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NSW Syllabuses

Science Life Skills Stage 6 - Life Skills - Investigating Science Life Skills Investigating Science LS – Module 4: Science and Society


A student:

  • SCLS6-4

    collects and represents qualitative or quantitative data and information using media as appropriate

  • SCLS6-5

    develops conclusions from primary or secondary data and information

  • SCLS6-6

    uses strategies to solve scientific problems

  • SCLS6-7

    communicates information about an investigation using scientific language and terminology

  • SCLS6-13

    recognises that scientific investigations can support or refute a hypothesis

  • SCLS6-14

    investigates how science impacts on society

  • SCLS6-15

    explores contemporary issues involving science

Related Stage 6 outcomes INS11/12-4, INS11/12-5, INS11/12-6, INS11/12-7, INS12-14, INS12-15

Content Focus

Students explore myths that seem to have a scientific basis. They also explore how science can be used for human progress and development. They engage with ethical issues in science and how these impact on scientific research.

Working Scientifically

In this module, students participate in investigations to test ideas and draw conclusions. They use a variety of strategies to communicate ideas about the use of science in society.


  • Testing Claims

  • Inquiry question: What are some myths or commonly held ideas about the world that need to be scientifically tested?
  • Students:
  • recognise that an idea about how or why something happens needs to be scientifically tested if it is to be considered true cct
  • identify commonly held ideas about the world that may be right or wrong and that can be scientifically tested, for example: cct
  • an object always moves in the direction of the force exerted on it
  • the Great Wall of China is the only human-made structure visible from space
  • patterns in the stars can predict the future
  • water boiled in a microwave oven will kill plants if used to water them
  • stomach ulcers are caused by stress
  • being exposed to cowpox prevents you catching smallpox
  • human-made chemicals are more dangerous than natural chemicals
  • Inquiry question: How can a myth or commonly held idea be tested?
  • Students:
  • explore the ways in which scientists have carried out fair tests to investigate ideas, for example: cct
  • Marshall and Warren disproving the idea that stress leads to stomach ulcers by showing that they are caused by bacteria
  • Pasteur disproving the idea that life grew out of non-living materials by showing that bacteria come from other bacteria
  • design a simple investigation to test a commonly held idea about the world euwe
  • recognise that new scientific discoveries need to be checked by other scientists to see if they are true EU
  • recognise that sometimes scientists report their results dishonestly, for example: EU
  • Piltdown Man – fraudulent fossil evidence
  • Incidents, Events and Science

  • Inquiry question: How can scientific discoveries be used for human progress and development?
  • Students:
  • recognise that new developments in science can be used to improve human life, for example: CCWE
  • development of light bulbs, which allowed people to see more easily at night
  • development of thermal blankets and pacemakers as a result of space programs
  • improvements in communication, eg satellites, use of optic fibres, mobile phones and warning systems for natural disasters
  • development of genetically modified foods, which can add vitamins to rice for people in developing countries (Golden Rice), reduce pollution (Enviropig) and reduce the use of pesticides (Bt cotton)
  • improvements in medical science, eg optic fibres, which have led to communication and keyhole surgery, cochlear implant, bionic eye, new materials for hip transplants, ultrasound and vaccines
  • discovery of microorganisms, which led to the development of food-preserving methods and less sickness from food poisoning
  • development of polymers and plastics
  • development of water purification and wastewater treatment processes
  • development of vaccination programs to prevent disease
  • investigate a scientific research or discovery that has contributed to world health and wellbeing EU
  • Influences on Scientific Research

  • Inquiry question: How is scientific research influenced?
  • Students:
  • recognise the benefits of scientific research, for example: DD
  • social benefits
  • economic benefits
  • identify the cost of scientific research, eg space exploration EU
  • make a judgement about the cost and benefit of a particular area of scientific research, for example: CCTEU
  • Are advances in scientific research beneficial to world health and wellbeing?
  • Should more money be spent on scientific research?
  • Inquiry question: Do all scientific investigations have to be carried out ethically?
  • Students:
  • recognise that investigations undertaken at school have to be completed ethically, for example: EU
  • animals being observed must be treated with respect and returned to the place where they were collected
  • if animals are kept in the classroom for observation, all their daily needs (food, water, shelter) and the correct temperature must be provided
  • compare ethical points of view in relation to performing scientific investigations, for example: EU
  • Should animals be used to test make-up products?
  • How should research animals be treated?
  • Should humans be used for scientific research, eg drug trials, sleeping habit trials?
  • Should Marshall have infected himself with the bacteria that he thought might cause stomach ulcers?
  • Should Jenner have injected an eight-year-old boy with cowpox?
  • explore how human activities can negatively affect our environment, for example: SECC
  • nuclear testing
  • pollution of air, water, and/or land
  • destroying habitat to make way for roads, houses and shopping centres
  • disposal of chemical waste
  • recognise that sometimes scientific developments lead to unintended problems to which scientists need to find solutions, for example:        SEEUCC
  • development of the car has led to increased air pollution
  • environmental issues often result from mining activity
  • burning fossil fuels causes greenhouse gases to be produced
  • lead in paint and petrol can lead to brain damage, which caused scientists to develop paint and petrol without lead
  • plastic is a useful product but it will not break down, which makes it difficult to dispose of and it often ends up in waterways