The courses offered in the Science Department are structured to prepare students for studying Science at university and other educational institutions. In these courses, students are provided with a comprehensive foundation of information and experiences for those students who have demonstrated an interest in Science. When choosing a Science course, students should take care to select courses that are both within their academic ability and appropriate to their vocational aspirations.
All courses have a large practical component that forms an essential part of assessment. Student performance will be assessed using a range of assessment tools. Each course consists of four sequential semester units.
This course is for students who have found Biology an interesting discipline of Science or for those who wish to increase their general knowledge about the living world. It provides a comprehensive understanding of living things and their place in the environment. The course prepares students for tertiary studies in fields that have a biological basis (including Botany, Zoology, Human Biology and Environmental Studies). This course is following the Australian Curriculum for Biology.
Biology – Biodiversity and Connectedness (Prerequisites-Nil)
Students analyse abiotic and biotic ecosystem components and their interactions, using classification systems for data collection, comparison and evaluation. Fieldwork is an important part of this unit, providing valuable opportunities for students to work together to collect first-hand data and to experience local ecosystem interactions.
Students investigate the interdependent components of the cell system and the multiple interacting systems in multicellular organisms. Human Anatomy and Physiology is a major focus of this unit.
Students investigate mechanisms of heredity and the ways in which inheritance patterns can be explained, modelled and predicted; they connect these patterns to population dynamics and apply the theory of evolution by natural selection in order to examine changes in populations. Genetics and reproductive strategies are a major focus points for this unit.
Students investigate system change and continuity in response to changing external conditions and pathogens; they investigate homeostasis and the transmission and impact of infectious disease at cellular and organism levels; and they consider the factors that encourage or reduce the spread of infectious disease at the population level. The study of disease is the major focus of this unit.
Chemistry forms a solid foundation for those students wanting to undertake further study in the fields of Science, Engineering or Health Sciences. The course is structured to give students every opportunity to gain laboratory skills necessary for continued study of Chemistry. Emphasis is placed on the skills of data analysis and formal scientific reporting. The course also covers strategies necessary for dealing with quantitative chemical concepts.
Unit 1: Chemical Fundamentals (Prerequisites – nil)
Students use models of atomic structure and bonding to explain the macroscopic properties of materials and to predict the products and explain the energy changes associated with chemical reactions.
Unit 2: Molecules (Prerequisite – Chemical Fundamentals)
Students continue to develop their understanding of bonding models and the relationship between structure, properties and reactions, including consideration of the factors that affect the rate of chemical reactions.
Unit 3: Equilibrium and REDOX Reactions (Prerequisites – Molecules)
Students investigate models of equilibrium in chemical systems; apply these models in the context of acids and bases and redox reactions, including electrochemical cells; and explain and predict how a range of factors affect these systems
Unit 4: Structure, Synthesis and Design. (Prerequisites – Equilibrium and REDOX Reactions)
Students use models of molecular structure, chemical reactions and energy changes to explain and apply synthesis processes, particularly with consideration of organic synthesis; and they consider current and future applications of chemical design principles.
Chemistry offers a wide range of experiences and acts as a gateway course to a variety of Science disciplines in the Tertiary study area. These include, but are not limited to:
Human biology covers a wide range of ideas relating to the functioning of the human biology.
Students studying human biology will:
Unit 1: The essentials of human life
Students study the essential developments in human physiology and the different cells in the body that allow a human to survive. They discuss the anatomy of different tissue types in the body and how systems work together to provide the essentials for human life.
Unit 2: The aging human body
Students examine the development of the human body from conception to the older individual. They discuss the technical advancements that improve health outcomes for embryos as well as aged people. Students learn how different tissue types change over the life of an individual.
Unit 3: Human health & the environment
Students investigate the impact of environmental conditions upon the health of humans both at the individual and population level. Environmental factors as well as personal factors such as mental health will be discussed to give a wide perspective to the study of human health.
Unit 4: Treating the human body
Students study the exponential growth of research and knowledge about the functioning of the human body that informs the Western mode of treating illness, and also consider alternative ways of treating illness in Australia. The veracity of alternative diagnosis and treatment methods will be interrogated.
Human biology provides a valuable foundation for students who wish to follow a variety of career pathways by introducing them to the concepts, foundations and technical language relating to the human body.
The skills learnt in human biology enables students to make informed decisions about their pathways into tertiary studies. These include:
Physics is a fundamental Science and forms a solid foundation for those students wanting to undertake Engineering courses or Physics at a tertiary level. This course endeavours to develop a student’s ability to understand the properties and nature of matter, the various forms of energy, and the interaction of energy and matter. Skills of data analysis and scientific report writing are used throughout the course. Students apply quantitative concepts to better understand the physical world. Sound mathematical skills are required for this course, and a minimum level of Mathematics Methods is recommended.
Unit 1: Linear Motion and Waves (Prerequisites – Nil)
Students investigate energy production by considering heating processes, radioactivity and nuclear reactions, and investigate energy transfer and transformation in electrical circuits.
Unit 2: Thermal, Nuclear and Electrical (Prerequisites – Nil)
Students describe, explain and predict linear motion, and investigate the application of wave models to light and sound phenomena.
Unit 3: Gravity and Electromagnetism (Prerequisites – Linear Motion and Waves and Thermal, Nuclear and Electrical)
Students investigate models of motion in gravitational, electric and magnetic fields to explain how forces act at a distance, and use the theory of electromagnetism to explain the production and propagation of electromagnetic waves.
Unit 4: Revolutions in Modern Physics (Prerequisites – Linear Motion and Waves and Thermal, Nuclear and Electrical)
Students investigate how shortcomings in existing theories led to the development of the Special Theory of Relativity, the quantum theory of light and matter, and the Standard Model of particle physics.
The study of Physics opens a significant pathway into Tertiary Science for students who complete this course. Some of these options include.
Senior Science (A, M)
Senior Science is a course developed for students who enjoy Science, but find the academic approach of Biology, Chemistry and Physics difficult. The course is offered as an Accredited course only, and cannot be undertaken as a Tertiary course. Students will study a variety of concepts within the Science discipline, discussing a range of topics and focussing on the Scientific method to discover things about the natural world.
In 2019, students will be studying Biological and Environmental Sciences, with Chemical and Physical Sciences being studied in 2020.
Unit 1: Biological Sciences
Students discuss the health outcomes of individuals and the basics of how the human immune system operates for different individuals. The learn about the health an management of animals and populations, and discuss the impact of introduced species into an ecosystem.
Unit 2: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Students learn from practical experience the optimum conditions for the growth and maintenance of plants, in particular those of agricultural and economic interest. Students discuss urban sustainability and the move to an environmental conscious future.
Unit 3: Chemical Sciences
In Chemical Sciences, students discuss forensics and a methodology for solving crimes and what scientific principles underpin these investigations. They then discuss chemicals used in the household, investigating their safety, use and production in a practical manner.
Unit 4: Physical Sciences
Students discuss sources of energy for humans, and how this energy is made and used in society. Students will then practically determine how things move, including objects, light and sound.
The Senior Science course allows students a variety of scientific learning experiences at the accredited and modified level. It is ideal for students wishing to develop the background skills for study in: