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Level 10



Science Level Description

In Levels 9 and 10, the curriculum focus is on explaining phenomena involving science and its applications. Students consider both classic and contemporary science contexts to explain the operation of systems at a range of scales. At a microscopic scale, they consider the atom as a system of protons, electrons and neutrons, and understand how this system can change through nuclear decay. They...

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Science Content Descriptions

Science Understanding

Science as a human endeavour
  1. Scientific understanding, including models and theories, are contestable and are refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community (VCSSU114)
  2. Advances in scientific understanding often rely on developments in technology and technological advances are often linked to scientific discoveries (VCSSU115)
  3. The values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (VCSSU116)
Biological sciences
  1. Multicellular organisms rely on coordinated and interdependent internal systems to respond to changes to their environment (VCSSU117)
  2. An animal’s response to a stimulus is coordinated by its central nervous system (brain and spinal cord); neurons transmit electrical impulses and are connected by synapses (VCSSU118)
  3. The transmission of heritable characteristics from one generation to the next involves DNA and genes (VCSSU119)
  4. The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence (VCSSU120)
  5. Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (VCSSU121)
Chemical sciences
  1. All matter is made of atoms which are composed of protons, neutrons and electrons; natural radioactivity arises from the decay of nuclei in atoms (VCSSU122)
  2. The atomic structure and properties of elements are used to organise them in the periodic table (VCSSU123)
  3. Chemical reactions involve rearranging atoms to form new substances; during a chemical reaction mass is not created or destroyed (VCSSU124)
  4. Different types of chemical reactions are used to produce a range of products and can occur at different rates; chemical reactions may be represented by balanced chemical equations (VCSSU125)
  5. Chemical reactions, including combustion and the reactions of acids, are important in both non-living and living systems and involve energy transfer (VCSSU126)
Earth and space sciences
  1. The theory of plate tectonics explains global patterns of geological activity and continental movement (VCSSU127)
  2. Global systems, including the carbon cycle, rely on interactions involving the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere (VCSSU128)
  3. The Universe contains features including galaxies, stars and solar systems; the Big Bang theory can be used to explain the origin of the Universe (VCSSU129)
Physical sciences
  1. Electric circuits can be designed for diverse purposes using different components; the operation of circuits can be explained by the concepts of voltage and current (VCSSU130)
  2. The interaction of magnets can be explained by a field model; magnets are used in the generation of electricity and the operation of motors (VCSSU131)
  3. Energy flow in Earth’s atmosphere can be explained by the processes of heat transfer (VCSSU132)
  4. The description and explanation of the motion of objects involves the interaction of forces and the exchange of energy and can be described and predicted using the laws of physics (VCSSU133)

Science Inquiry Skills

Questioning and predicting
  1. Formulate questions or hypotheses that can be investigated scientifically, including identification of independent, dependent and controlled variables (VCSIS134)
Planning and conducting
  1. Independently plan, select and use appropriate investigation types, including fieldwork and laboratory experimentation, to collect reliable data, assess risk and address ethical issues associated with these investigation types (VCSIS135)
  2. Select and use appropriate equipment and technologies to systematically collect and record accurate and reliable data, and use repeat trials to improve accuracy, precision and reliability (VCSIS136)
Recording and processing
  1. Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys, models and formulas, to record and summarise data from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, to represent qualitative and quantitative patterns or relationships, and distinguish between discrete and continuous data (VCSIS137)
Analysing and evaluating
  1. Analyse patterns and trends in data, including describing relationships between variables, identifying inconsistencies in data and sources of uncertainty, and drawing conclusions that are consistent with evidence (VCSIS138)
  2. Use knowledge of scientific concepts to evaluate investigation conclusions, including assessing the approaches used to solve problems, critically analysing the validity of information obtained from primary and secondary sources, suggesting possible alternative explanations and describing specific ways to improve the quality of data (VCSIS139)
  1. Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (VCSIS140)

Science Achievement Standard

By the end of Level 10, students analyse how models and theories have developed over time and discuss the factors that prompted their review. They predict how future applications of science and technology may affect people’s lives. They explain the concept of energy conservation and model energy transfer and transformation within systems. They analyse how biological systems function and respond to external changes with reference to the interdependencies between individual components, energy transfers and flows of matter. They evaluate the evidence for scientific theories that explain the origin of the Universe and the diversity of life on Earth. They explain the role of DNA and genes in cell division and genetic inheritance. They apply geological timescales to elaborate their explanations of both natural selection and evolution. They explain how similarities in the chemical behaviour of elements and their compounds and their atomic structures are represented in the way the periodic table has been constructed. They compare the properties of a range of elements representative of the major groups and periods in the periodic table. They use atomic symbols and balanced chemical equations...

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