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Science Curriculum

YEAR 7

The year 7 Science program consists of four periods per week. The students use the textbook “Science Dimensions 1” and the accompanying Homework book. Throughout the course, students are expected to complete various forms of homework as required. This will include the completion of practical reports and questions, sections from the homework book, worksheets and assignments.

Being a Scientist

Students are introduced to the scientific method, experimental design, safe experimental techniques and the use of laboratory equipment.

Forces

Students study different types of forces and their effects on motion. They investigate gravity, buoyancy and the forces that operate on aeroplanes.

Solids, Liquids and Gases

Students study the three states and properties of matter.

Mixtures

Students study different types of mixtures including mixtures of solids, solutions, suspensions, colloids and gels. They investigate techniques for separating mixtures in the laboratory and learn how mixtures are separated on an industrial scale.

The Senses

The five senses of the body; sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell are investigated.

Earth and Space

Students study our solar system and the causes of night day, seasons and tides. The impact of nanotechnology upon space science is also investigated.

Males and Females

Human reproductive anatomy, puberty, conception and childbirth are studied.

Mice and Classification

Mice are used to explore various scientific methods, reproduction and social behaviour. Students studied animal classification with an emphasis on mammals.

VELS AT YEAR 7

Learning activities completed by students at year 7 are designed and assessed according to the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS).

Although Science is a discipline based subject, work undertaken by students encompasses the Interdisciplinary Learning and Physical, Personal and Social Learning strands. In particular, there is a focus towards the Communication, Thinking Processes, Information and Communication Technologies, Interpersonal Development and Personal Learning domains.

In the Discipline Based Learning Strand students are examined in two domains; Science Knowledge and Understanding and Science at Work.

At year 7 and year 8, students are progressing towards Level 5 VELS. Detail of the Disciplinary Based Learning Strands at Level 5 is provided below.

Science – Level 5 (Year 7 and Year 8)

Science knowledge and understanding

At Level 5, students use the particle model to explain structure and properties of matter, chemical reactions and factors that influence rate.

They explain the structure and function of cells and how different cells work together.

Students explain the relationships, past and present, in living and non-living systems, in particular ecosystems, and human impact on these systems. They analyse what is needed for living things to survive, thrive or adapt, now and in the future. They explain how the observed characteristics of living things are used to establish a classification system.

Students use everyday examples of machines, tools and appliances to show how the thermodynamic model describes energy and change, and force and motion. They use time scales to explain the changing Earth and its place in space. Students distinguish ideas about the Universe that have a scientific basis from those that do not. They use physical and theoretical models to investigate geological processes.

Science at work

At Level 5, students demonstrate safe, technical uses of a range of instruments and chemicals, and of procedures for preparation and separation. They design investigations that include measurement, using standard laboratory instruments and equipment and methods to improve accuracy in measurement. They make systematic observations and interpret recorded data appropriately, according to the aims of the study.

Students justify their choice of instruments and the accuracy of their measurements, commenting on the reliability of the procedures, the measurements used, and the conclusions drawn against the prediction or hypothesis investigated. They use appropriate diagrams and symbols when reporting on their investigations.

Students make and use models and images from computer software to interpret and explain observations. In field work, they demonstrate use of basic sampling procedures and represent relationships in ecosystems graphically.

Students use simulations to predict the effect of changes in an ecosystem. They work effectively in a group to use science ideas to make operating models of devices. Students identify, analyse and ask their own questions in relation to scientific ideas or issues of interest.

YEAR 8

The year 8 Science program consists of four periods per week. The students use the textbook “Science Dimensions 2” and the accompanying Homework book. Throughout the course, students are expected to complete various forms of homework as required. This will include the completion of practical reports and questions, sections from the homework book, worksheets and assignments.

Atoms

Students study the structure of atoms, the periodic table of the elements, chemical and physical reactions, the properties of metals, non-metals and metalloids. An investigation of Nanotechnology and metal properties is completed.

Geology

Students are introduced to the structure of the earth, minerals, types of rocks, rock formation and the rock cycle and the conditions necessary for fossilisation.

