Choose your learning adventure

December 9, 2007

Just like your upcoming ‘Big Experiences‘ this unit in Science begins with an element of choice. What learning journey do you want to take? What do you want to find out about and present to the class?

Browse through the choices below to decide, there should be something for everyone. Once you have decided find some classmates who can join your research team (no more than 2 per group, 3 on application) and begin your learning.

Then help us all by making this site better. When you find a really useful web page post a comment on this site with a brief summary and a link to the page. That way we can all share information together.

With all this sharing of knowledge and information your projects should be truly GREAT … so don’t disappoint !!!

Information must be presented in any appropriate format – that is … hyperlinked powerpoint, web page, wiki, video, poster or negotiated.

Projects must make reference to at least 3 of the practical activities undertaken in this unit:

  • Energy from food labels activity p.183 (See Worksheet and the answers are here)
  • Energy for living activity p.184
  • Expt What’s in a breath? p.187
  • Expt. Fermenting fun p.191
  • Expt. Out of light (leaves). p.193 OR Elodea leaf chloroplast exploration.
  • Expt. What happens when we exercise?

This unit will also be complemented by a series of weekly homework tasks which will provide useful information for your research as well as essential information for the end of year assessment task!

Your projects will be marked according to THIS assessment rubric.

Good luck and choose wisely as your choice will greatly impact your final product.


Life on another planet

December 9, 2007


S.E.T.I. has finally received communication from another planet – the news has been greeted with worldwide excitment and unification. The message was short yet to the point. All the aliens want from us is information. They want to know all about us and life on planet Earth. The UN has decided that providing the information is of the utmost importance and the first step in developing interplanetary relations and sharing knowledge. The world is keen not to disappoint and you, as someone who is growing up in the ‘information age’, have been appointed to the team to gather the information and send it to NASA for final editing. You need to decide what to include but it is expected that you will start with:

  • Human Anatomy – Structure and Function
  • Information about DNA
  • The theory of evolution
  • Astrobiology – what is it?
  • Who is S.E.T.I. What do they do and how do they do it?
  • Some taxonomy
  • Getting energy: Respiration and Photosynthesis
  • Gliese 581c (where first contact originated from)

Of course this is only a start what else do you think the aliens need to know?

Nuclear War

December 9, 2007

It has finally happened …. NUCLEAR WAR !!!


Australia will be one of the last countries to be affected but the radiation will come, we will die … Unless, unless we can do the impossible – move underground. As a young Australian who has grown up in the ‘information age’ you have been selected to be a part of the team to get as many citizens undergound as you can. There is lots to think about but time is running out. You need to start improving your knowledge so you can make some decisions – start thinking about:

  • How do nuclear weapons work, who discovered them and why?
  • Where should we dig and how will tectonic plates affect us.
  • Find out more about Australia’s Geology.
  • Radiation – Alpha, Beta, Gamma.
  • What engineering challenges does living underground provide – is Zion from the Matrix movies possible – what about housing in Coober Pedy?
  • What is the temperature underground and should we use heat from the Earth’s core?
  • Getting energy: Respiration and Photosynthesis.

Of course this is only a start, what else do you think we need to know?

Blast Off

December 9, 2007

We must save the human race. You have been selected to be one of the groups of humans to be sent into space. There is only one spacecraft that will leave Earth and its journey will take you to a planet with many physical similarities to Earth in a nearby solar system. Your task is to get to the planet and set up a colony so that you or your descendants will be able to settle humankind for the future. With new space travel technology, it will take seven years for your spacecraft to reach the planet: you and all the others with you will have to survive for that time.


You will need to discover:

  • Conditions on a real exoplanet – for example a planet on the Gliese 581 system.
  • Population details – who to take? will numbers increase?
  • Colonisation.
  • Energy – yours and the ships!
  • Food.
  • Terraforming the new planet:
    • Atmosphere etc.
  • Water.
  • Waste.

All of these factors will need to be considered for the flight itself AND once you arrive at your new home. What else??

Space travel

December 9, 2007

Ever seen Starwars? What if we could actually do all that interstellar travel? Can we? Is it possible? Is there any way?

Find Out !!!


You will need to start with information on early and current human space travel how is it done:

  • How are space shuttles made?
  • What fuel do they use?
  • What are the current challenges?
  • What do astronauts eat?
  • How do they excercise?

But that’s not all. To date mankind has only put a man on the moon. What about another planet … in another solar system … in another galaxy is it possible:

  • Will Einstein-Rosen bridges take us there?
  • What are the limits of speed? Can we travel at the speed of light?

What else – this is the information age – find out!

Sports Science

December 9, 2007

Like sport? Don’t like Science? ARE YOU CRAZY ???

Sports Science is a huge industry and growing all the time. To be the best in the world you have to do more than train, you have to know about your body. You have to know how to get the best out of yourself – physically, mentally and technologically. Train hard, eat right, think right and learn right.


Start your learning:

  • Human anatomy – muscles, ligaments ,bones etc.
  • Classes of Levers and examples in the body.
  • Aerobic and anaerobic respiration – what’s the process, where does it take place?
  • Nutrition: Carbs, Fats and Proteins what are they, what is their structure, how much of them do you need?
  • Sports Psychology: +ve and -ve reinforcement, gaining reward, pain avoidance.
  • Gatorade, Powerade – What’s the go, and what are electrolytes anyway?
  • Fabric construction: what is the best for your sport, what about other sports.

But this is only a start what else can you find out to WIN?

Our World is in Trouble

December 9, 2007

This one is a real one!


If the human race doesn’t take urgent, immediate action the future of our race on Earth may very well be limited. Humans are rapidly destroying the fragile planet they live on. We are severely damaging the surface of the planet and this is impacting worldwide climate. The general scientific consensus is, if we don’t start fixing things we are in for a very bad time! Your job is to find out why this is happening, and more importantly, what we can do to fix things

Find out about:

  • The greenhouse effect – what causes it, what is it.
  • Why rising temperatures are bad for our planet?
  • The Gulf Stream and melting ice.
  • Conservation and species loss.
  • What we should be doing to help.
  • What governments actually are doing to help.

What else … this is important! All of our lives may depend on it!