Science

Science develops student’s knowledge, understanding and skills to explain and make sense of the biological, chemical, physical and technological world. This enables students to make informed choices and responsible decisions as individuals and part of the community. At Sylvania High School, science students are given the opportunity to achieve to their potential, equipping them to be well informed global citizens.

Years 7 – 10 (Stage 4 & 5)

Science is a mandatory course that is studied substantially in each of Years 7-10 with at least 400 hours to be completed by the end of Year 10. This is a requirement for eligibility for the award of the Record of School Achievement (ROSA).

Through their study of science, students develop a knowledge and understanding about the living and non-living world. Students examine the historical and ongoing contribution of scientists, including Australian scientists, to scientific research. They examine the impact on their lives of scientific knowledge and its applications to their communities and their surroundings.

Students work individually and in teams in planning and conducting investigations. They analyse data and information, evaluate issues and problems, identify questions for inquiry and investigation and draw evidenced-based conclusions. Through this problem-solving process they develop their critical thinking skills and creativity. Students apply and communicate their findings, understanding and viewpoints in a scientifically literate way when making informed decisions about the environment, natural and technological world.

Years 11 – 12 (Stage 6)

Stage 6 Science Courses have a Preliminary and a HSC course. The Preliminary and HSC courses are organised into a number of modules. The Preliminary modules consist of core content that would be covered in 120 indicative hours. The HSC course consists of core and options organised into a number of modules. The core content covers 90 indicative hours with ONE option covering 30 indicative hours.

Practical experiences are an essential component of both the Preliminary and HSC courses. Students will complete 80 indicative hours of practical/field work during both the Preliminary and HSC courses with no less than 35 indicative hours of practical experiences in the HSC course. Practical experiences include at least one open-ended investigation integrating skill and knowledge outcomes in both the Preliminary and HSC courses.

Biology

Biology in Stage 6 Science provides students with a contemporary and coherent understanding of the concepts explaining the functioning, origins and evolution of living things.

Biology Stage 6 explores the levels of organisation of life, from the molecular level through cellular to higher levels of organisational structure and function, which exhibit evolution as a common source of unity and diversity. It includes developing an understanding of the interactions within and between organisms and between organisms and their environment.

The study of biology recognises that, while humans are part of nature, they continue to have a greater influence on the environment than any other species. The history and philosophy of science, as it relates to the development of the understanding, utilisation and manipulation of living systems by the human species, is an integral part of the study of contemporary biology and assists students to recognise their responsibility to conserve, protect, maintain and improve the quality of all environments for future generations.

Chemistry

Chemistry in Science Stage 6 provides students with an understanding of matter and its interactions. It focuses on investigating the physical and chemical properties of substances, chemical reactions and processes, the interaction of energy and matter, and attempts to

explain and predict events at the atomic and molecular level.

The study of Chemistry recognises that a study of the nature of materials includes natural and made substances, their structures, changes and environmental importance.

The study of Chemistry involves the students working individually and with others in practical, field and interactive media experiences related to the theoretical concepts considered in the course. It is expected that students studying Chemistry will apply investigative and problem-solving skills, effectively communicate the theoretical concepts considered in the course and appreciate the contribution that a study of Chemistry makes to our understanding of the world.

Physics

Physics in Science Stage 6 provides students with a contemporary and coherent understanding of energy, matter, and their interrelationships. It focuses on investigating natural phenomena and then applying patterns, models (including mathematical ones), principles, theories and laws to explain the physical behaviour of the universe.

The study of physics provides students with an understanding of systems that is the basis of the development of technological applications. The interplay between concepts and technological and societal impacts is embodied in the history and philosophy of science and forms a continuum relating our past to our future.

Physics further develops students’ understanding of science as a continually developing body of knowledge, the interdisciplinary nature of science, the role of experiment in deciding between competing theories, the provisional nature of scientific explanations, the complex relationship between evidence and ideas and the impact of science on society.

Extra-Curricular Programs Linked to Science

In order to extend our students understanding of scientific concepts the Science faculty provide a range of extra-curricular activities and opportunities beyond the classroom setting. Students are encouraged to participate in the ICAS Science Competition and CREST Science Research Awards. As part of Sylvania High Schools commitment to Project Based Learning, the science faculty have undertaken a number of projects. The Microbiology Challenge Project is a collaborative project with seven other local high schools to raise the awareness of microbiology and science as a career option. The project gives science students the opportunity to work with practicing Microbiologists to solve a relevant microbiological problem. As part of the project the students gain valuable educational experiences beyond the classroom including a taste of University life.

In the teaching of our programs the Science faculty endeavour to make the learning as relevant and connected to the students as possible. Excursions undertaken in Stages 4 and 5 are Snake Tails: Reptile Show, Taronga Zoo, Astrobiology excursions to the Power House and IMAX, Wollongong Science Centre and Science in the City during Science Week. Stage 6 science students complete fieldwork activities such as rock platform studies and excursions to the Sydney Observatory and St. George Hospital.