The Australian curriculum of Science Quest uses the texts, Science Quest 7, 8, 9, 10, in ascending levels of content and scientific language usage. Once a Science Quest level of learning is mastered, the next level is awaiting exploration and learning. Each level attempts successful comprehension of an individual’s actual “Science Quest” in the areas of Science Understanding, Human Endeavor, and Inquiry Skills. With the Foundation Levels being Science Quest 1 through 6, these higher levels cover later year studies.
One may expect the following concepts under study at each level:
- Study of the differences between groups of organisms, organising their diversity by classification
- The relationship between organisms described in terms of the basic food chains; effects of human intervention
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history; Asia and Australia´s relationship with Asia
- Chemical mixtures made up of pure substances, and their separation techniques
- Earth and Astronomy sciences
- Earth phenomena, including the seasons, solar and lunar eclipses, weather, land shifts, and bodies of water tides, being caused by our place in the universe and the reactions by nature
- Renewable and non-renewable resources; water cycles and sheds
- Cells being the basic units of living things having specialised structures and functions
- The properties of matter in terms of the motion and arrangement of particles
- Chemical changes in substances evolving into newly formed substances
- Mineral formations of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks over a varied timescale
- Energy uses, including movement (kinetic energy), heat, and potential energy; these impacts within the systems
- Multi-cellular organisms and coordinated/interdependent internal systems, and their response to changes in the environment
- Ecosystems within communities of organisms and abiotic components
- Matter being made up of atoms composed of protons, neutrons and electrons
- Chemical reactions including rearrangement of atoms, properties of mass neither created nor destroyed, combustion properties, acids’ reactions, and the import to both living and non-living systems
- Global patterns of geological and continental shifts
- Transfer of energy through different mediums using wave and particle models
- Previous generational impact onto the next involving DNA and genes
- The Theory of Evolution, including natural selection explained by scientifically accumulated and communicated evidence
- Atomic structure and properties of elements placed properly on the International Periodic Table
- The universe of different galaxies, stars and solar systems; Big Bang theory; explanation of the origin of the universe
- Global systems, including the carbon cycle in relationship to biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere
- Energy conservation; laws of physics
Science Quest 7 mastery is achieved by the student’s successful ability to identify questions leading to their own scientific investigation, with fair experimental methods they plan, while dealing with all the possible variables to be observed, revised, and measured. This must be acquired through accuracy in a laboratory environment, while considering safety. As learned in Science Quest 7 studies, their conclusions must be supported by using different sources, communicated through using scientific language, and posturing appropriate representations.
Science Quest 8 mastery is achieved by the student’s successful ability to identify and form their own relevant questions and speculate on obstacles that they can investigate scientifically. Again, safety and ethics are imperative during all investigations and experimentation, especially where variables need to be changed, measured and controlled. Students are able to break down and assess resulting conclusions successfully. They discover, or create methods of improvement in the standard of data they compile, and while using their scientific skills taught, use this data for a reliable conclusion based on the accuracy of their documentation. As always in their Science Quest 8 studies, these are communicated through using scientific language, and posturing appropriate representations.
Science Quest 9 mastery is achieved by the student’s successful ability to analyse trends in data, relationships between variables, and explore result inconsistencies. Their goal of improving the quality of their evidence enhances their participation in evaluating others’ methods and explanations from a scientific perspective. As is learned throughout their Science Quest 9 studies, their critiques are communicated through using scientific language, and posturing appropriate representations.
Science Quest 10 mastery is achieved by the student successful ability to analyses how the periodic table organizes elements, allowing them to propose predictions about their properties. Acknowledging the chemical reactions which produce certain products, then citing the different factors influencing the rate in the production serves as proof of their knowledge of properties of the elements. The concept of energy conservation and transfer, resulting in the transformation within systems can be applied in the relationships between force, mass and acceleration to predict changes in the motion of objects, including cycles within and between Earth’s spheres. They learn by rote to seek evidence in already laid out scientific theories explaining the origin of the universe, including the diversity of life on Earth. They understand the phenomena of heredity and evolution, acquiring an individual viewpoints, as well as developing those during their Science Quest 7, Science Quest 8, Science Quest 9, and Science Quest 10 studies. Their ideas are communicated through using scientific language, and posturing appropriate representations.