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Science courses offer students the opportunity to develop:
interest in and enthusiasm for science, as well as an appreciation of its role in finding solutions to contemporary science-related problems and issues
knowledge and understanding of the nature and practice of scientific inquiry, and skills in applying the processes of Working Scientifically
scientific knowledge of and about phenomena within the natural world and the application of their understanding to new situations and events
appreciation of the development and dynamic nature of scientific knowledge, its influence in improving understanding of the natural world and the contribution of evidence-based decisions in informing societies' use of science and technology.
In Years 7-10, it is compulsory for all students to study Science. In Years 11 and 12, students may choose to study more than one science course. These elective courses are are:
Biology provides students with a contemporary and coherent understanding of the concepts explaining the functioning, origins and evolution of living things.
Biology explores the levels of organisation of life, from the molecular level through cellular to higher levels of organisational structure and function, which exhibit evolution as a common source of unity and diversity. It includes developing an understanding of the interactions within and between organisms and between organisms and their environment.
The study of biology recognises that, while humans are part of nature, they continue to have a greater influence on the environment than any other species. The history and philosophy of science, as it relates to the development of the understanding, utilisation and manipulation of living systems by the human species, is an integral part of the study of contemporary biology and assists students to recognise their responsibility to conserve, protect, maintain and improve the quality of all environments for future generations.
Chemistry provides students with a contemporary and coherent understanding of matter and its interactions. It focuses on investigating the physical and chemical properties of substances, chemical reactions and processes, and the interaction of energy and matter, and attempts to explain and predict events at the atomic and molecular level.
The study of Chemistry recognises that a study of the nature of materials includes natural and made substances, their structures, changes and environmental importance. The history and philosophy of science as it relates to the development of the understanding, utilisation and manipulation of chemical systems is important in developing current understanding in Chemistry and its applications in the contexts of technology, society and the environment.
Earth and Environmental Science
Earth and Environmental Science is the study of the Earth and its processes. The course aims to provide an understanding of systems and processes in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. It seeks to explore changes that have occurred during Earth’s history, including changes in the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere, and the evolution of organisms since the origin of life on Earth.
The study of planet Earth and its environments recognises that while humans are part of nature they continue to have a greater influence on the environment than any other species. Earth and Environmental Science is built on the premise that the natural environment is the host to all local environments and that, therefore, an understanding of the natural environment is fundamental to any analysis of more specific local environments.
The common factor in all of the environmental hazards that humanity faces is that they are derived from peoples’ lack of awareness that society is part of an environment that is composed of the interactions of the sub-systems: water, land, air, ice and living things. The history and philosophy of science as it relates to the development of the understanding, utilisation and manipulation of sub systems by humans is an integral part of the study of contemporary Earth and Environmental Science.
Physics provides students with a contemporary and coherent understanding of energy, matter, and their interrelationships. It focuses on investigating natural phenomena and then applying patterns, models (including mathematical ones), principles, theories and laws to explain the physical behaviour of the universe. It uses an understanding of simple systems (single particles and pairs of particles) to make predictions about a range of objects from sub-atomic particles to the entire universe and aims to reveal the simplicity underlying complexity.
The study of physics relies on the understanding and application of a small number of basic laws and principles that govern the microscopic and macroscopic worlds. The study of physics provides students with an understanding of systems that is the basis of the development of technological applications. The interplay between concepts and technological and societal impacts is embodied in the history and philosophy of science and forms a continuum relating our past to our future.
The study of Senior Science provides students with a contemporary and coherent understanding of some of the basic laws, theories and principles of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth and Environmental Science and their application. It includes an examination of the technology that uses these laws, theories and principles and the impact of this science and technology on society. It reflects the interdisciplinary nature of science with a focus on the interdependence of science, technology and society.
Senior Science caters to a wide range of students who wish to become scientifically literate citizens. The course encourages students to develop a range of practical skills including the use of current instrumentation, information technology and an increased ability to communicate understanding. Senior Science focuses on all of these areas framed within the principles of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth and Environmental Science.
The oceans cover more than 70 per cent of the earth's surface and influence all forms of life on this planet. Of the thirty-three animal phyla, twenty-eight are found in the sea and thirteen are exclusively marine.
Internationally, the oceans are viewed alternately as areas rich in minerals and marine life which can supply our needs virtually without limit, or as repositories for agricultural, industrial and domestic waste. Nationally, the United Nations declaration of the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone in 1994 effectively doubled this country's size and responsibilities. Australia now controls an area of the oceans that is 1.3 times the size of its land mass.
At a time of pressure on the marine environment there is a recognised need to deliver sound marine educational programs through formal structures within state and national curricula. Australians must be aware of and understand this fragile environment, and consider how to effectively manage 69 630 km of coastline, 14.8 million square kilometres of continental shelf, 12 000 islands, 783 major estuaries and the life they contain.
Marine Studies provides an opportunity for the future custodians of this environment to study it and to appreciate its value. It gives them the opportunity to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to use and protect its unique ecosystems, and at the same time communicate their appreciation to the community. It provides an opportunity to instill in students an acceptable ethical code towards use of the marine environment, increasingly demanded by the community and their governments. While this course is focused on oceans, it provides scope for the study of the full range of waterways.
Marine Studies provides an educational context, linked to the needs of a population based very much on its coast and waterways and which fosters links to tertiary study and vocational pathways. Further, this syllabus brings a wide range of marine-based leisure experiences to students in a safe setting. Marine Studies provides for both practical and theoretical learning, honing students’ acquired skills to solve real life problems.