science faculty

WHAT IS SCIENCE ABOUT?

Mā te whakaaro nui e hanga te whare; mā te mātauranga e whakaū

Science is a way of investigating, understanding, and explaining our natural, physical world and the wider universe. It involves generating and testing ideas, gathering evidence – including by making observations, carrying out investigations and modelling, and communicating and debating with others.

Five underlying and interdependent concepts are at the heart of this learning area:

  • Nature of Science - this is the overarching, unifying strand. Through it, students learn what science is and how scientists work. They develop the skills, attitudes, and values to build a foundation for understanding the world. They come to appreciate that while scientific knowledge is durable, it is also constantly re-evaluated in the light of new evidence.
  • Living World - this is about living things and how they interact with each other and the environment. Through this strand students will be able to make more informed decisions about biological issues.
  • Planet Earth and Beyond - this is about the interconnecting systems and processes of the Earth, the other parts of the solar system, and the universe beyond. Through this students come to appreciate that humans can affect this interdependence in both positive and negative ways .
  • Physical World - this provides explanations for a wide range of physical phenomena, including light, sound, heat, electricity, magnetism, waves, forces, and motion, united by the concept of energy, which is transformed from one form to another without loss. Through this students are able to understand a wide range of contemporary issues and challenges and potential technological solutions.
  • Material World - this involves the study of matter and the changes it undergoes. Using their knowledge of chemistry, students are better able to understand science-related challenges, such as environmental sustainability and the development of new materials, pharmaceuticals, and sources of energy.