Lake Macquarie High School

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Science: Stage 5

Year 9: Students continue to work through science in terms of the real world and how it applies to them and their surroundings. Topics include:

  • Our Precious Lake
    Lake Macquarie is an important resource that we have to maintain and protect if it is going to be a pristine body of water. People are going to have to make decisions about their environment. These decisions must be informed ones. Studying this unit you will learn about the interaction of abiotic and biotic factors in an ecosystem; the cycling of energy and matter in an ecosystem; nutrient cycles; and some common factors that degrade the environment. People have opportunities to work toward the good management, preservation and conservation of their environment.
  • Blackout
    Electricity's extraordinary versatility as a source of energy means it can be put into an almost limitless set of applications which include transport, heating, lighting, communication and computation. You might not appreciate how much you rely on electricity until you have to go without. This unit also examines the nervous system and links the idea of electrical impulses carrying messages to and from the brain, here the word "blackout" can refer to a brain trauma sustained due to an accident and can be discussed to determine the function of the central nervous system. The unit Blackout links concepts in relation with electricity within the broad disciplines of physics, chemistry and biology.
  • Disasters
    Disasters that occur in Australia are a feature of this unit. Then we move around the Earth to study what impacts on the natural and built environment. The effects of flood, fire, cyclones, east coast low, tsunamis, volcanoes, drought and earthquakes are investigated. Cause and effect is outlined including early warning and how volcanoes and earthquakes are associated with plate tectonics.
  • Body Snatchers
    Our body is constantly fighting against diseases, fungi and viruses. Students will have the oppurtunity to look at what out body does against these body snatchers, including parasites, mould, smallpox and cancer.


Year 10: Using their knowledge from years 7 through 9, students are asked to become the scientist and create their own research/practical project to complete a scientific report throughout term 1. Students learn about all the different sciences, allowing them to give them an idea of what is available to them in year 11. Topics include:

  • Science Independent Research Project (SIRP)
     The SIRP is about scientific method which is related to problem solving skills that can be used in the workplace and in events in everyday life. There is also the aspect of the personal challenge associated with an independent project.
  • Cars and Mobile Phones
    Five contexts from the world of teenagers are examined to analyse the underlying scientific concepts. The contexts include skateboards where students are in motion, car accidents that explore the effects of inertia on the human body, fast cars and what makes them go fast, rockets into space, reducing weight and finally and importantly, mobile phones. The contexts are supported by the focus areas where students explore the place of scientific ideas in society, explain how to test scientific ideas, evaluate the impact of the ideas investigated on society and discusses different viewpoints about the issues investigated. Concepts investigated are assessed with feedback provided and problems addressed.
  • Inside Story
    Inside the miniature world of the atom and inside the vast panorama of the universe will be the concepts explored in "The Inside Story". The focus will be on the atomic level as interactions between atoms are investigated to discover the combination of chemicals. Chemists and how they investigate the atomic world is the focus of the investigations. Meaning is given to the ideas developed when students investigate some common chemical reactions in the real world. Students apply the ideas developed during the unit to analyse real life chemical reactions. The perspective will be widened to take in the universe. Four hundred years of astronomy and astronomers will be studied to explore the development of ideas about the universe.

  • GM Rabbits
    The unit is expanded from the "Animal Pharm" where natural selection, artificial selection and genetic modification are discussed as issues with differing viewpoints from an ethical point of view. Students are challenged to gather the knowledge for them to make informed decisions in the future. The historical perspective is pursued from the work of Gregor Mendel to the ideas of Charles Darwin and evolution. Knowledge is amassed about DNA and genes. The vexing question, did we really come from apes is addressed in the modern context of human evolution.
  • Into Your Future 
    Into the future is an opportunity for students to use scientific evidence to formulate an opinion about an issue that is prominent in the media and politically. The current generation will be asked to make hard decisions and will be subjected to the consequences of the decisions made on their behalf by government. The science involved will be introduced to students for the first time and is intended to be an overview of basic ideas. Substantial amounts of time should not be spent on chemical reactions, photosynthesis, carbon cycle and nuclear radiation and nuclear particles and isotopes.

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