The rapid development of new technologies has enhanced industrial and agricultural processes, medical applications and communications. Students explore the dynamic relationship between science and technology, where the continuing advancement of science is dependent on the development of new tools and materials. They also examine how advances in science inform the development of new technologies, and so reflect the interdependence of science and technology.
Students consider experimental risks as they engage with the skills of Working Scientifically. They investigate the appropriateness of using a range of technologies in conducting practical investigations, including those that provide an accurate measurement.
In this module, students focus on developing hypotheses and questions and process appropriate qualitative and quantitative data. They demonstrate how science drives demand for the development of further technologies. Students should be provided with opportunities to engage with all Working Scientifically skills throughout the course.
Scientific Investigation and Technology
Inquiry question 1: How does technology enhance and/or limit scientific investigation?
Some good background reading
- Science and technology reading from the University of Berkeley
Obtaining, analysing and evaluating results –From BBC Bitesize.
- Measurements in chemistry from BBC Bitesize.
- Key terms-working scientifically information from the DET about validity, reliability, accuracy and precision.
Design a practical investigation that uses available technologies to measure both the independent and dependent variables that produce quantitative data to measure the effect of changes of, including but not limited to:
Chemistry theory for background information on the investigations below
- what affects reaction rates theory
- Observed relationships between variables that affect rates of reaction.
- Some background theory on the gas laws from the physics hypertextbook
- Gas laws
- what does invesely proportional mean? ( maths)
1.The temperature on the reaction rate
- using Alka seltzer to measure the reaction rate
- effect of temperature on reaction rate experiment methods
- Iodine clock reaction with a change in temperature(youtube video)
2.The temperature on the volume of gas
- a slide share how experiment can be conducted and results.
- An overview of the gas laws
- Ideal gas Law computer simulation
- how to measure volume of gas using a syringe
- collecting a gas using a measuring cylinder and displacement( video) and another video here
3. Pressure on the volume of gas
- What happens when the pressure is increased in a basketball? ( youtube video)
- Boyle’s Law experiment ( youtube)
- Clear interactive that describes what happens to the pressure as volume is decreased.Includes self assessment of knolwedge.
Physics theory on the investigation below
- Speed on distance travelled
- speed = distance / time formula can be rearranged to calculate any variable.
- You may find this application useful in motion experiments. It is called Science journal and uses the inbuilt sensors in your smartphone to take data.
For each investigation( above);
- conduct the practical investigation to obtain relevant data and evaluate the limitations of the technologies used
Relevant data obtained from graphs
1.The directly proportional relationships and linear relationships
- Directly proportional relationship would be shown in a graph as passing through 0,0 origin.
- Linear lines doe not go through the origin 0,0.
- both can be used to calculate slope and therefore look at relationships ,like rates of change, between variables.
There is a directly proportional relationship between temperature(in Kelvin) and the volume of gas(L) This is seen in Charles law. Pressure is assumed to be constant.
Temperature and volume of gas( Wikipedia)
There is linear pattern in the graph with the relationship between speed and distance travelled. Time can be calculated from the gradient of distance/ speed graph.( image link)
For example, these are actual student results based on Q 17-18 of the 2020 HSC exam the following set up below.
2.The inversely Proportional relationship
From BBC bitesize If one value is inversely proportional to another then it is written using the proportionality symbol ∝ in a different way. Inverse proportion occurs when one value increases and the other decreases. For example, more workers on a job would reduce the time to complete the task. They are inversely proportional.
The statement ‘b is inversely proportional to m’ is written:
This result occurs with the relationship between temperature and the rate of a reaction(time taken for the reaction to complete).If the amount of reactant produced is known(e. g gas collected) than the rate of the reaction can be calculated using the average gradient of the slope. That is the slope between 2 points on a graph. There is no need to used differentiation in this course .You use the average gradient between 2 points on a graph to determine the slope changes .
