The goal of Science studies at Phoenix P-12 Community College is to stimulate, respond to and nourish the curiosity, wonder and questioning that students have about the world they live in. Building students’ Science capability is critical in helping them develop the skills and understanding necessary to meet the challenges of an increasingly technological world and to make responsible, informed choices as citizens in a modern society.

Students will develop an understanding of living things and the environment, the concepts of matter and energy, and the relationship of the Earth to space and time.

Students will design and pursue investigations ethically and safely; generate, validate and evaluate evidence; analyse and interpret ideas and link them with existing understanding; work and reason with scientific models and communicate their findings and ideas to others.

Subjects offered at each level

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

Year 12

Science

Science

Real World Science

VCE Biology

VCE Biology

Science

VCE Chemistry

VCE Chemistry

VCE Physics

VCE Physics

VCE Environmental Science

VCE Environmental Science

Subject Selection and Progression Rules

  • Students must study two semesters of Science at Year 8
  • Students must study Science in Year 9 and may choose to complete either or both semesters.
  • Students who obtain a satisfactory result for both semesters at Year 8 will progress to Year 9.
  • Students must obtain a satisfactory result in Science at Year 9 to progress to a Science Subject at Year 10.
  • Students who are considering studying any VCE Science Subject are advised to study Science at Year 10.  Students who DO NOT wish to study a science subject at VCE are advised to undertake ‘Real World Science’ at Year 10.
  • Successful completion of Units 1 & 2 in a subject area is recommended before proceeding to Unit 3 & 4 studies in the subject.

Science Year 8 – SCI81/SCI82

Science Year 8 will cover a range of key scientific understandings and the skills required to be a successful science student.

Course Structure:

In this subject students learn about living things and the environment, the concepts of matter and energy, and the relationship of the Earth to space and time. Students conduct investigations and experiments, give oral presentations, make models and conduct research assignments to extend their understanding of the theory behind the key scientific concepts that will be explored.

Assessed Tasks:

Research Project, Workbook Activities, Oral Presentation, Tests, Reports on Investigations, Model Construction

Prerequisites: Science Year 7
Leads into: Science subjects at Year 9
Booklist Items: Pearson Science 8 Student Book, Display folder
For further info: J. Ebbs, C. Anderson-Whitecross
Subject Cost: There will be an excursion of approximately $20.00

Science Year 9 – SCI91/92

Science Year 9 is a compulsory Science subject for all Year 9 students which will cover a range of key scientific understandings and the skills required to be a successful science student. One or two semesters of Year 9 Science can be taken.

Course Structure:

In this subject students learn about living things and the environment, the concepts of matter and energy, and the relationship of the Earth to space and time. Students conduct investigations and experiments, give oral presentations, make models and conduct research assignments to extend their understanding of the theory behind the key scientific concepts that will be explored.

Assessed Tasks:

Research Project, Workbook Activities, Oral Presentation, Tests, Reports on Investigations, Model Construction

Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of Science at Year 8
Leads into: Year 10 Science subjects
Booklist Items: Pearson Science 9 Student Book, Display folder
For further info: D. Jones, S. Kahanoff
Subject Cost: There will be an excursion of approximately $10.00

Real World Science Year 10 – RWS0?

Real World Science Year 10 is suited to students who are interested in how the fundamental ideas of science relate to their everyday lives. This course explores concepts from Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Environmental Science and demonstrates the relevance of these areas to the modern world. Students who successfully study this subject will be able to study any of the VCE Science subjects, however it is better suited to those students who are not considering continuing with a Science subject in VCE at this stage.

Course Structure:

In this subject students learn about techniques and theories related to the investigation of crimes and criminal activities, the physics of driving and introduction to chemistry. Students conduct scientific investigations and have the opportunity to enter their work in competitions outside the school.

Assessed Tasks:

Assessment will be in the form of practical reports, extended investigations and presentations, short assignments, topic tests and an end of semester exam

Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of Essential Science at Year 9
Leads into: Does not lead into VCE Science Subjects
Booklist Items: Display folder
For further info: P. Butler, D. Jones
Subject Cost: Nil

Science Year 10 – SCI01/SCI02

Year 10 Science is suited to those students wishing to study a Science at VCE level or those wanting General Science knowledge. One or two semesters of Year 10 Science can be taken. This course will introduce you to the fundamentals of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and provide a solid foundation of knowledge for VCE Biology and VCE Environmental Science.

Course Structure:

In this subject students learn how plants and animals interact with the environment, biological concepts such as cell structure and function, classification, genes and inheritance will be explored. It also covers atoms and how the Periodic Table of the Elements is structured, chemical compounds and chemical reactions will also be explored. Students learn about the forces acting on objects when they move, and how to describe the movement in a scientific matter. Electromagnetism and the operation of electric motors will be investigated. Laboratory skills and safe working procedures will be practised. Students conduct scientific investigations and have the opportunity to enter their work in competitions outside the school.

