Science

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Rationale

Science provides an empirical way of answering interesting and important questions about the biological, physical and technological world. The knowledge it produces has proved to be a reliable basis for action in our personal, social and economic lives.

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Aims

The Australian Curriculum: Science aims to ensure that students develop:

an interest in science as a means of expanding their curiosity and willingness to explore, ask questions about and speculate on the changing world in which they live.

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Key ideas

In the Australian Curriculum: Science, there are six key ideas that represent key aspects of a scientific view of the world and bridge knowledge and understanding across the disciplines of science, as shown Figure 1 below. These are embedded within each year level description and guide the teaching/learning emphasis for the relevant year level.

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Structure

The three interrelated strands of science
The Australian Curriculum: Science has three interrelated strands: science understanding, science as a human endeavour and science inquiry skills.

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Science Scope and Sequence (PDF)

Resources and support materials for the Australian Curriculum: Science are available as PDF documents. 
Science: Sequence of content
Science: Sequence of achievement 

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Glossary

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Year 7

Year 7 Level Description

The science inquiry skills and science as a human endeavour strands are described across a two-year band. In their planning, schools and teachers refer to the expectations outlined in the achievement standard and also to the content of the science understanding strand for the relevant year level to ensure that these two strands are addressed over the two-year period. The three strands of the curriculum are interrelated and their content is taught in an integrated way. The order and detail in which the content descriptions are organised into teaching and learning programs are decisions to be made by the teacher.

Incorporating the key ideas of science

Over Years 7 to 10, students develop their understanding of microscopic and atomic structures; how systems at a range of scales are shaped by flows of energy and matter and interactions due to forces, and develop the ability to quantify changes and relative amounts.

In Year 7, students explore the diversity of life on Earth and continue to develop their understanding of the role of classification in ordering and organising information. They use and develop models such as food chains, food webs and the water cycle to represent and analyse the flow of energy and matter through ecosystems and explore the impact of changing components within these systems. They consider the interaction between multiple forces when explaining changes in an object’s motion. They explore the notion of renewable and non-renewable resources and consider how this classification depends on the timescale considered. They investigate relationships in the Earth-sun-moon system and use models to predict and explain events. Students make accurate measurements and control variables to analyse relationships between system components. They explore and explain these relationships through appropriate representations and consider the role of science in decision making processes.


Year 7 Content Descriptions

Biological sciences

Classification helps organise the diverse group of organisms (ACSSU111 - Scootle )
  • considering the reasons for classifying such as identification and communication
  • grouping a variety of organisms on the basis of similarities and differences in particular features
  • considering how biological classifications have changed over time
  • classifying using hierarchical systems such as kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species
  • using scientific conventions for naming species
  • using provided keys to identify organisms surveyed in a local habitat
Interactions between organisms, including the effects of human activities can be represented by food chains and food webs (ACSSU112 - Scootle )
  • Sustainability
  • using food chains to show feeding relationships in a habitat
  • constructing and interpreting food webs to show relationships between organisms in an environment
  • classifying organisms of an environment according to their position in a food chain
  • recognising the role of microorganisms within food chains and food webs
  • investigating the effect of human activity on local habitats, such as deforestation, agriculture or the introduction of new species
    • Sustainability
  • exploring how living things can cause changes to their environment and impact other living things, such as the effect of cane toads
    • Sustainability
  • researching specific examples of human activity, such as the use of fire by traditional Aboriginal people and the effects of palm oil production in Sumatra and Borneo
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
    • Sustainability

Chemical sciences

Mixtures, including solutions, contain a combination of pure substances that can be separated using a range of techniques (ACSSU113 - Scootle )
  • recognising the differences between pure substances and mixtures and identifying examples of each
  • identifying the solvent and solute in solutions
  • investigating and using a range of physical separation techniques such as filtration, decantation, evaporation, crystallisation, chromatography and distillation
  • exploring and comparing separation methods used in the home

Earth and space sciences

Predictable phenomena on Earth, including seasons and eclipses, are caused by the relative positions of the sun, Earth and the moon (ACSSU115 - Scootle )
  • investigating natural phenomena such as lunar and solar eclipses, seasons and phases of the moon
  • comparing times for the rotation of Earth, the sun and moon, and comparing the times for the orbits of Earth and the moon
  • modelling the relative movements of the Earth, sun and moon and how natural phenomena such as solar and lunar eclipses and phases of the moon occur
  • explaining why different regions of the Earth experience different seasonal conditions
Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, including water that cycles through the environment, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116 - Scootle )
  • considering what is meant by the term ‘renewable’ in relation to the Earth’s resources
    • Sustainability
  • considering timescales for regeneration of resources
    • Sustainability
  • comparing renewable and non-renewable energy sources, including how they are used in a range of situations
    • Sustainability
  • considering the water cycle in terms of changes of state of water
  • investigating factors that influence the water cycle in nature
  • exploring how human management of water impacts on the water cycle
    • Sustainability

Physical sciences

Change to an object’s motion is caused by unbalanced forces, including Earth’s gravitational attraction, acting on the object (ACSSU117 - Scootle )
  • investigating the effects of applying different forces to familiar objects
  • investigating common situations where forces are balanced, such as stationary objects, and unbalanced, such as falling objects
  • investigating a simple machine such as lever or pulley system
  • exploring how gravity affects objects on the surface of Earth
  • considering how gravity keeps planets in orbit around the sun

