The Science curriculum at Parafield Gardens High school should develop students' ability to do the following:
Use the skills of scientific investigation, reflection and analysis to generate or refine knowledge, find solutions and pose more questions.
Apply scientific knowledge and understanding of some of the key scientific theories, principles, concepts, models and ideas to explain and predict events in their everyday endeavor's and in the physical and biological world.
Communicate scientific understanding to different audiences for a range of purposes.
Use scientific language to communicate effectively and to further understanding.
Apply and evaluate scientific knowledge and understanding across a range of contexts.
Understand and appreciate the evolutionary nature of scientific knowledge, its relationship to other human endeavors and its contribution to society.
Appreciate that science is an activity in which all people participate in their everyday lives and which contributes to their well being.
Make decisions that include ethical consideration of the impact on people and the environment of the processes and likely products of science.
All science courses have a strong practical emphasis. Concepts are introduced and explored via research, laboratory observations, experimentation and audio-visual media.
Middle School Courses (8-10)
Science is offered as a full year compulsory subject at each year level. In the Middle School the science curriculum is organized in 4 conceptual strands:
Earth and Space
The Key Ideas for each strand in the Middle School course are as follows:
Matter:Students communicate understandings about the properties and personal uses of materials. They research future availability of Earth materials for human use, and explore possible sustainable alternatives to current patterns of use.
Students pose questions to investigate ways in which physical and chemical processes can be altered in order to achieve desirable outcomes, such as food preservation.
Life Systems: Students develop a shared understanding of the characteristics and behaviour of living things and how they are interrelated and interdependent. They appreciate and report on the place of humans in the Earth's ecology, and develop their understanding of, explore future possibilities for, and act to contribute to, sustainable environments.
Students examine the ways organisms reproduce, grow and change over generations. They engage with, and appreciate different positions on, ethical issues such as those associated with ecological sustainability and gene technologies.
Energy Systems: Students collect data about, and critique, their own patterns of energy use in terms of its environmental impact.
Students use the concepts of force, energy and transfer of energy to investigate and explain phenomena and changing patterns of events in the natural world.
Earth and Space: Students investigate, through fieldwork and research, the central importance of the Earth's role in sustaining life and how changes impact on life; and understanding the interaction of he atmosphere, the oceans and the Earth's surface.
Students select and use observational instruments and digital and electronic technologies to develop understandings about structures and events in the universe. They appraise, and share opinions about, the ethics of space exploration.
These strands reflect the traditional organization of Science into the distinct areas of study of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth Science.
Topics at each year level include:
YEAR 8: Laboratory Safety (Science is......), Cells and Microscopes, The Senses, Classification, Solids-Liquids and Gases, Elements-Compounds and Mixtures, Forces, Heat-Light and Sound Energy, Solar System.
YEAR 9: Lab Safety ( Small Scale Techniques), The Human Body and Transport Systems, Plants, Building Blocks of Matter, Physical and Chemical Changes, Acids and Bases, Electricity, Investigating Heat, Inside Earth.
YEAR10: Lab Safety ( Scientific Methods), Genetics, Fitness- Health and Diseases, Ecology, Atomic Structure, Periodic Table, Chemical Reactions, Light/Electromagnetism, Energy and Global Issues, The Fragile Crust, Mining and Minerals, Solar System.