Science

The Science faculty at Kariong Mountains High School is committed to providing our students with a solid foundation in the nature and practice of Science as well as establishing firm connections between science in the classroom and science in their daily lives.
It is hoped that students will be inspired by Science and, if appropriate, channel this inspiration into a challenging, rewarding and ultimately fulfilling career.

Stage 4

Stage 4 Science – Years 7 and 8

By the end of Stage 4 students use scientific inquiry by actively engaging in using and applying the processes of Working Scientifically. They identify questions and problems that they can test or research scientifically. They select and use appropriate strategies, understanding and skills to generate creative plausible solutions to identified problems.

Engaging in Scientific Inquiry

Students process and analyse data and information from first-hand investigations and secondary sources to identify trends, patterns and relationships, drawing relevant, evidence-based conclusions. They reflect on how the methods, strategies used and the quality of data obtained could be improved. Their ideas, methods and findings are communicated to a given audience using appropriate scientific language, representations and text types, with information sources acknowledged using a recognised method.

Exploring Science in the Environment

Students relate the structure and function of living things to their classification, survival and reproduction. They predict the effects of environmental changes on ecosystems and how scientific understanding influences the development of some management practices. They explain the contribution and influence of scientific knowledge and technological advances in finding solutions to contemporary issues and that these solutions may involve ethical considerations.

Stage 5 Science

Stage 5 Science – Years 9 and 10

By the end of Stage 5 students use scientific inquiry by actively engaging in using and applying the processes of Working Scientifically to increase their understanding of and about the world around them. By engaging in scientific inquiry, students develop their understanding of science ideas and concepts, how scientific knowledge is refined over time and the significance of scientific evidence in evaluating claims, explanations and predictions.

Investigating and Applying Scientific Understanding

Students formulate questions or hypotheses to be investigated scientifically. They apply scientific understanding and critical thinking skills to suggest possible solutions to identified problems. Individually and collaboratively they plan and undertake a range of types of first-hand investigations to accurately collect data using appropriate units, assessing risk and considering ethical issues associated with the method. They design and conduct controlled experiments to collect valid and reliable first-hand data.

In Stage 5, students process, analyse and evaluate data and information from first-hand investigations to draw conclusions consistent with the evidence, identifying sources of uncertainty and possible alternative explanations for findings. They assess the validity and reliability of claims made in secondary sources. They evaluate the methods and strategies they and others use and ways in which the quality of data could be improved, including the appropriate use of digital technologies.

Stage 6 Subjects

Biology

The Year 11 course investigates cellular structure and provides a base for understanding the way in which multicellular organisms transport and absorb nutrients and carry out gas exchange. Exploring variations in the structures and functions of organisms provides an understanding of the effects of the environment on living things and how this leads to biodiversity.

The Year 12 course investigates reproduction, inheritance patterns and the causes of genetic variation in both plants and animals. Applications of this knowledge in biotechnology and various genetic technologies are explored in the light of their uses in the treatment, prevention and control of infectious and non-infectious diseases.


Chemistry

The Year 11 course develops the knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to the properties and structures of matter, the types and drivers of chemical reactions and how we measure the quantities involved in these processes.

The Year 12 course builds on the concepts introduced in Year 11 by examining particular classes of chemicals, processes and a variety of chemical reactions which incorporate organic compounds and acid/base equilibrium reactions.


Earth and Environmental Science

The Year 11 course investigates compositional layers of the Earth, the origins of minerals, tectonic movements and energy transformations that occur and includes the study of human impact on the Earth’s resources and its surface.

The Year 12 course investigates how the processes of plate tectonics, the formation of water and the introduction of life interact with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and climate. Investigation of hazards, the mitigation of their effects and resource management are also considered which leads to an understanding of the need to centralise the theme of sustainability for the long-term welfare of our planet and all forms of life dependent upon it.


Investigating Science

Note: The Investigating Science Stage 6 course may be studied as a stand-alone course or in combination with any other science course(s). Students studying Investigating Science as a stand-alone course may select to study Science Extension in Year 12.
The Year 11 course focuses on the centrality of observation in initiating the scientific process and examines the human tendency to draw inferences and make generalisations from these observations. Students learn about the development and use of scientific models and the similarities and differences between scientific theories and laws.

The Year 12 course builds on the skills and concepts learnt in Year 11 with students conducting their own scientific investigations and communicating their findings in scientific reports.


Physics

The Year 11 course develops student’s knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to the study of motion, how we describe it and what causes it. The course also examines energy in its different forms and how we describe and measure electricity and magnetism and their interrelated effects.

The Year 12 course provides avenues for students to apply the concepts they were introduced to in Year 11 to motion in two dimensions, electromagnetism, theories of light, the atom and the Universe.


Science Extension

Students who have shown an achievement in, and/or aptitude for, any of the Stage 6 Science courses: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, Investigating Science or Physics, in Year 11 may choose to study Science Extension in Year 12.

Science Extension is a new course with a focus on the authentic application of scientific research skills to produce a Scientific Research Report generally acceptable for publication. Students propose and develop a research question, formulate a hypothesis and develop evidence-based responses to create their Scientific Research Report which is supported by a Scientific Research Portfolio. The four modules integrate the skills of Working Scientifically within the course content to form the framework for the Scientific Research Project.