poses questions and hypotheses for scientific investigation
plans an investigation individually or collaboratively to obtain primary or secondary data and information
participates in investigations individually or collaboratively to collect primary or secondary data and information
recognises processes involved in a range of scientific investigations
investigates technologies used in science
Related Stage 6 outcomes INS11/12-1, INS11/12-2, INS11/12-3, INS12-12, INS12-13
Students develop an understanding of the process of scientific investigation. They observe and participate in a range of scientific investigations and recognise how these can be made reliable and valid. They also explore advances in scientific understanding and how science and technology are related.
In this module, students plan and conduct investigations safely, accurately and reliably. They use appropriate technology when conducting scientific investigations and to collect and represent data.
Practical Investigations to Obtain Primary Data
- Inquiry question: What initiates a scientific investigation?
- recognise why scientific investigations are needed
- explore one or more investigations that have been carried out to recognise:
- why the investigation was conducted
- the hypothesis of the investigation
- explore how the investigation has benefited the world
Reliability and Validity
- Inquiry question: How can an investigation be designed so that it is a fair test?
- recognise that to make an investigation a fair test, all the variables but one must remain unchanged
- participate in designing an investigation that is a fair test, for example:
- keeping the variables constant
- repeating the investigation
- recognise that for an investigation to be reliable, it needs to be repeated several times under the same conditions and consistent results obtained
- communicate observations made as a result of an investigation
- draw conclusions from the observations made in the investigation
- recognise that after an investigation further questions may be posed, which may lead to another investigation, for example:
- Does the shape of an object affect the speed at which it moves through air as well as water?
- Is the water-holding capacity the same for all types of soil?
- Do all plants grow at the same rate in sunlight?
- Do all metals react with acids at the same rate?
- Inquiry question: How are scientific ideas communicated?
- communicate ideas related to an investigation
- use scientific language to communicate ideas related to an investigation
- represent ideas related to an investigation in a variety of ways, for example:
- digital, visual, written or oral representations
Scientific Investigation and Technology
- Inquiry question: How are technologies used in scientific investigations?
- identify examples of technologies used in science, for example:
- lenses, microscopes, thermometers, light bulbs, rulers, Bunsen burners, stopwatches, ray boxes
- explore technologies developed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, for example:
- spear throwers, eg woomeras and other hunting weapons
- stone technology for cutting tools and grinding seed
- message sticks for communication
- technologies used to catch fish
- firestick farming
- how a slope helps in lifting a load
- the relationship between pivot, effort and load
- static electricity
- electrical conductivity
- how a mass of the bob and length of the pendulum affects the timing of a pendulum
- radiation of heat of black and silver surface
- the composition of different types of soil
- the relationship between heartbeat and exercise
- how salt affects both the melting point and boiling point of water
- the best type of material to use for insulation
- identify the technology used when carrying out the investigation
- use digital technologies to gather primary and secondary data, for example:
- social media
- use digital technologies to gather and communicate information, for example:
- record and calculate data using a spreadsheet
- construct graphs using online graphing tools
- collect photos or diagrams from the internet to create a visual presentation
A Continuous Cycle
- Inquiry question: Why develop new technologies?
- investigate how new discoveries in science have led to improvements in technologies, for example:
- discovery of electromagnetic waves has led to communication technologies
- discovery of LEDs has led to more efficient lighting
- improvements in lenses led to the development of microscopes, telescopes and eyeglasses
- discovery of semiconductors led to the development of transistors, which enabled more efficient computers
- robotics led to scientists exploring Mars
- space telescopes and probes have led to further investigations into the solar system and beyond
- submarines have led to scientists exploring the ocean floor
- carbon dating led scientists to work out the age of fossils
- drones have led to improved methods of tracking animal populations, including endangered species
- more powerful microscopes led to investigations into the structure of cells
- explore how improvements in technology have occurred as a result of Working Scientifically, for example:
- development of the light bulb resulted from fire, torches, kerosene lamps, incandescent light bulbs (Edison), LEDs
- development of a battery as a result of the work of Galvani, Volta and Davy
- development of biomechanical devices, eg artificial limbs