Note that the gradient = 0 the reaction stops as there is not change in rate. The image above represent an experiment were the volume of gas was collected as a product of the reaction between the reactants.(image source)
This inverse relationship is also evident in the relationship between pressure and the volume (L) of a gas (Boyles law).
Pressure change v volume of gas( Wikipedia)
Limitation of technology can cause errors that affect accuracy.
Random errors are caused by fluctuations during experiments that are very difficult to control. They can be observed as slight variations in trial data and also observed when plotted on a graph, the data points are above and below the expected result. These random errors are more prevalent if the technology lacks precision( like using a ruler than measures in cm instead of mm), or the technology is difficult to keep consistent( like a sliding gas cylinder).
Precision affects the level of uncertainly in a measurement. Low precision makes it more difficult to be certain of the actual value read. Ensure that many trials are takes to minimize the effect of random errors.
Systematic errors are due to how the experiment was controlled( this would be reflected in a method) and also how well the instruments are calibrated. Systematic errors can be observed by getting results that are higher or lower than expected( helps if you know what is expected first!) This can happen due to not calibrating an instrument like a digital balance correctly, or measuring a distance and not factoring the gap in a ruler before zero.
Systematic errors affect that accuracy of the results obtained in a particular direction- too high or too low from what is expected. The way to reduce systematic errors is to improve the method of taking measurements and setting up equipment. Using better equipment( with more precision and low uncertainty) also helps as long as its used correctly.
- investigate the range of measuring devices used in the practical investigation and assess the likelihood of random and systematic errors and the devices’ degree of accuracy (20-minute tutorial)
- This click view video introduces the concept of measurement and uncertainty.
- More information here about measurement errors and uncertainty. A useful guide for teachers and students with some advanced concepts.
Evaluating the practical’s cont
1. Analog v digital
- using specific examples, compare the accuracy of analogue and digital technologies in making observations
Note that some digital equipment can have a larger range of uncertainty than analog equipment; read the manual and take this into consideration in planning an investigation.
- assess the safety of technologies selected for the practical investigation by using chemical safety data and Work Health and Safety guidelines as appropriate
- read the manual and operate as instructed to minimize risk and reduce errors.
A Continuous Cycle
Inquiry question 2: How have developments in technology led to advances in scientific theories and laws that, in turn, drive the need for further developments in technology?
A. How has technology influenced the development of Scientific theories, laws and models?
Using examples, assess the impact that developments in technologies have had on the accumulation of evidence for scientific theories, laws and models, including but not limited to:
1.Computerised simulations and models of the Earth’s geological history
- A simulation shows how Earth plates move over 200 million years
- Using technology to reveal how the earth looked millions of years ago. “Already, Mueller’s team, working with collaborators at the University of Oslo and Caltech, has completed a stunningly detailed digital reconstruction of 410 million years of earthly history, going back to the collision of then-existing continents that created Pangaea.”
21st-century Earth science is computer intensive and data driven. An article by Stanford Earth matters discusses the various means that drive the generation of computer modelling.
2.X-ray diffraction and the discovery of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
- X-ray crystallography by explainer (youtube video) and another video that explains this process and how the structure of DNA was discerned from this data.
- Historical technologies to look at molecules, including the discovery of DNA from the science history institute.
3.Technology to detect radioactivity and the development of atomic theory
- Nuclear physics and technology pdf chapter
- the discovery of radioactivity and radioactivity helps to change the structure of the atom
- Organising Atoms and Electrons: The Periodic Table( click view sign in) looks at the historical development of the periodic table, applications and future directions in research and development.
- radiation therapy and its uses (a slide share)
4. The Hadron Collider and discovery of the Higgs boson
- The Higgs boson: the hunt, the discovery, the study and some future perspectives
- the Higgs boson from CERN blog with updates.
- standard model in physics Wikipedia
- CERN spin offs– new applications from the technologies used in CERN.
