, classification, adaptations and issues relating to their conservation.

Teacher resource

New plants from old?

This is a unit of work for teachers that uses plant breeding to explain the basics of genetics. Particular concepts covered include: the principles of dominant and recessive genes; plant breeding using these principles; the scientist Gregor Mendel, who first recognised the principles; and the intellectual property (IP) ...

Moving Image

Saving the Mountain Pygmy-possum

Discover the tiny Mountain Pygmy-possum and find out what scientists are doing to try to save it from extinction. Learn about the possum and why it is endangered, and watch some research being conducted out in the field and in a laboratory. The clip includes footage of this rare and endangered native Australian animal in the wild.

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Ancient DNA

What questions might be answered by the DNA of ancient fossilised remains? What mysteries of the past could be unlocked? Watch this clip and learn more about some fascinating genetic research taking place right here in Australia.