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Year 10 Science (See Common Subjects for details of Year 10 Science combinations)

Applied Science: Science in Our Environment

Semester Elective Unit


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Course Description

This course explores some of the major challenges confronting the scientific and broader community today as a result of human population growth and the impact of human populations on the environment. The use of fossil fuels in modern society and their impact on global warming is examined as a way of understanding both the complexity of human interactions with their physical, chemical and biological environment, and the unique insights made possible as a result of the contributions of science and scientific investigations. 

Essential Questions

  • How do we understand our interactions with the physical, chemical and biological features of our planet?
  • How are humans contributing to the changes taking place in our environment and what implications might these have for our future?
  • How does science help us to understand our environment?
  • What role do science and scientists have to play in creating our future?

Areas of Study

Energy, Matter and Us

  • Understanding energy: Where it comes from, where it ends up and why it’s important to us.
  • Cycles of matter: The nature of matter and how it moves through us and everything else around us.  

Human Impacts on the Environment

  • Human populations and population growth: How fast are we growing and for how long?
  • Human impacts: How are we impacting on our environment and what can we do about it?


Task Description
Practical Work

Selection of investigations covering a range of topics including:

  • tracking trends in human population growth; 
  • measuring temperature changes in exothermic and endothermic reactions;
  • comparing the energy we get from burning different kinds of fossil fuels;
  • making fireworks, making biogas, making a solar plate collector;
  • measuring the greenhouse effect and the effects of rising sea levels on Australia’s coastline.​

Self-design investigation: Students design and conduct their own experimental investigation on a topic of interest.

Research Task Students apply and extend the knowledge and skills they developed in the study of other areas of Applied Science to an investigation of human impacts on the environment.
Tests Two tests comprising a balance of multiple choice and short answer questions. 
Semester Examination Students undertake an examination at the conclusion of the course.​