B. How has scientific theories, laws and models led to the development of new technologies?
Using examples, assess the impact that developments in scientific theories, laws and models have had on the development of new technologies, including but not limited to:
1.The laws of refraction and reflection on the development of microscopes and telescopes.
- Science learning hub- refraction of light and reflection of light and a timeline of technologies
- How a light microscope works
- Microscopes and optics
- Telescope and optics – note you do not need to apply the mathematical components unless you choose to design your own:)
- telescope timeline
2. Radioactivity and radioactive decay on the development of radiotherapy and nuclear bombs
Radioactivity and radioactive decay
- How does a nuclear bomb work?
The history of nuclear energy– this contains information about the development of the nuclear bomb and the subsequent applications of this technology.
3. The discovery of the structure of DNA and the development of biotechnologies to genetically modified organisms(GMOs)
- 23 ways that the discovery of DNA has changed the world
- the history of DNA timeline
- Gene editing
- Learn genetics from the University of Utah has comprehensive information about genetics and various technologies.
- Producing food with genetic technologies from the Australian Academy of Sciences.
4.Newton’s laws and the technology required to build buildings capable of withstanding earthquakes
Newtons 3 Laws of motion
How do we apply Newtons laws to reduce impacts of earthquakes on buildings?
- Background information from earth sciences Australia-scroll down to find the relevant information linking newtons Laws to earthquakes.
- Can you build an earthquake-proof building? This website contains general information and a good video showing an earthquake shaking table and other technologies to test a building.
- WASP resource Student Challenge– Designing earthquake-resistant buildings can be lifesaving, especially for people living near tectonic boundaries. Your job is to investigate the causes of earthquakes and their effects on different ground types and building designs. You should select a particular location that you think would benefit from better earthquake engineering and design a building that would be suitable for this location.
- Earthquake engineering and Newtons Laws of motion
- Earthquake proofing buildings( sci show you tube)
Bioharvesting of plants from Country and Place
C. Investigate scientists’ increasing awareness of the value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ knowledge and understanding of the medicinal and material uses of plants and, in partnership with communities, investigate the potential for ethical development of new drug treatments and synthetic chemicals through the bioharvesting of plants from Country and Place.
- Aboriginal people, bush foods knowledge and products from
central Australia:: Ethical guidelines for commercial bush food research, industry and enterprises
- Harvesting Knowledge-University of Sydney
- IN TRADITIONAL ABORIGINAL CULTURE, the concept of healing an individual through the natural environment – using bush medicine – was ultimately entwined with the spiritual world and not just the physical. A healer was not just a ‘bush clinician’, but also an expert medium operating between the sick and the spiritual world.
- Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands, South Australia: In 2012, a group of Aboriginal traditional healers—ngangkaṟi—from the APY lands came together with a mission to strengthen traditional practices and medicines, and a vision for a complimentary, ‘two-way’ healthcare system.
- Indigenous community television includes many stories and information from ATSI perspectives.
- Historian Lynette Russell says science is starting to catch on to medicinal and environmental knowledge Indigenous Australians have held for generations but progress is slow.
- The information and resources contained in this guide provide a platform for teachers and educators to consider how to effectively embed important ideas around reconciliation, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and contributions, within the specific
subject/learning area of Science. Please note that this guide is neither prescriptive nor exhaustive, and that teaching staff are encouraged to consult with their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in engaging with the material contained in the guide.
- Biological Diversity and Indigenous Knowledge. This link is from the Parliament of Australia. The challenge is to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples to their knowledge, while also conserving biological diversity. The Convention on Biological Diversity is one international instrument that has the potential to achieve both these objectives. Its primary objective is the conservation and management of biological diversity. It also provides opportunities for the protection of Indigenous knowledge practices and innovations related to biodiversity and for the introduction of measures for equitable sharing of benefits with traditional knowledge holders.
- Aboriginal people, bush foods knowledge and products from central Australia:
Ethical guidelines for commercial bush food research, industry and enterprises