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Science / Year 9 / Science as a Human Endeavour / Nature and development of science

View on Australian Curriculum website Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Curriculum content descriptions

Scientific understanding, including models and theories, is contestable and is refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community (ACSHE157)

Elaborations
  • investigating the historical development of models of the structure of the atom
  • investigating how the theory of plate tectonics developed, based on evidence from sea-floor spreading and occurrence of earthquakes and volcanic activity
  • considering how ideas about disease transmission have changed from medieval time to the present as knowledge has developed
  • investigating the work of scientists such as Ernest Rutherford, Pierre Curie and Marie Curie on radioactivity and subatomic particles
  • investigating how models can be used to predict the changes in populations due to environmental changes, such as the impact of flooding or fire on rabbit or kangaroo populations
General capabilities
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
ScOT terms

Evaluation,  Theories,  Paradigms,  Dissent,  Peer review

Video

Lured by fossils

Dinosaur fossils capture the imagination of all kinds of people, leading some to a lifetime of research and theorising. Find out about the devotion of two families whose examination of Australia's fossil record has contributed to understanding the geology and evolution of life here.

Video

How will fire change the climate?

Considering the impact of a changing climate on the severity and frequency of fires is one thing, but how about the impact of fires on climate? Why does Professor David Bowman describe this scenario as a 'fire spiral'? What are the consequences of a world with fewer forests? As Professor Craig Allen explains, drought and ...

Video

Earth's extremes sheds light on life on Mars

Join astrobiologist Louisa Preston as she explores extreme environments on Earth to better understand the potential for life on Mars. Find out what types of microscopic organisms survive in these hostile environments. Discover why Rovers sent to Mars are looking for evidence of carbon. What might be found at a site on Mars ...

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

Carbon dioxide (CO2) fire extinguisher

Different types of chemical reactions are used in many everyday products. Watch this clip to see how two common household substances can be combined to create an 'Invisible Candle Extinguisher'.

Video

Below Earth's crust

Imagine tunnelling deep, deep below the Earth's surface. What do you think you would find thousands of kilometres down? Watch this clip to find out what is inside the Earth, what it's made up of and how hot it is. Find out about earthquakes, volcanoes, and geysers, and how they help us to understand about the composition ...

Video

Climate and bushfires in Australia

What can science tell us about the major cause of bushfires in Australia's past? How can it help us predict future bushfires? Two scientists discuss evidence related to bushfire regimes (bushfire patterns, types and intensity). Please note that this clip contains recent images of homes destroyed by fire that may disturb ...

Video

Fighting infection with vaccines

Explore historical and modern efforts to battle human infectious diseases. Watch re-enactments of the experiments of Edward Jenner, who pioneered vaccination, and of Louis Pasteur's work showing how microbes cause infection. Peer down the microscope to see the microbial world that wreaks havoc on human health. Learn about ...

Video

The home of Australian science

Australia has a long and proud history of excellence in science. How should we celebrate this? Watch this clip to find out about an Australian organisation that recognises and promotes outstanding scientific achievement. You'll also find why its Canberra headquarters is referred to as 'the flying saucer'!

Video

Coral bleaching: threat to the Great Barrier Reef?

Scientist Dr Ove Hoegh-Guldberg describes the Great Barrier Reef as one of the most thrilling ecosystems on the planet. Discovering new things there makes him feel like a pioneer. In the early 1980s the sudden appearance of bleached coral was a mystery. Join Dr Ove Hoegh-Guldberg as he describes coral bleaching as a serious ...

Interactive

Tectonic boundaries

Apply different tectonic forces to plate boundaries. Compare the effects when plates collide, separate, or slide past each other. Investigate the causes of earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes. Investigate important boundary sites, for example the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the Andes, the San Andreas Fault, the Himalayas, and the ...

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.

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 ...

Online

Interdependence in the environment

Within an ecosystem there are interdependent relationships between the species of that environment which are recognised and understood in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ecological knowledge and practices. This classroom activity provides students with the opportunity to develop science understanding of the interdependencies ...

Interactive

Kamay – looking up

This resource explores the navigation techniques used during the journey of the Endeavour and contrasts these with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander navigational and astronomical systems that have been in place for many thousands of years. This learning sequence contains activities suitable for Year 7 - Year 10 science ...

Online

Big systems: teacher guide

This is a teacher guide comprised of lessons for teaching a unit on the four principle Earth systems: the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere future of science with an emphasis on climate science, global warming, and the Earth’s structure and natural disasters like volcanoes. This resource includes background ...

Interactive

SmartGraphs - African Lions: Modeling Populations - iTunes app

Investigate population modelling by studying the renowned African lions of the Ngorongoro Crater including real-life scientific data. Analyse graphs and data to answer questions and make predictions about changes in the lion population and other population models. Find out about important ecological and modelling concepts. ...

Interactive

Big systems: student digital

This is a student digital resource that contains interactive materials for exploring the large-scale systems and our Earth. This resource contains a rich array of digital interactive activities, video clips, images and diagrams, supportive information and notebook questions, and is divided into several parts such as ‘Tectonics ...

Text

Big systems: student guide

This is a downloadable (PDF) student guide that looks at Earth and the big systems within it from the atmosphere above Earth, to the hydrosphere and biosphere on its surface, and the lithosphere below the crust. This resource contains different parts or chapters, such as Plate tectonics and Climate Science, each with information, ...

Audio

Diabetes type 2 cured by surgery ABC Radio national

Download the audio or view the transcript of this ABC radio program. It is an excellent example of how approaching a problem from a different perspective and with an open mind may result in an amazing solution. Richard Stubbs, and New Zealand scientist, claims type 2 diabetes is a disease of the gut. If his hypothesis is ...