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NSW Syllabuses

Science K–10 (inc. Science and Technology K–6) - Stage 5 Physical World


A student:

  • SC5-10PW

    applies models, theories and laws to explain situations involving energy, force and motion

  • SC5-11PW

    explains how scientific understanding about energy conservation, transfers and transformations is applied in systems

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


  • PW1 Energy transfer through different mediums can be explained using wave and particle models. (ACSSU182)
  • Students:
  • a. explain, in terms of the particle model, the processes underlying convection and conduction of heat energy
  • b. identify situations where waves transfer energy
  • c. describe qualitatively, using the wave model, the features of waves including wavelength, frequency and speed
  • d. explain, using the particle model, the transmission of sound in different mediums
  • e. relate the properties of different types of radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum to their uses in everyday life, including communications technology CCT
  • f. describe the occurrence and some applications of absorption, reflection and refraction in everyday situations CCT
  • PW2 The motion of objects can be described and predicted using the laws of physics. (ACSSU229)
  • Students:
  • a. describe qualitatively the relationship between force, mass and acceleration
  • b. explain qualitatively the relationship between distance, speed and time
  • c. relate acceleration qualitatively to a change in speed and/or direction as a result of a net force
  • d. analyse qualitatively everyday situations involving motion in terms of Newton's laws CCT
  • PW3 Scientific understanding of current electricity has resulted in technological developments designed to improve the efficiency in generation and use of electricity.
  • Students:
  • a. describe voltage, current and resistance in terms of energy applied, carried and dissipated
  • b. describe qualitatively the relationship between voltage, resistance and current
  • c. compare the characteristics and applications of series and parallel electrical circuits
  • d. outline recent examples where scientific or technological developments have involved specialist teams from different branches of science, engineering and technology, eg low-emissions electricity generation and reduction in atmospheric pollution CCTPSCL
  • PW4 Energy conservation in a system can be explained by describing energy transfers and transformations. (ACSSU190)
  • Students:
  • a. apply the law of conservation of energy to account for the total energy involved in energy transfers and transformations
  • b. describe how, in energy transfers and transformations, a variety of processes can occur so that usable energy is reduced and the system is not 100% efficient
  • c. discuss, using examples, how the values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research in the area of increasing efficiency of the use of electricity by individuals and society (ACSHE228, ACSHE230) CCTSEEU
  • d. discuss viewpoints and choices that need to be considered in making decisions about the use of non-renewable energy resources SEEUCCCCT
  • 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 5.
  • Students:
  • investigate quantitatively,  features of waves including frequency, wavelength and speed using \(v = f\lambda\) and relate this to musical instruments N
  • relate scattering and dispersion of light to everyday occurrences
  • explain the difference between speed and velocity
  • describe the relationships between displacement, time, velocity and acceleration, using the equations of motion N
  • relate quantitatively, force, mass and acceleration, and apply to everyday situations N
  • apply Newton's laws of motion to space travel CCT
  • compare energy changes in interactions in sport activities CCT
  • explain the relationship between resistance, voltage and current, using Ohm's Law N
  • investigate the energy efficiency of appliances and relate this to a household energy account
  • research how engineers and architects employ scientific concepts and principles in designing energy-efficient devices and buildings CCTWE