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Human beings have developed skills in managing their environment, designing and constructing systems to make use of both biological and physical resources. The outcomes of this resource use have also brought about the need to consider carefully the sustainability with which these resources are used, their impact on the living world and ethical questions of resource use. In this subject, students will consider both natural and constructed structures and systems and their impact, integrating the contributions of biology, chemistry, environmental sciences, engineering and physics.
Careful development of students’ academic skills is embedded in this subject.
- Energy in chemical and biological systems: reduction and oxidation reactions, energies of reaction and transformed and transferred energy, productivity of ecosystems and photosynthesis;
- Food systems: ecosystems, sustainable use and management of our natural resources ensuring adequate quantity and quality of food production and effective food distribution;
- Structures: structures in the natural environment and built environment – mechanics and materials relevant to structures (analysis of forces and understanding the behaviour of materials in stable structures);
- Electrical systems and energy use: production and transmission of electrical energy, and efficiency of those processes – transformation of other forms of energy into electrical energy (electric and magnetic forces, electric circuits).
Intended learning outcomes
To enable students to apply the methods of science, technology and engineering systems to understanding a range of systems, including chemical and biological systems, natural and built structures, production, transmission and transformation of electrical energy, production and distribution of food and develop their capacity to:
- explain the principles underpinning our understanding of a range of structures and systems;
- apply these principles using logical reasoning, together with appropriate mathematical reasoning, to a variety of familiar and novel situations and problems in the biological, engineering and physical sciences; and
- acquire experimental data using a range of measurement instruments and interpret these data.
A student who completes this subject should be able to:
- explain their understanding of science, technology and engineering principles and applications clearly, both in writing and orally;
- acquire and interpret experimental data and design experimental investigations;
- participate as an effective member of a group in discussions and practical work;
- think independently and analytically, and direct his or her own learning; and
- manage time effectively in order to be prepared for regular classes and assessment tasks.
Last updated: 9 December 2023