Assessed Tasks:

Research Project, Workbook Activities, Oral Presentation, Tests, Reports on Investigations, Model Construction

Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of Essential Science at Year 9
Leads into: VCE Biology, VCE Chemistry, VCE Environmental Science and VCE Physics
Booklist Items: Pearson Science 10, Display folder
For further info: P. Findlay, D. Jones
Subject Cost: Nil. There will be an excursion of approximately $30.00

 VCE Biology Units 1 & 2 – BI011/BI022

VCE Biology is suited to students who are interested in careers in the scientific, medical or environmental fields. Through experimental work and application of theoretical concepts, students will gain an appreciation of the biological nature of the world around them and the interactions of living things with the environment.

Course Structure:

In Unit 1 students study the relationships between living things and their habitats. The focus begins with environmental factors that affect all organisms and moves onto how the organisms adapt to enable them to survive. Investigations of local and other ecosystems will be part of the students class work. Students also look at changes to ecosystems over time and how these systems can be monitored and maintained. In Unit 2 students focus on the activities of cells by using microscopes to investigate the structure of cells and conduct experiments to determine how the cell membrane controls the movements of substances. The second area of study looks at the diversity of life on Earth and then moves on to an examination of the features of organisms including their digestive, transport, waste disposal and respiratory systems. Sexual and asexual reproduction will also be covered.

Assessed Tasks:

Problem solving, scientific text analysis, laboratory practical work, field work and written reports
                                                                                                                                            

Prerequisites: Year 10 Science
Leads into: Biology Units 3 & 4
Booklist Items: Nature of Biology 1 – 4th Edition
For further info: S. Kahanoff, C. Anderson-Whitecross
Subject Cost: $10.00 for experimental materials and equipment, excursion costs approximately $50.00

 VCE Biology Units 3 & 4 – BI033/BI034

VCE Biology is suited to students who are interested in careers in the scientific, medical or environmental fields. Through experimental work and application of theoretical concepts, students will gain an appreciation of the biological nature of the world around them and the interactions of living things with the environment.

Course Structure:

In Unit 3 students examine how technology has improved the understanding of the role of proteins in cell functioning. The structure of RNA and DNA and the immune system will also be studied. Unit 4 focuses on molecular biology, including the mechanisms of inheritance, genes, DNA, mitosis and the causes of variation. A manipulation of DNA activity will take place. Evolution is studied including how natural selection leads to the investigation of the origins of life.

Assessed Tasks:

Problem solving, scientific text analysis, laboratory practical work and written reports.

VCAA Assessment:

The overall Study Score will consist of:

2.5 hour exam in November on Units 3 & 4, 10 SAC tasks: written responses to focus questions or Prac reports

Prerequisites: Biology Units 1 & 2 and/or Chemistry Units 1 & 2
Leads into: TAFE, University or Further Education
Booklist Items: Nature of Biology 4th Edition
For further info: S. Kahanoff, C. Anderson-Whitecross
Subject Cost: $10.00 for experimental materials and equipment excursion costs approximately $40.00

 VCE Chemistry Units 1 & 2 – CH011/CH022

VCE Chemistry is suited to students who are interested in careers in the technical, scientific, medical, analytical or environmental fields. Through experimental work and application of theoretical concepts, students will gain an appreciation of the chemical nature of the world around them and the interactions of materials at the atomic level.

Course Structure:

In Unit 1 of this subject students investigate the nature and properties of many everyday materials and will be able to relate these properties to the underlying chemical structure of the substances. The Periodic Table and its relationship to atomic structure are studied. In Unit 2 Chemistry students will become familiar with the importance of water as a chemical and acid-base and corrosion reactions. Students learn to write chemical equations and perform numerical calculations based on them. The physical and chemical behaviour of gases and the atmosphere will be studied. In both Units 1 & 2 Chemistry students are involved in experiments and the analysis of measurements and observations.

Assessed Tasks:

Problem solving, numerical calculations, laboratory practical work and written reports

VCAA Assessment:

The overall Study Score will consist of:

90 minute exam in June on Unit 1 and 90 minute exam in November on Unit 2, 6 SAC tasks: written responses to focus questions or laboratory reports

Prerequisites: Year 10 Science
Leads into: Chemistry Units 3 & 4
Booklist Items: Heinemann Chemistry 1 and Heinemann Chemistry 1 Student Workbook
For further info: J. Ebbs, D. Jones
Subject Cost: $10.00 for experimental materials and equipment, excursion costs approximately $20.00

 VCE Chemistry Units 3 & 4 – CH033/CH034

VCE Chemistry Unit is suited to students who are interested in careers in the technical, scientific, medical, analytical or environmental fields. Through experimental work and application of theoretical concepts, students will gain an appreciation of the chemical nature of the world around them and the interactions of materials at the atomic level.

Course Structure:

In Unit 3 of this subject students use a variety of analytical techniques to investigate products in the laboratory. Students learn about systematic naming and the reactions in organic chemistry and the use of biochemical fuels. Biological molecules such as fats, carbohydrates, proteins and DNA are studied. Students explore how forensic analysis relies on the use of organic chemicals and the role of organic chemicals in the development of medicines. In Unit 4 the focus is on the factors that affect the rate and extent of a chemical reaction. Students evaluate the extent of energy reserves, how each resource is used and the advantages and disadvantages of their continued use. The uses and production of a chemical of significance in the modern world is studied in detail. Students construct and operate simple galvanic and electrolytic cells.