Ecosystems

Students study ecosystems with an emphasis on Australian terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The structure of ecosystems including: habitat, biotic and abiotic factors are analysed. The relationship between organisms in an ecosystem are described in terms of food chains and food webs, tropic levels and biodiversity. An analysis of human impact upon ecosystems is also undertaken.

Cells

Students learn about the cell theory, the structure and function of plant and animal cells. Students learn to use a microscope to examine cells. Microbes and their effects upon health are also investigated.

Body Systems

Students investigate cells, tissues, organs and systems. They study the heart and the circulatory systems in detail. Students investigate the composition of food and nutrients and the role of the digestive system. Students investigate health problems that can occur in body systems.

Electricity

Students investigate static electricity in nature and the laboratory. They study electric circuits and wiring, current and voltage. There is an emphasis on experimentation and electrical safety.

Using forces

Students investigate forces using simple machines. They study effort and load, mechanical advantage, levers, wheels, axels, gears and pulleys.

VELS AT YEAR 8

Learning activities completed by students at year 8 are designed and assessed according to the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS).

Although Science is a discipline based subject, work undertaken by students encompasses the Interdisciplinary Learning and Physical, Personal and Social Learning strands. In particular, there is a focus towards the Communication, Thinking Processes, Information and Communication Technologies, Interpersonal Development and Personal Learning domains.

In the Discipline Based Learning Strand students are examined in two domains; Science Knowledge and Understanding and Science at Work.

At year 7 and year 8, students are progressing towards Level 5 VELS. Detail of the Disciplinary Based Learning Strands at Level 5 is provided below.

Science – Level 5 (Year 7 and Year 8)

Science knowledge and understanding

At Level 5, students use the particle model to explain structure and properties of matter, chemical reactions and factors that influence rate.

They explain the structure and function of cells and how different cells work together.

Students explain the relationships, past and present, in living and non-living systems, in particular ecosystems, and human impact on these systems. They analyse what is needed for living things to survive, thrive or adapt, now and in the future. They explain how the observed characteristics of living things are used to establish a classification system.

Students use everyday examples of machines, tools and appliances to show how the thermodynamic model describes energy and change, and force and motion. They use time scales to explain the changing Earth and its place in space. Students distinguish ideas about the Universe that have a scientific basis from those that do not. They use physical and theoretical models to investigate geological processes.

Science at work

At Level 5, students demonstrate safe, technical uses of a range of instruments and chemicals, and of procedures for preparation and separation. They design investigations that include measurement, using standard laboratory instruments and equipment and methods to improve accuracy in measurement. They make systematic observations and interpret recorded data appropriately, according to the aims of the study.

Students justify their choice of instruments and the accuracy of their measurements, commenting on the reliability of the procedures, the measurements used, and the conclusions drawn against the prediction or hypothesis investigated. They use appropriate diagrams and symbols when reporting on their investigations.

Students make and use models and images from computer software to interpret and explain observations. In field work, they demonstrate use of basic sampling procedures and represent relationships in ecosystems graphically.

Students use simulations to predict the effect of changes in an ecosystem. They work effectively in a group to use science ideas to make operating models of devices. Students identify, analyse and ask their own questions in relation to scientific ideas or issues of interest.

YEAR 9

The year 9 Science program consists of three periods per week. The students use the textbook “Science Dimensions 3” and the accompanying Homework book. Throughout the course, students are expected to complete various forms of homework as required. This will include the completion of practical reports and questions, sections from the homework book and worksheets. Some areas of study have a major assignment that will require time to be spent at home completing the task.

The Periodic Table

Students study the components of matter, atoms and their subatomic particles. The structure of atoms and the arrangement of the Periodic Table of the elements are studied. Students describe atoms and their interactions through the investigation of the properties of different element types (metals, non-metals and metalloids). Chemical reactions of acids and bases are investigated.

Light

Students investigate the properties of light: reflection, refraction, the critical angle and total internal reflection. Image formation in lenses and mirrors are studied using lightboxes. The visible spectrum and colours are also investigated.

The Fragile Crust

The structure of the earth is studied in detail. Students investigate plate tectonics and continental drift. Interactions at plate boundaries including; folding and faulting, subduction zones and their effects (earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunami) are studied.

Photosynthesis & Respiration

Students learn about metabolism through the investigation of important chemical reactions in cells. They study plant structure and the chemical reaction of photosynthesis. Respiration in terms of the aerobic and anaerobic biochemical pathways is investigated.

