Work samples


Year 9

Above satisfactory

Hydrothermal vents

Summary of task

Over a period of eight weeks, students engaged in an integrated STEAM project designed to offer students insights into real-world industry applications and work experiences. Students were organised into ‘business units’ of a fictitious mining corporation tasked with undertaking relevant geophysical and geochemical investigations.

In this task, students chose to investigate the effect of ocean acidification on the formation of mineral depositions occurring near hydrothermal vents. They were asked to research the geological and chemical processes related to hydrothermal vents, plan and conduct a laboratory experiment that simulates these processes, and create a scientific report presenting the results and conclusions of their investigation. Working both independently and collaboratively, students were expected to organise their work using time management strategies to complete the project.

The project ideas and learning materials used in this work sample have been developed by the school in partnership with an organisation that provides STEAM resources and promotes a project-based approach to STEAM teaching.

Achievement standard

By the end of Year 9, students explain chemical processes and natural radioactivity in terms of atoms and energy transfers and describe examples of important chemical reactions. They describe models of energy transfer and apply these to explain phenomena. They explain global features and events in terms of geological processes and timescales. They analyse how biological systems function and respond to external changes with reference to interdependencies, energy transfers and flows of matter. They describe social and technological factors that have influenced scientific developments and predict how future applications of science and technology may affect people’s lives.

Students design questions that can be investigated using a range of inquiry skills. They design methods that include the control and accurate measurement of variables and systematic collection of data and describe how they considered ethics and safety. They analyse trends in data, identify relationships between variables and reveal inconsistencies in resultsThey analyse their methods and the quality of their data, and explain specific actions to improve the quality of their evidence. They evaluate others’ methods and explanations from a scientific perspective and use appropriate language and representations when communicating their findings and ideas to specific audiences.

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