Science / Year 8 / Science as a Human Endeavour / Nature and development of science

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Curriculum content descriptions

Scientific knowledge has changed peoples’ understanding of the world and is refined as new evidence becomes available (ACSHE134)

Elaborations
  • investigating developments in the understanding of cells and how this knowledge has impacted on areas such as health and medicine
  • discovering how people’s understanding of the nature of matter has changed over time as evidence for particle theory has become available through developments in technology
  • considering how the idea of elements has developed over time as knowledge of the nature of matter has improved
  • investigating the development of the microscope and the impact it has had on the understanding of cell functions and division
ScOT terms

Evidence,  Paradigms,  Observations (Data)

Text

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

What are microbes?

What are microbes? What are the four major groups that most microbes belong to? Listen as Dr Taghrid Istivan explains where microbes are found. What is the name of the group of microbes she describes as beneficial to our health? Can you explain what happens when people get food poisoning?

Video

Testing the 5-second rule

When it comes to dropping food, have you heard of the 5-second rule? Or the 3-second rule? Watch this video to learn what really happens when you drop food. In order to cause disease, what must bacteria do? What circumstances allow bacteria and viruses to contaminate food more successfully?

Video

Understanding the causes of climate change

Did you know that climate change is not a recent phenomenon? In the past, natural events led to changes in the climate. Although natural events still affect climate, they're not enough to explain the big changes we've been seeing in the last 150 years. What changes on earth can account for such dramatic changes to our climate? ...

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, ...

Interactive

Syllabus bites: Solving world problems with biotechnology

This web page is designed to help students to understand the history of biotechnology and how it contributes to solving real-world problems such as disease and waste disposal.

Video

Robot biomimicry

This 9 minute video segment from Catalyst shows how inspiration from the world of animals has helped in the mechanical design of robots and adhesive materials.

Audio

Lakes in Antarctica

Scientists are not complacent. We still have a lot to learn about the water cycle. The discovery of glacial lakes under the ice in Antarctica actively transporting water between reservoirs was a surprise. These lakes can be up to 3km beneath the ice sheets. The pressure of the ice above helps to melt the ice, forming lakes. ...

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 Talk 2007: Tim Entwistle

An interview and tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney and its herbarium with Dr Tim Entwistle, a plant scientist and the NSW Government Botanist. Tim talks to a pre-service teacher from Macquarie University about his love of plants, in particular freshwater algae. In the herbarium we find out why it is so important ...

Interactive

Thermal comfort – sustainability action process (Years 7–10)

This thermal comfort learning resource will guide students through an extended school based investigation. Students will develop and implement a chosen sustainability action and then evaluate and reflect on their success and their learning.

Interactive

Biodiversity – sustainability action process (Years 7–10)

This biodiversity learning resource guides students through an extended school based investigation. Students develop and implement a chosen sustainability action and then evaluate and reflect on their success and their learning.

Interactive

Tectonics investigator

Investigate the internal structure of the Earth using earthquake measurements. Examine the Earth’s outer layer. Fit the Earth's tectonic plates together like a jigsaw puzzle. Identify how plate movements produce many features of the Earth’s surface. Predict the formation of new volcanic islands. This learning object is ...

Interactive

Exploring atoms: atom structure

See how scientists such as Ernest Rutherford have investigated the structure of atoms. Explore possible models. Fire charged particles at atoms and find which model best fits the results. This learning object is one in a series of six objects. Three of the objects are also packaged as a combined learning object.

Audio

Gus Nossal speaks on being a research scientist, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of one of Australia's best known research scientists and immunologists, Sir Gustav Nossal, outlining his views on medical research. He discusses the qualities necessary for a person to be a successful scientific researcher and talks about the nature and future of science research, suggesting ...

Video

BTN: Tsunamis

Discover what powerful force triggers a tsunami. In this clip you will see the damage caused by tsunami, and find out why it occurred. Learn about what is happening on the ocean floor and the connection between tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes and tectonic plates. See how a warning centre is working to keep people safe ...

Video

BTN: Volcanoes and people

Imagine living in the shadow of a volcano? Well, millions of people do in Naples, Italy, where a massive volcano called Vesuvius exists. This clip explores the dangers posed by volcanoes and investigates some recent and ancient eruptions. Find out some misconceptions about volcanoes and discover how science is helping prevent ...

Video

Four Corners: Ecological effects of bushfires

Did you know that Australia is the most flammable continent on Earth? Watch this clip to discover how bushfires impact natural ecosystems, and how the increasing global threat of bushfires may affect Australia. Australian scientists explain the ecological consequences of fire and a US expert describes his concerns for the future.

Video

Catalyst: Snapshots of top Australian scientists

Australia has produced many of the world's top scientists. Watch this clip to discover who some of them are. Explore the scientific discoveries that made them famous, and how they changed our understanding of the world.

Video

Catalyst: Heat transfer: is it hot or cold?

If you picked up a paper book and a metal box do you think one would feel colder to the touch or would they feel the same? Watch this clip to see if people's predictions about the temperature of objects match their observations. You may be as surprised as they are!