Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students will explore and compare the scientific and artistic interpretation of a ‘true’ image by investigating traditional scientific images, scientific issues and the emotive nature of images or artwork. Students will explore how scaled scientific images are used to depict anatomical structure, whilst acknowledging that the use of data and scientific inquiry can also develop real-life understandings of an animal. For the main project within this lesson, students will identify and conduct research concerning an ‘ugly’ native endangered animal and communicate the ‘true’ image of this animal through an effective artwork.

Created in partnership with education specialists, OfficeMax, this STEAM lesson demonstrates how science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics are interrelated. The lesson requires students to draw on and develop skills from all areas to complete their project.

 

Learning intentions:

  • Students will be able to complete accurate scientific drawings of cells or animals.
  • Students will know that loss of biodiversity is an issue in Australia and understand the need for conservation of all native Australian species.
  • Students understand how images are able to transmit information to the viewer and can be manipulated to send a targeted message.
  • Students will be able to collect and analyse data for trends, and report findings.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 Science

  • Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys and models to represent and analyse patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS129)
  • Science knowledge can develop through collaboration across the disciplines of science and the contributions of people from a range of cultures (ACSHE223)
  • Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology, may impact on other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations (ACSHE120)

Year 8 Science

  • Cells are the basic units of living things; they have specialised structures and functions (ACSSU149)
  • Scientific knowledge has changed peoples’ understanding of the world and is refined as new evidence becomes available (ACSHE134)
  • Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys and models to represent and analyse patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS144)

Years 9 Science

  • Analyse patterns and trends in data, including describing relationships between variables and identifying inconsistencies (ACSIS169)
  • Use knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence (ACSIS170)
  • Values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE228)
  • People use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they accept claims, explanations or predictions, and advances in science can affect people’s lives, including generating new career opportunities (ACSHE160)

Years 7 & 8 Visual Arts

  • Experiment with visual arts conventions and techniques, including exploration of techniques used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, to represent a theme, concept or idea in their artwork (ACAVAM118)

Year 9 Visual Arts

  • Conceptualise and develop representations of themes, concepts or subject matter to experiment with their developing personal style, reflecting on the styles of artists, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists (ACAVAM125)

Syllabus outcomes: SC4-14LW, SC4-7WS, SC4-17CW, SC4-11PW, SC5-14LW, SC5-7WS, SC5-11PW, SC5-13ES, VAS4.1, VAS4.3, VAS4.4, VAS5.1, VAS5.3, VAS5.4.

General capabilities: Literacy, Ethical understanding, Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Science achievement standards: Science predict the effect of human and environmental changes on interactions between organisms and classify and organise diverse organisms based on observable differences. They describe situations where scientific knowledge from different science disciplines and diverse cultures has been used to solve a real-world problem. Students draw on evidence to support their conclusions. They communicate their ideas, methods and findings using scientific language and appropriate representations.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Science achievement standards: Science analyse the relationship between structure and function at cell, organ and body system levels. They construct representations of their data to reveal and analyse patterns and trends, and use these when justifying their conclusions. They use appropriate language and representations to communicate science ideas, methods and findings in a range of text types.

Relevant parts of Year 9 Science achievement standards: Students analyse how biological systems function and respond to external changes with reference to interdependencies, energy transfers and flows of matter. They analyse trends in data, identify relationships between variables and reveal inconsistencies in results. Students describe social and technological factors that have influenced scientific developments and predict how future applications of science and technology may affect people’s lives.

Topic: STEAM.

Unit of work: STEAM Made Simple – Secondary

Time required: 150 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – the teacher will facilitate each section of the lesson and will play an important role in ensuring students understand the messages being sent in various images throughout the lesson. Students are encouraged to complete many sections independently.

Resources required: A device capable of presenting a website to the class. Student Worksheet (one copy per student). Extinction of Australian Mammals Article. Scientific Drawing Instructions (one copy per student or a device capable of projecting to the class). Scientific Drawing ExamplePowerful Images – Examples. Kawaii Art Examples (a device capable of projecting to the class). Resources Required (teacher copy).

Related Professional Development: STEAM Made Simple

Keywords: Conservation, biodiversity, classification, scientific drawing, STEAM, human impact, extinction, endangerment.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions:

  • Students will be able to complete accurate scientific drawings of cells or animals.
  • Students will know that loss of biodiversity is an issue in Australia and understand the need for conservation of all native Australian species.
  • Students understand how images are able to transmit information to the viewer and can be manipulated to send a targeted message.
  • Students will be able to collect and analyse data for trends, and report findings.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... follow instructions to make a scientific drawing of a microscope slide or preserved specimen.
  • ... explain how the loss of biodiversity and conservation of Australian animals is an issue.
  • ... identify ways in which an image can send a message and affects the viewer emotionally.
  • ... conduct independent research to develop an understanding of an Australian animal.
  • ... share their knowledge of an Australian animal through an effective artwork.

Teacher c

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