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

Video

Dam threatens ancient lungfish

Explore the issues around the construction of the Traveston Dam in Queensland with Professor Jean Joss and former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie. In this 2006 news report they outline arguments for and against the construction of the dam and how it would affect one of the few remaining homes of a 150-million- year-old ...

Video

Engineering clean rivers

Figuring out how to clean up contaminated rivers is a big challenge. It's also tricky to work out where the most contaminated parts of a river system are and whether its fish are safe to eat. Watch this video and learn how engineering has helped to solve these problems. Why do you think engineers looked to the bottom of ...

Video

All about engines

What does 'horsepower' really mean? And how do engines work? Join Luke and Abhi from MIT to find out! As Abhi explains, engines produce power by forcing a mixture of fuel and air into a tight space and then burning it. Piston engines and turbine engines do this in similar, yet different ways. After watching this video, ...

Video

Where does water go after it rains?

What happens to rainfall in Australia? Water usually flows downhill, and because we know where the hills are, scientists have been able to divide the country into drainage divisions, or catchments. Find out which drainage division you're in, and learn what happens to rainwater that doesn't make it to the sea. |Learn more ...

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

Why are dogs such top smellers?

This engaging article outlines the science behind the sense of smell. It explains what makes dogs' noses and their sense of smell so powerful. It also describes how understanding the science has had implications for the potential development of new technologies.

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 ...

Video

ACMF: Farm visit

This resource is a web page providing information about commercial chicken meat farming in Australia. It explains that meat chickens are not raised in cages but are kept in large barns, and provides a link to further information on the different farming systems used in growing meat chickens. The resource features a film ...

Interactive

Macrobiotica – science @ the lakes

In this resource students work as scientists while exploring their local environment in the real world of scientific endeavour. Games and animations are used to model the real experience of investigating a freshwater lake. This version of the Macrobiotica resource has been modified for Internet use by removing Teaching ...

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

Waratah Australis Nursery (flowers) – Batlow, New South Wales

This is a video about plant breeder and nursery owner Brian Fitzpatrick and his work of breeding waratahs. It shows scenes of his activities in the Waratah Australis Nursery as he speaks of the magnificence of waratahs; the stages in the breeding process including hand-pollination and the production of 12,000 seedlings ...

Online

Investigating key Australian fibre production practices in the cotton, timber and wool sectors

This is a unit of work about how cotton, timber and wool are produced, processed and brought to customers in Australia. It explores: where cotton, timber and wool comes from; past, present and future production systems; and a range of other related topics including land management, water management, waste management, revegetation, ...

Online

Producing cattle and sheep...beef and lamb

This is a unit of work comprising five sequences of activities in which students investigate cattle and sheep production systems and present a documentary, song, poster or brochure in response. In the first sequence, students engage with the industries, sources of information and possible forms of response. In the second ...

Online

Salinity and the Murray-Darling Basin

This lesson sequence examines salinity in the Murray-Darling Basin: the source of the salt, why it is a problem, how it is monitored and current management strategies. It includes a teacher PowerPoint presentation, separate teacher notes and a student worksheet. This lesson sequence is one in a series exploring aspects ...

Online

Running the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin

This lesson sequence examines the role that river operators play in water resource management in the Murray-Darling Basin and explains how they direct water releases and track progress downstream for environmental watering and flood management. It includes a teacher PowerPoint presentation, separate teacher notes and a ...

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 ...

Online

Bringing mining to life: STEM careers

This is a unit of work about mining, occupations in the mining industry and the history and future of mining in Australia. The resource includes: An introduction with teacher notes, student tasks, embedded videos and links to additional resources. Specific topics explored include jobs in the mining industry; the role ...

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

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.