Reproduction

Students study mechanisms of asexual and sexual reproduction in plants and animals. Cell division through meiosis and mitosis is investigated. They learn about the structure and function of the male and female reproductive systems and the development of the foetus during pregnancy. Students investigate reproductive technologies and learn about reproductive problems that may occur as a result of disease or errors in meiosis.

Forensic Science

Students investigate techniques used in a forensic laboratory. They learn about evidence collection and analysis and the reliability of different techniques used to establish the identity of persons present at a crime scene. Students study fingerprints, biometric facial recognition, forensic odontology and DNA analysis. Techniques such as making casts of footprints, analysing ink samples, collecting and analysing fibres, hairs and blood evidence are investigated.

VELS AT YEAR 9

Learning activities completed by students at year 9 are designed and assessed according to the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS).

Although Science is a discipline based subject, work undertaken by students encompasses the Interdisciplinary Learning and Physical, Personal and Social Learning strands. In particular, there is a focus towards the Communication, Thinking Processes, Information and Communication Technologies, Interpersonal Development and Personal Learning domains.

In the Discipline Based Learning Strand students are examined in two domains; Science Knowledge and Understanding and Science at Work.

At year 9 and year 10, students are progressing towards Level 6 VELS. Detail of the Disciplinary Based Learning Strands at Level 6 is provided below.

Science – Level 6 (Year 9 and Year 10)

Science knowledge and understanding

At Level 6, students explain the behaviour and properties of materials in terms of their constituent particles and the forces holding them together. They explain how similarities in the chemical behaviour of elements and their compounds and their atomic structures are represented in the way the periodic table has been constructed. They use the periodic table to write electronic configurations for a range of elements representative of the major groups and periods in the periodic table. They use atomic symbols and balanced chemical equations to summarise chemical reactions, including neutralisation, precipitation and combustion. They identify and classify the sources of wastes generated, and describe their management, within the community and in industry. They use a specific example to explain the sustainable management of a resource.

Students explain change in terms of energy in a range of biological, chemical and physical contexts. They demonstrate the link between natural selection and evolution. They explain the role of DNA and genes in cell division and genetic inheritance. They explain how the coordination and regulatory functions within plants and animals assist them to survive in their environments. They explain how the action of micro-organisms can be both beneficial and detrimental to society. Students apply concepts of geological time to elaborate their explanations of both natural selection and evolution, and the origin and evolution of the Universe. They give both qualitative and quantitative explanations of the relationships between force, mass and movement.

Science at work

At Level 6, students describe the science base of science-related occupations in their local community. They use the relevant science concepts and relationships as one dimension of debating contentious and/or ethically based science-related issues of broad community concern. They demonstrate an awareness of the ways in which scientific vocabulary is used incorrectly in the mass media, distinguishing between the intended meaning of such terms and their meaning in non-scientific contexts. They provide two examples of the work of scientists that demonstrate different approaches to developing scientific knowledge or solving a scientific problem.

Students formulate their own hypotheses and plan and conduct investigations in order to prove or disprove them. They use chemicals (including biomaterials), equipment, electronic components and instruments responsibly and safely. They select appropriate equipment and measurement procedures that will ensure a high degree of reliability in data collected and enable valid conclusions to be drawn. They construct working models and visual aids that demonstrate scientific ideas. They present experimental results using appropriate data presentation formats, and comment on the nature of experimental errors. They use Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and risk assessment to evaluate the safety of their investigations. They evaluate the appropriateness of the experimental design and methodology used to investigate their predictions.

YEAR 10 SCIENCE

The subjects undertaken in year 10 science form part of the elective program. All students must complete General Science for one semester. Additional Science subjects that may be studied are Nanotechnology, Practical Chemistry and Animal Science. Each Science subject is studied for four periods per week and is one semester in duration. Each subject has an examination at the end of the semester.

There is no set text book for General Science, or for any of the elective subjects however, various class sets of texts are used depending upon the elective and the area of study.

Homework includes practical reports, worksheets and research assignments that may be presented in a variety of formats. Completion of all set homework is required to satisfy the coursework requirements. If students are absent they are still expected to catch up on the course work they have missed during their absence.

