The ASMS learning programs are designed to support young people with a passion for learning in science and mathematics. Encouraging students to be creative, critical, informed and motivated contributors responding to professional, personal and social issues in their world and future. Our curriculum enables students to prepare for their present and future lives as thoughtful, active, responsive and committed local, national and global citizens.

Our interdisciplinary learning programs are reflective of emergent and innovative science, mathematics and technology.
Year 10 & 11 learning programs at the ASMS are:

  • Aligned with Australian Curriculum and SACE
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Inquiry rich
  • Connected to emerging sciences

The Central Studies listed below are taught in a two-year cycle, with the exception of Student Inquiry Project which is offered every year. They each span one semester, with three Central Studies courses being taught per semester. They are illustrative of the interdisciplinary approach we adopt at the ASMS.

The Central Studies provide opportunities for personal choice and in-depth studies in the school, university, workplace and community.

Topics taught this semester

 

Engineering a Monster

In this course, students take a deep dive into Mary Shelley’s 1831 edition of Frankenstein. The main character Victor Frankenstein can be viewed as a brilliant interdisciplinary engineer, using his knowledge of physics, mathematics, philosophy, biochemistry and anatomy to create his ‘monster’. The novel exposes an important ethical theme that WE MUST care for and be responsible for the creations that we engineer. Students are given the opportunity derive deep and meaningful connections between this theme and their role of becoming creators in an engineering field of their choice (Mechanical, Electrical, Civil, Architectural, Med/Bio/Chemical, Software/Computer, or Aeronautical Engineering). Students stitch their own engineering creations together in the Ideation Studio, and apply relevant maths along the way. The course culminates with a study of the history surrounding WW2 where we play off the theme of how society engineered the monster of Hitler, the monster of war in general, and even some monstrous technologies. We must be responsible for the ‘monsters’ that we create…

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Sustainable Futures

Sustainable Futures explores the myriad of possibilities for our humanities and the planet’s future. Students explore possible futures from a number of perspectives, principally by looking at current situations and how creativity, information and technology can bring about a more sustainable future. Students use data and modelling to investigate some possible futures; and beyond this how creativity and technology can help us to overcome the limitations of modelling. Students should be inspired to take action in their lives and thereby contribute to a healthy, equitable and sustainable future for all.

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Student Inquiry Project

Student Inquiry Project (incorporating Research Project) requires students to hone their skills and capability in managing information.  The subject gives students the opportunity to research an area of interest (STEM related at the ASMS), through both active research methods such as experimentation and prototyping as well as via methods such as literature review.  The subject is one of the subjects for which students must achieve a passing grade of C- or better in order to obtain their SACE qualification.  At the ASMS Research Project is undertaken in semester two of a student’s year 11 programme.  Year 10 students working concurrently with the year 11 students undertake a range of research activities in relation to a chosen inquiry topic to prepare them for the requirements of the Research Project.  The work undertaken by the Year 10s is accredited against Stage 1 Research Practices for SACE.

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Learning Studies

Learning Studies is a curriculum designed to support students in their learning and to develop their attributes as learners. The program ensures that students feel a sense of belonging within the school, and are able to develop strong relationships with their Learning Studies teacher and students. Each Learning Studies Group is vertically grouped with up to 20 students from Years 10 to 12 who meet for 40 minutes every day with their teacher. Students work with the same Learning Studies teacher for their whole time at the school where possible. The student/teacher relationship is an essential part of the school’s high-quality learning environment and this is founded and developed through the Learning Studies program. Through their expertise and experience, teachers are expected to support and mentor students to plan and achieve their goals as well as act as an advocate for students. The Learning Studies teacher is the first point of contact between school and home and consistently monitors student progress and achievement.

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Other topics

This study involves the understanding of the diversity of life on planet Earth through the role of evolution in the development of species. Major areas of investigation include geological time scales, natural selection, Earth processes such as continental drift and plate tectonics, dating methods and the extinction of specials. Other concepts and content include animal and plant structure and function, ecosystems, biodiversity and classification systems.

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Body In Question explores the human body as a system from a number of perspectives, principally through human health issues. Students examine the nature of health and disease from the physiological, mental, social and emotional and immunological basis and investigate the role of physics in describing and explaining the human body.

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Students study different communication systems: electronic, biochemical, digital, drama, numeric and visual. They look at how humans interpret, change, adapt, transform and control communication systems. There is a detailed focus on the physics of electrical communication to understand electrical currents and microprocessors. The chemistry of biochemical communication is studied to understand the structure and function of chemicals such as neurotransmitters and hormones. A final focus is examining both the psychological and dramatic features of the Shakespearian play Macbeth.

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The world is changing, with rapidly emerging opportunities for innovation. This central study has as its focus the innovation cycle, with students identifying a problem and designing, prototyping and marketing a solution. This will culminate in an Innovation Expo, where students will compete to market their innovation. Students will explore a range of contents to support this from materials and their properties at a range of scales to historical views on innovation and its drivers while moving towards an understanding of the potential of current developments and applications such as nanotechnology and biomimicry. This Central Study will have a significant practical component, with the use of 3D printers, laser cutters, programming and technical drawing as students turn their ideas into reality.

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This study explores understandings of the sun, moon and stars and their social, spiritual and technological roles.  The concepts and content covered include the structure and size of the universe, understandings of time and space, the composition of the planets, the evolution of the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and geological formations and space exploration.  Computer simulation and mathematical modelling of physical phenomena is used to enhance students’ understandings.

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Humanity seeks, uses and creates order in the form of systems and patterns to function in a seemingly chaotic universe. This central study examines both order and chaos within human society and the natural world. The initial focus is on social order and governance with a focus on political systems and persuasion. Students will develop and analyse their own persuasive speeches and will explore the role statistics plays in influencing voter behaviour. Humans as pattern makers will be a focus of a study examining the natural world utilising mathematical sequences and series to describe, analyse and artistically emulate the patterns seen in nature. The final module has a focus on investigating complex systems in the modern world, how resistant they are to chaos and how machines are increasingly learning to control them.

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Should we balance our Energy Equation? The Energy Equation central study will explore historically significant moments in the origins of energy production from coal & fossil fuels through to Nuclear power and the current generation of renewables. Students will then explore emerging technologies that could potentially secure our energy needs for the future. Each week will be driven by the analysis of critical texts that underpin key scientific & mathematical concepts within the Energy Equation. These texts will support students in their evaluation of science as a human endeavour in the field of energy production.

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As students of language, philosophy and science we not only describe the world as we see it, but also challenge others by asking “Why” and “What if?”

In Truth and Perception, students will examine some of the theories about light, chemical reactions, biological processes and the purpose of language and images. They will explore scientific knowledge as a collection of overlapping models, each with their own limitations in describing nature. By exploring the same phenomena through these different levels of abstraction, they will confront the notion that science is about understanding doubt as much as discovering the truth. Can two people ever truly understand each other’s meaning?

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