Work samples


Year 10


Big Bang Theory

Summary of task

Students were asked to create a scientific report to explain the evidence that supports the Big Bang theory for the evolution of the universe. Students were asked to address the following questions and discuss the key scientific ideas relating to:

1) What is the Big Bang theory?

2) What is red shift?

3) What is Cosmic Background Microwave Radiation

4) How do they provide evidence for the Big Bang theory?

5) Does the evidence, in the student’s eyes, support the Big Bang theory?

The task was given at the end of a teaching and learning unit on 'The Mysterious Universe' where students investigated the empirical evidence that has enabled scientists to refine previous theories and present the most commonly accepted theory of 'the Big Bang'. Students were made aware of the fact that the Big Bang theory does not provide any explanation for the initial conditions of the universe, but rather describes and explains the general evolution of the universe going forward from a ‘singularity’. Students had learnt that, in this context, the term singularity designates a hypothetical initial state of the universe when there was no time and space and all that existed was energy concentrated in a single point.

Achievement standard

By the end of Year 10, students analyse how the periodic table organises elements and use it to make predictions about the properties of elements. They explain how chemical reactions are used to produce particular products and how different factors influence the rate of reactions. They explain the concept of energy conservation and represent energy transfer and transformation within systems. They apply relationships between force, mass and acceleration to predict changes in the motion of objects. Students describe and analyse interactions and cycles within and between Earth’s spheres. They evaluate the evidence for scientific theories that explain the origin of the universe and the diversity of life on Earth. They explain the processes that underpin heredity and evolution. Students analyse how the models and theories they use have developed over time and discuss the factors that prompted their review.

Students develop questions and hypotheses and independently design and improve appropriate methods of investigation, including field work and laboratory experimentation. They explain how they have considered reliability, safety, fairness and ethical actions in their methods and identify where digital technologies can be used to enhance the quality of data. When analysing data, selecting evidence and developing and justifying conclusions, they identify alternative explanations for findings and explain any sources of uncertainty. Students evaluate the validity and reliability of claims made in secondary sources with reference to currently held scientific views, the quality of the methodology and the evidence cited. They construct evidence-based arguments and select appropriate representations and text types to communicate science ideas for specific purposes.

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