Science / Year 8 / Science as a Human Endeavour / Use and influence of science

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

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 ...

Online

Game changers and change makers: resource book of ideas for National Science Week 2018

This resource book includes ideas to support students’ involvement in investigating, exploring, experimenting, designing, creating and communicating their understandings about game changers and change makers from the past who have solved some of the seemingly unsolvable problems, to game changers and change makers of today, ...

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

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

Precision Sheep Management: video

This is a video (4:09 min) about the University of New England’s Kirby Research Station and how its work with sheep has been transformed by technology, particularly the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag. The video is presented by members of the Enhanced sheep wellbeing and productivity research program and includes ...

Video

Upholding cassava's potential in Africa

This is a video about the importance of cassava for food security in Africa and how the Regional Cassava Initiative supported small-scale farmers whose crops were affected by viral diseases. Plant virologist James Legg explains the extent of the problem and how the viruses are transmitted, and Burundi farmer Aoron Sebomana ...

Video

Towards food security in Afghanistan

This is a video about the progress towards food and water security in Afghanistan. It includes images and information about how the global economic crisis has affected the people of Afghanistan; the value of investment in agriculture production to reduce poverty in this region; and a water security project that is jointly ...

Video

Water reservoirs as climate change adaptation

This is a video about water availability for people living in the Peruvian Andes. It includes vision and information about water scarcity in this region and details of a Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations funded project involving the creation of a sustainable water management program. The program involves ...

Text

Sustainable table: meet your meat

This is a website about the environmental and animal welfare issues related to the consumption of meat. It contains sections on the amount of meat we eat; the environmental impacts of consuming meat; cattle, chicken, egg-laying-hen and pig-farming factories; and what can be done to improve the current state of the meat ...

Interactive

2024 Dreaming

Explore options for houses, work, food and transport in 2024 in this multimedia presentation from Radio National. A useful resource for stimulating discussion about applications of science and implications for society and the environment as well as current issues and developments in science. Gives examples of how different ...

Text

Trees and chairs as carbon sinks

This ABC is in Q&A format and simply explains the answer to the question 'Could we really plant our way out of climate change?'

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.

Text

ACMF: Effects of selective breeding

This resource is a web page providing information about an experiment on the growth rate of different chicken breeds carried out by students at James Ruse Agricultural High School in NSW, which shows the influence of selective breeding on chicken weight. It includes a side-by-side column graph comparing the weight of egg ...

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 ...

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 ...

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.

Interactive

Energy game: SMART Notebook

Interactive game to be played following the 'What is energy?' Notebook and assessing students' knowledge of energy sources - renewable and non-renewable and the possible effect on the environment. The game may be played by two groups on IWB, or pairs of students on a computer.

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

Aim to Sustain

Students identify and explore ways in which human activity can threaten biodiversity and the health of our planet. Students are encouraged to take positive action to promote sustainability. The four resources: Get the message, Help a habitat, Alien invaders and A world of difference include videos, SMART notebooks, worksheets ...

Interactive

Sites2See: Discovering ores

A webpage of links to a range of interactive online resources about mining and mineral extraction, with a focus on uses of copper and environmental rehabilitation after mining.