Compulsory unit: General Science

Assessment tasks in this unit includes; an exam, a major assignment, tests, practical reports and bookwork. General Science consists of three main areas of study:

Chemistry

This unit covers the Periodic Table, properties of elements, covalent and ionic compounds, types of chemical reactions and chemical equations.

Genetics

Students revise cell biology and then investigate the structure of genes, and their role in inheritance. Types of inheritance and the effect of environment of phenotype of an individual are studied.

Movement

Students investigate the relationship between force, mass, acceleration and velocity. This is studied in the context of cars and driver safety.

Elective: Nanotechnology

This unit examines the science behind nanotechnology and its technical applications. Topics covered include: understanding the nanoscale, bulk and quantum properties of elements, performance materials, health and medicine, nanoliving and ethics. Assessment includes book work, practical reports, worksheets a major assignment and an exam.

Elective: Practical Chemistry

This unit examines the science behind common domestic chemicals. Topics covered include: understanding product labels, the chemistry of cosmetics, polymers and nanotechnology. Assessment includes book work, practical reports, worksheets, assignment and an exam.

Elective: Animal Science

This unit investigates the biology of animals. The use of animals in our society is examined and the ethical implications discussed. Students study animals in terms of their classification, structure and function and behaviour. The genetics and evolution of animals is also investigated. Assessment includes book work, practical reports, worksheets, assignment and an exam.

VELS AT YEAR 10

Learning activities completed by students at year 10 are designed and assessed according to the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS).

Although Science is a discipline based subject, work undertaken by students encompasses the Interdisciplinary Learning and Physical, Personal and Social Learning strands. In particular, there is a focus towards the Communication, Thinking Processes, Information and Communication Technologies, Interpersonal Development and Personal Learning Domains.

In the Discipline Based Learning Strand students are examined in two domains; Science Knowledge and Understanding and Science at Work.

At year 9 and year 10, students are progressing towards Level 6 VELS. Detail of the Disciplinary Based Learning Strands at Level 6 is provided below.

Science – Level 6 (Year 9 and Year 10)

Science knowledge and understanding

At Level 6, students explain the behaviour and properties of materials in terms of their constituent particles and the forces holding them together. They explain how similarities in the chemical behaviour of elements and their compounds and their atomic structures are represented in the way the periodic table has been constructed. They use the periodic table to write electronic configurations for a range of elements representative of the major groups and periods in the periodic table. They use atomic symbols and balanced chemical equations to summarise chemical reactions, including neutralisation, precipitation and combustion. They identify and classify the sources of wastes generated, and describe their management, within the community and in industry. They use a specific example to explain the sustainable management of a resource.

Students explain change in terms of energy in a range of biological, chemical and physical contexts. They demonstrate the link between natural selection and evolution. They explain the role of DNA and genes in cell division and genetic inheritance. They explain how the coordination and regulatory functions within plants and animals assist them to survive in their environments. They explain how the action of micro-organisms can be both beneficial and detrimental to society. Students apply concepts of geological time to elaborate their explanations of both natural selection and evolution, and the origin and evolution of the Universe. They give both qualitative and quantitative explanations of the relationships between force, mass and movement.

Science at work

At Level 6, students describe the science base of science-related occupations in their local community. They use the relevant science concepts and relationships as one dimension of debating contentious and/or ethically based science-related issues of broad community concern. They demonstrate an awareness of the ways in which scientific vocabulary is used incorrectly in the mass media, distinguishing between the intended meaning of such terms and their meaning in non-scientific contexts. They provide two examples of the work of scientists that demonstrate different approaches to developing scientific knowledge or solving a scientific problem.

Students formulate their own hypotheses and plan and conduct investigations in order to prove or disprove them. They use chemicals (including biomaterials), equipment, electronic components and instruments responsibly and safely. They select appropriate equipment and measurement procedures that will ensure a high degree of reliability in data collected and enable valid conclusions to be drawn. They construct working models and visual aids that demonstrate scientific ideas. They present experimental results using appropriate data presentation formats, and comment on the nature of experimental errors. They use Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and risk assessment to evaluate the safety of their investigations. They evaluate the appropriateness of the experimental design and methodology used to investigate their predictions.


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