Work samples


Year 7

Above satisfactory

Slater investigation

Summary of task

In previous teaching and learning units, students learnt about the scientific method and conducted investigations, wrote reports and reflected on their investigations. During a teaching and learning unit on biological sciences, students practiced identifying and formulating questions about the living world. They were asked to determine if and how these questions could be answered, that is, by research, observation, experimentation, or not at all. In the last case, students were challenged to identify reasons why the question could not be answered scientifically.

In this task, students were given the opportunity to conduct an investigation that encompassed all stages of the scientific method. After observing the behaviour of slaters, students were asked to identify and formulate a question that can be answered by experimentation. They were then asked to individually design and conduct the investigation to answer the question. Students were to collect data, write a report, reflect on the validity and accuracy of their results, and suggest how the investigation could be improved. No prior knowledge on slaters was assumed or required to successfully complete this task.

Achievement standard

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.

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