Subject Details - Stage 2 Scientific Studies

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SACE StageSACE Stage 2
SACE Credits20 credits
Curriculum AreaScience
Subject Length2 semesters
Contact PersonMs. Felicia Harding
DescriptionThrough Scientific Studies, students develop their knowledge of scientific principles and concepts, the ability to use that knowledge to identify questions, issues, opportunities, and challenges, and the capacity to acquire new knowledge through their own investigations. Students develop the skills and abilities to explain scientific phenomena and to draw evidence-based conclusions from the investigation of science-related issues. In this way students improve their own scientific literacy to support future career pathways, including those that are science-related, and develop the ability to live and work as informed and reflective citizens in a world shaped increasingly by science and technology. Scientific Studies takes students’ experience of science out of the laboratory and into the real world. Students will learn to interpret and analyse the science of events commonly portrayed in the media, and develop valuable scientific literacy skills that reveal the evidence or bias behind topics such as global warming, organ donation and genetic engineering.

TopicsSpecific topics studied may vary depending on students’ areas of interest and current events reported in the media.
Topics will be selected that students have not previously studied in Stage One.
In one year, students must cover material from at least two broad themes, and a total of four topics. Example:
• Possible theme — the importance of science in contemporary Australia
• Possible sub-topics might include Climate change, Food technologies, Water conservation, Recycling
Students are expected to:
• identify and formulate questions, hypotheses, concepts, and purposes that guide scientific investigations
• design and conduct collaborative and individual scientific investigations
• use digital technology and numeracy skills to represent, analyse, interpret, and evaluate scientific investigations
• select and critically evaluate scientific evidence from different sources and present informed conclusions or personal views on social, ethical, and environmental issues
• communicate their knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts using scientific literacy skills
• demonstrate and apply scientific knowledge and understanding to a range of contexts and problems, in ways including providing alternative explanations and proposing solutions.
AssessmentStudents will be expected to provide evidence of their learning through eight to ten assessments, including the external assessment component as follows:
School Assessment
• Assessment Type 1: INQUIRY Folio (50%)
• Assessment Type 2: COLLABORATIVE inquiry (20%)
External Assessment
• Assessment Type 3: Individual Practical Investigation (30%).
Students undertake:
• at least two practical investigations and at least one issues investigation for the folio
• at least two skills and applications tasks
• one externally assessed practical investigation.
At least one investigation or skills and applications task will involve collaborative work.


Relationship To Further StudySuccessful completion of Scientific Studies will provide students with critical thinking skills for life, and a deeper knowledge of the role science plays in many facets of their life. It can also be a tertiary pathway counting towards the ATAR with previous students continuing with further study into nursing, animal science, human movement, and education to name a few.
PrerequisitesStudents should have an interest in science-related topics that affect their lives, and are expected to have satisfactorily passed at least one semester of Stage 1 Science which may include Scientific Studies (Forensic Science) and have met the Stage 1 Numeracy and Literacy SACE requirements.
Special ConditionsStudents can be enrolled in only one Scientific Studies subject at the Stage 2 level. If a student is failing a Term 1 Science subject they may change enrolment into Scientific Studies if possible and may be strongly encouraged to do so if their SACE completion is At Risk. However, only one ‘Scientific Studies’ course can count towards a student’s SACE. For example, a student already enrolled in this course cannot convert Stage 2 Biology into a Scientific Studies version. Please note: Enrolment in any Scientific Studies course does NOT prevent a student also being enrolled in any other Science subject, e.g. Biology, Physics, Chemistry or Psychology.