Science / Year 8 / Science as a human endeavour / Nature and development of science

Curriculum content descriptions

explain how new evidence or different perspectives can lead to changes in scientific knowledge (AC9S8H01)

Elaborations
  • identifying how technological developments, such as those related to microscopes and medical imaging, have led to improved understanding of cells and organs
  • considering how advances in technologies have enabled the repair and replacement of organs using synthetic materials
  • analysing how sustainability priorities such as efficiency and limiting environmental impact have led to innovative practices in mining and mine site regeneration
  • examining the evidence that led to the acceptance of the theory of plate tectonics over the idea of continental drift
  • investigating how advances in deep Earth imaging techniques have enabled identification of mineral, energy and water resources beneath surface sedimentary rock
  • discussing the story of Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery of gravity or the questions that Albert Einstein asked which led him to developing a new theory
  • researching why Dmitri Mendeleev developed a different representation of the periodic table
General capabilities
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Literacy Literacy
ScOT terms

Paradigms,  Evidence,  Observations (Data)

Video

Catalyst: 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

Catalyst: 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

Catalyst: What is a megafire?

Join Catalyst reporter Anja Taylor as she visits the Jemez Mountains in New Mexico and discovers the impacts of recent megafires on the landscape there. What is a megafire? And how is a megafire different from a regular wildfire? How have recent fires permanently transformed the landscapes that Anja and Professor Craig ...

Video

The power of science photography

Visual art and science are often considered to be separate fields. Watch as Phred Petersen talks about the way he combines his passions of photography and science. What is the role of technology in enabling this crossover? What kinds of scientific discoveries can be assisted by high-speed photography? And how can scientific ...

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

Energy chains: energy use

Select energy sources and energy converters to build energy chains to power appliances and vehicles. Examine how each energy converter in a chain loses some energy and reduces the energy available for use. For example, show that using a solar panel and an electric motor to drive a car delivers only 16% of the original ...

Interactive

Seasons

Control the motion of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun. Work out how the Earth’s orbit and the tilt of its axis determine seasons in the different hemispheres. Work out how the Earth’s orbit and the tilt of its axis determine day length in the different hemispheres. Examine the heating effect of the Sun. Compare seasons ...

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

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?

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

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

Working towards a renewable energy future

Listen to electrical engineering student Kulsoom Hussain describe her dream career. What are some of the challenges she says she'll face in trying to achieve her goals? What can you find out about the energy sources used in Australia? How much renewable energy is used to power our country?

Video

Could you make a unicorn by crossing DNA?

Good question! Find out whether this is possible by watching as biologist at MIT, Dr Sera Thornton explains. What is a genome? And why do genomes need to be decoded? If the rhino genome was successfully decoded and the part that described the rhino horn was isolated, what would the process be for creating a unicorn?

Interactive

Chicken farming in the living world: Stage 4

Chickens are fascinating animals and provide students with an interesting subject matter to discuss the many aspects of our living world. This interactive course for students explores the question 'What scientific knowledge has influenced the current agricultural practices of the chicken meat industry?' and comprises a ...

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? ...

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.

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

Water found on the moon

Scientists have confirmed the presence of water on the moon. Rather than occurring in rivers or lakes, water is found sparsely mixed amongst rocks. It's suggested the water came from comets, or the combination of incoming protons with oxygen. Jonathan Nally described the latest experiments where spacecraft will be sent ...

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.