Nature and development of science

Scientific knowledge has changed peoples’ understanding of the world and is refined as new evidence becomes available (ACSHE119 - Scootle )
  • investigating how advances in telescopes and space probes have provided new evidence about space
  • researching different ideas used in the development of models of the solar system developed by scientists such as Copernicus, Khayyám and Galileo
  • researching developments in the understanding of astronomy, such as the predictions of eclipses and the calculation of the length of the solar year by Al‑Battani in the tenth century
Science knowledge can develop through collaboration across the disciplines of science and the contributions of people from a range of cultures (ACSHE223 - Scootle )
  • considering how water use and management relies on knowledge from different areas of science, and involves the application of technology
    • Sustainability
  • identifying the contributions of Australian scientists to the study of human impact on environments and to local environmental management projects
    • Sustainability
  • investigating how land management practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can help inform sustainable management of the environment
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
    • Sustainability
  • studying transnational collaborative research in the Antarctic
  • recognising that traditional and Western scientific knowledge can be used in combination to care for Country/Place
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
    • Sustainability

Use and influence of science

Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology, may impact on other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations (ACSHE120 - Scootle )
  • relating regulations about wearing seatbelts or safety helmets to knowledge of forces and motion
  • considering issues relating to the use and management of water within a community
    • Sustainability
  • considering decisions made in relation to the recycling of greywater and blackwater
    • Sustainability
  • considering how human activity in the community can have positive and negative effects on the sustainability of ecosystems
    • Sustainability
  • investigating ways to control the spread of the cane toad
    • Sustainability
People use science understanding and skills in their occupations and these have influenced the development of practices in areas of human activity (ACSHE121 - Scootle )
  • investigating everyday applications of physical separation techniques such as filtering, sorting waste materials, reducing pollution, extracting products from plants, separating blood products and cleaning up oil spills
    • Sustainability
  • investigating how advances in science and technology have been applied to the treatment of water in industrial and household systems
    • Sustainability
  • investigating how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge is being used to inform scientific decisions, for example care of waterways
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
    • Sustainability
  • researching the different scientific responses to the rabbit plagues in Australian agricultural areas
  • recognising that water management plays a role in areas such as farming, land management and gardening
  • investigating how separation techniques are used in the food and wine industries
  • considering how seasonal changes affect people in a variety of activities such as farming
  • considering how sports scientists apply knowledge of forces to improve performance

Questioning and predicting

Identify questions and problems that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge (ACSIS124 - Scootle )
  • working collaboratively to identify a problem to investigate
  • recognising that the solution of some questions and problems requires consideration of social, cultural, economic or moral aspects rather than or as well as scientific investigation
  • using information and knowledge from previous investigations to predict the expected results from an investigation

Planning and conducting

Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS125 - Scootle )
  • working collaboratively to decide how to approach an investigation
  • learning and applying specific skills and rules relating to the safe use of scientific equipment
  • identifying whether the use of their own observations and experiments or the use of other research materials is appropriate for their investigation
  • developing strategies and techniques for effective research using secondary sources, including use of the internet
Measure and control variables, select equipment appropriate to the task and collect data with accuracy (ACSIS126 - Scootle )
  • recognising the differences between controlled, dependent and independent variables
  • using a digital camera to record observations and compare images using information technologies
  • using specialised equipment to increase the accuracy of measurement within an investigation

Processing and analysing data and information

Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys and models to represent and analyse patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS129 - Scootle )
  • understanding different types of graphical and physical representation and considering their advantages and disadvantages
  • using spreadsheets to aid the presentation and simple analysis of data
  • describing the trends shown in collected data
Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions based on evidence (ACSIS130 - Scootle )
  • using diagrammatic representations to convey abstract ideas and to simplify complex situations
  • comparing and contrasting data from a number of sources in order to create a summary of collected data
  • identifying data which provides evidence to support or negate the hypothesis under investigation
  • referring to relevant evidence when presenting conclusions drawn from an investigation

Evaluating

Reflect on scientific investigations including evaluating the quality of the data collected, and identifying improvements (ACSIS131 - Scootle )
  • discussing investigation methods with others to share ideas about the quality of the inquiry process
  • identifying and considering indicators of the quality of the data when analysing results
  • suggesting improvements to inquiry methods based on experience
Use scientific knowledge and findings from investigations to evaluate claims based on evidence (ACSIS132 - Scootle )
  • using the evidence provided by scientific investigations to evaluate the claims or conclusions of their peers

Communicating

Communicate ideas, findings and evidence based solutions to problems using scientific language, and representations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS133 - Scootle )
  • presenting the outcomes of research using effective forms of representation of data or ideas and scientific language that is appropriate for the target audience
  • using digital technologies to access information and to communicate and collaborate with others on and off site

Year 7 Achievement Standards

By the end of Year 7, students describe techniques to separate pure substances from mixtures. They represent and predict the effects of unbalanced forces, including Earth’s gravity, on motion. They explain how the relative positions of Earth, the sun and moon affect phenomena on Earth. They analyse how the sustainable use of resources depends on the way they are formed and cycle through Earth systems. They predict the effect of human and environmental changes on interactions between organisms and classify and organise diverse organisms based on observable differences. Students describe situations where scientific knowledge from different science disciplines and diverse cultures has been used to solve a real-world problem. They explain possible implications of the solution for different groups in society.

Students identify questions that can be investigated scientifically. They plan fair experimental methods, identifying variables to be changed and measured. They select equipment that improves fairness and accuracy and describe how they considered safety. Students draw on evidence to support their conclusions. They summarise data from different sources, describe trends and refer to the quality of their data when suggesting improvements to their methods. They communicate their ideas, methods and findings using scientific language and appropriate representations.


Year 7 Work Sample Portfolios