Science / Year 8 / Science Understanding / Chemical sciences

Curriculum content descriptions

Differences between elements, compounds and mixtures can be described at a particle level (ACSSU152)

  • modelling the arrangement of particles in elements and compounds
  • recognising that elements and simple compounds can be represented by symbols and formulas
  • locating elements on the periodic table
ScOT terms

Mixtures,  Chemical elements,  Chemical compounds,  Molecular structure


Separation Anxiety

This activity invites students to explore colour chromatography, a technique that uses capillary action to separate different types of ink at different rates. The activity includes a list of tools and materials required, assembly instructions, what to do and notice, an explanation for the underlying science of what students ...


Magic tricks revealed using chemistry

Some magic tricks, such as disappearing ink or candles that won't blow out, can be explained by chemistry. In this clip, three classroom chemistry experiments demonstrate that some familiar magic tricks rely on acid-base chemical reactions, and the properties and behaviour of gases. Watch closely if you've ever wanted to ...


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, ...


Chemistry-inspired food tricks

Bananas too green, coffee too bitter, cookies too hard! Watch this clip to find out about the chemistry behind some clever food-preparation tricks that will solve these food crises. Discover the chemical elements, compounds and properties involved in getting some of our favourite foods to taste just right.


Sites2See: Databases for science

A page with downloadable examples, exemplars and advice to help integrate database use in teaching and learning for science. Includes suggestions and reasons for using databases in science, practise activities and information on research and benefits, plus links to a range of related resources.


Uses of some Elements

Students use this resource consisting of ten slides with diagrams, written explanation and voice-over to understand that the properties of some metals relate to how they are used. It also explains why alloys have been produced and how they are used. There is a two-question quiz and a summary slide.


Oresome world

This interactive resource takes students on a journey of discovery in the energy and mining world. Oresome world contains five games or modules: Coal, Energy, Gas, Low emissions and Mining, and within each of these there are several facilities to explore, such as the Underground mining site, Hydroelectric power station, ...


Vitamania: vitamin profiles

Most people know that vitamins are an essential daily requirement for a healthy life, but few people really know how or why. Vitamins need to be examined individually to understand and appreciate their differences and specific importance to our bodily functions. This lesson plan with supporting video clips, introduces students ...


School of rocks: teacher resource

In this structured inquiry unit of work students explore the formation of rocks and minerals. They investigate how the properties of rocks and minerals are related to their use, and how these naturally occurring materials provide valuable resources for human activity. Students also investigate the effects of volcanic activity, ...


Chemistry of rotten eggs, and more

Want to know if an egg is rotten, why onions bring on tears and what makes green vegetables turn brown after cooking? Watch this clip to discover the chemistry behind these and other everyday problems. Find out about the chemical reactions, compounds and elements involved, and learn some simple chemistry-inspired solutions.


Art Conservation: STEM careers

This is a unit of work about the scientific techniques and ethical considerations in art conservation and the occupations that exist in art conservation. The resource includes: An introduction with teacher notes, student tasks, embedded videos and links to other resources. Specific topics explored include what art conservators ...


NSW ecosystems on show

This resource highlights fifteen natural ecosystems found in New South Wales. Each resource has been designed for students investigating ecosystem types in NSW, providing a greater understanding of their location, function, how they are impacted by human activity and how schools and communities can work to protect them. ...


Water-powered engine theories need hosing down

This ABC article by Dr Karl addresses the question: will we one day be able to power cars with water? The chemical reactions involved in the formation and decomposition of water are described. Energy transformations are explained. A very useful resource to get students thinking.


Respiration in Plants

This resource consists of automated illustrated slides with voice over presenting information about why plants need to respire, their need for oxygen and a comparison of when respiration and photosynthesis occurs.


Carbon is energy

We all use energy every day. Energy is available to us in many different forms - food, heat, electricity, petrol. But where does it all come from? This unit investigates the science of energy, renewable and non-renewable energy sources and how they can be sustained into the future. The unit includes PDF resources and video ...


DIY pH Indicator

This resource contains lessons plans containing instructions and teachers 'notes for an activity based on the natural pH indicator present in red cabbage leaves. It can be extracted following these explicit and clear directions included for this activity. This indicator solution changes colour from purple to bright pink ...


Preparing Slides of Plant Cells

Students use this resource consisting of six slides with diagrams, written explanation and voice-over to understand how to prepare a slide of onion cells. There is a two-question quiz and a summary slide.


Predicting earthquakes: are we there yet?

Ask and expert' ABC article exemplifies some creative approaches of scientists to the significant problem of predicting earthquakes. The science behind the various methods is outlined, their successes and failures and problems for possible future developments.


experiMENTALS: Magic potion

This resource contains a materials and instruction list and brief explanation for students about the process of dropping dry ice into food coloured water. Safety regulations should be checked and followed.


Gas Exchange

Students use this resource consisting of eight slides with diagrams, written explanation and voice-over to understand that gas exchange is the absorption of oxygen from the air into the blood and the removal of carbon dioxide from the blood. There is a two-question quiz and a summary slide.