Assessed Tasks:

Problem solving, numerical calculations, laboratory practical work and written reports

VCAA Assessment:

The overall Study Score will consist of:

2.5 hour exam in November on Units 3 & 4, 6 SAC tasks: written responses to focus questions or laboratory reports

Prerequisites: Units 1 & 2 Chemistry
Leads into: TAFE, University or Further Education
Booklist Items: Heinemann Chemistry 2 and Heinemann Chemistry 2 Student Workbook
For further info: J. Ebbs
Subject Cost: $10.00 for experimental materials and equipment, excursion costs approximately $20.00

 VCE Physics Units 1 & 2 – PH011/PH022

VCE Physics is suited to students who are interested in the scientific principles behind most inventions and modern technological developments.

Course Structure:

In Unit 1 of this subject students investigate radioactivity, nuclear energy and electricity. In Unit 2 Physics students further their understanding of the operation of the universe, from inside the atom to the far reaches of space. In both Units 1 & 2 a detailed study on astronomy, astrophysics, energy from the nucleus, flight, sustainable energy sources or medical physics will be carried out.

Assessed Tasks:

Problem solving, numerical calculations, laboratory practical work and written reports

VCAA Assessment:

The overall Study Score will consist of:

90 minute exam in June on Unit 1 and 90 minute exam in November on Unit 2, 6 SAC tasks : written responses to focus questions or laboratory reports

Prerequisites: Year 10 Science
Leads into: Physics Units 3 & 4
Booklist Items: Heineman Physics 11 enhanced Text 3rd Edition
For further info: M. Oates, S Brown
Subject Cost: $10.00 for experimental materials and equipment, excursion costs approximately $15.00

 VCE Physics Units 3 & 4 – PH033/PH034

VCE Physics is suited to students who are interested in the scientific principles behind most inventions and modern technological developments.

Course Structure:

In Unit 3 of this subject students investigate motion and electronics and one of the detailed areas of relativity, materials and structures or further electronics. In Unit 4 Physics students cover the interactions of light and matter, electric power and one of the detailed areas of the synchrotron and applications, photonics or recording and producing sound.

Assessed Tasks:

Problem solving, numerical calculations, laboratory practical work and written reports

VCAA Assessment:

The overall Study Score will consist of: 

2.5 hour exam in November on Unit 3 & 4, 5 SAC tasks: written responses to focus questions or laboratory reports

Prerequisites: Physics Units 1 & 2
Leads into: TAFE, University or Further Education
Booklist Items: Heineman Physics 12 enhanced Text 3rd Edition
For further info: M. Oates
Subject Cost: $10.00 for experimental materials and equipment, excursion costs approximately $15.00

 VCE Environmental Science Units 1 & 2 EV011/EV022

VCE Environmental Science is suited to students who are interested in careers in the scientific or environmental fields or who want to understand the environmental issues facing humans today.

Course Structure:

In Unit 1, students focus on the environment, the interaction of plants and animals within that environment and the changes that environments can undergo. In Unit 2, students study the ways the environment is monitored and how data is collected and interpreted.

Assessed Tasks:

Problem solving, scientific text analysis, laboratory practical work, field work and written reports

VCAA Assessment:

The overall Study Score will consist of:   

90 minute exam in June on Unit 1 and 90 minute exam in November on Unit 2, 6 SAC tasks: written responses to focus questions or laboratory reports

Prerequisites: Year 10 Science
Leads into: Environmental Science Units 3 & 4
Booklist Items: Monitoring Ecosystems – VAEE
For further info: S. Kahanoff
Subject Cost: $10.00 for experimental materials and equipment excursion costs approximately $50.00

VCE Environmental Science Units 3 & 4 – EV033/EV034

VCE Environmental Science is suited to students who are interested in careers in the scientific or environmental fields or who want to understand the environmental issues facing humans today.

Course Structure:

In Unit 3, students focus on energy, global warming and diversity in the biosphere. They explore energy efficiency as well as investigating the relationship between energy use and the greenhouse effect. The unit investigates sustaining ecological integrity and the survival of populations within the biosphere.

In Unit 4, students study the sources and effects of pollution and the health of humans and the environment. They explore the application of environmental science to ecologically sustainable development and environmental management.

Assessed Tasks:

Problem solving, scientific text analysis, laboratory practical work, field work and written reports

VCAA Assessment:

The overall Study Score will consist of: 

2.5 hour exam in November on Unit 3 & 4, 6 SAC tasks: written responses to focus questions or laboratory reports

Prerequisites: Environmental Science Unit 2
Leads into: TAFE, University or Further Education
Booklist Items: Textbook to be advised
For further info: S. Kahanoff, D. Jones
Subject Cost: $10.00 for experimental materials and equipment, excursion costs approximately $30.00