Science and Technology draws on the disciplines of biology, chemistry, computer science, design and technology, and physics to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the world. Developments in both Science and Technology have always been drivers of change in society, underpinning innovation and impacting on everyone’s lives, materially, economically and culturally. As such, this area of learning and experience will be consistently relevant in the opportunities young people encounter and the life choices that they make.
The importance of scientific and technological literacy in our modern world cannot be understated. It is not sufficient that learners can simply ‘do’ Science and Technology. Ready access to vast amounts of information requires all learners to be able to assess inputs critically, understand the basis of information presented as fact, and make informed judgements that impact their own behaviours and values.
They need to develop the ability to meaningfully ask the question, ‘Just because we can, does that mean we should?’. Science and Technology gives learners an abundance of opportunities to develop and apply digital skills appropriately. It is important to recognise, however, that this area of learning and experience is not the sole home of digital competence, nor the only opportunity to develop these skills.
Learners should critically evaluate the science and technology they use and develop so that they are prepared to encounter the positive and negative aspects of being a digital citizen. For example, as they source information and understand how to store data appropriately on different systems, they will become more mindful of the implications of data laws. They should also explore methods of electronic communication and identify which are the most effective for given situations.
As learners work, both independently and collaboratively, they should access opportunities to participate in the iterative process of planning, creating, evaluating and improving digital content. Inquiry, problem-solving and thinking skills can all be developed, allowing learners to understand problems with increasing complexity and, importantly, when to use technology appropriately to solve them.