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NSW Syllabuses

Science K–10 - Stage 4 Physical World


A student:

  • SC4-10PW

    describes the action of unbalanced forces in everyday situations

  • SC4-11PW

    discusses how scientific understanding and technological developments have contributed to finding solutions to problems involving energy transfers and transformations

Related Life Skills outcomes: SCLS-10PW, SCLS-11PW, SCLS-12PW


  • PW1 Change to an object's motion is caused by unbalanced forces acting on the object. (ACSSU117)
  • Students:
  • a. identify changes that take place when particular forces are acting
  • b. predict the effect of unbalanced forces acting in everyday situations
  • c. describe some examples of technological developments that have contributed to finding solutions to reduce the impact of forces in everyday life, eg car safety equipment and footwear design ICTCCT
  • d. analyse some everyday common situations where friction operates to oppose motion and produce heat N
  • e. investigate factors that influence the size and effect of frictional forces
  • PW2 The action of forces that act at a distance may be observed and related to everyday situations.
  • Students:
  • a. use the term 'field' in describing forces acting at a distance L
  • b. identify ways in which objects acquire electrostatic charge
  • c. describe the behaviour of charged objects when they are brought close to each other
  • d. investigate everyday situations where the effects of electrostatic forces can be observed, eg lightning strikes during severe weather and dust storms CCT
  • e. identify that the Earth's gravity pulls objects towards the centre of the Earth (ACSSU118)
  • f. describe everyday situations where gravity acts as an unbalanced force
  • g. distinguish between the terms 'mass' and 'weight'
  • h. describe the behaviour of magnetic poles when they are brought close together
  • i. investigate how magnets and electromagnets are used in some everyday devices or technologies used in everyday life CCT
  • PW3 Energy appears in different forms including movement (kinetic energy), heat and potential energy, and causes change within systems. (ACSSU155)
  • Students:
  • a. identify objects that possess energy because of their motion (kinetic) or because of other properties (potential)
  • b. describe the transfer of heat energy by conduction, convection and radiation, including situations in which each occurs
  • c. relate electricity with energy transfer in a simple circuit
  • d. construct and draw circuits containing a number of components to show a transfer of electricity
  • e. investigate some everyday energy transformations that cause change within systems, including motion, electricity, heat, sound and light
  • PW4 Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations. (ACSHE120, ACSHE135)
  • Students:
  • a. identify that most energy conversions are inefficient and lead to the production of heat energy, eg in light bulbs CCT
  • b. research ways in which scientific knowledge and technological developments have led to finding a solution to a contemporary issue, eg improvements in devices to increase the efficiency of energy transfers or conversions CCTSE
  • c. discuss the implications for society and the environment of some solutions to increase the efficiency of energy conversions by reducing the production of heat energy CCTEU
  • Additional content

    Additional content is not prerequisite knowledge for following stages, but may be used to broaden and deepen students' skills, knowledge and understanding in Stage 4.
  • Students:
  • investigate characteristics of specific forces in terms of size and direction
  • investigate some simple machines, eg levers, pulleys, gears or inclined planes
  • trace the history of the development of particular devices or technologies, eg circuitry through to microcircuitry
  • describe the scientific principles used in some traditional technologies used and developed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples AHC
  • trace the history of pendulum-motion studies and its connection with timekeeping and setting standards of length
  • debate intergenerational implications of the use of non-renewable energy resources CCTPSCSE
  • research current ideas about the Earth's magnetic field and its effects