Earth and Environmental Science

LevelStage 2
Learning AreaScience
SemesterFull Year
Additional CostsTransport for field trips.
SACE Credits20

Who is this course for?

This subject is suitable for any students who have an interest in exploring the way human society interacts with the Earth Systems and resources.

This subject is also suitable for any students who are keen to integrate and apply a range of understanding and inquiry skills that encourage and inspire them in thinking scientifically, allowing them to contribute their solutions to current and future problems and challenges. Also suitable for students pursuing scientific pathways, including environmental science, geology, meteorology, climatology, oceanography, seismology, metallurgy, and scientific research.

What will I learn?

At Stage 2, students consider how human beings use the Earth’s resources and the impact of human activities on the environment. They assess the evidence that informs public debate on social and environmental issues such as the use of the Earth’s resources, and climate change. They conduct a detailed external investigation, rather than an exam, into a question around environmental processes or events that impacts on two or more of the Earth’s spheres. Stage 2 Earth and Environmental Science is a 20-credit subject.

The topics in Stage 2 Earth and Environmental Science provide the framework for developing integrated programs of learning through which students extend their skills, knowledge, and understanding of the three strands of science.

The three strands of science to be integrated throughout student learning are:

• science inquiry skills

• science as a human endeavour

• science understanding

The topics for Stage 2 Earth and Environmental Science are:

Topic 1: Earth Systems

Students will explore the interactions between the hydrosphere, geosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. Processes that occur in one sphere can impact other spheres. Students will gain an understanding of how interconnected the Earth system is and the idea that nothing happens in isolation.

Topic 2: Earth’s Resources

Students will explore the use of Earth's metallic and energy resources in society focusing on how to find these resources, extract them and use them. The impact of resource extraction and use on the environment is also discussed.

Topic 3: Earth’s Sustainable Future

Students will explore sustainable solutions to our current energy needs through the use of renewable energy sources. The sustainable use of Earth's resources will also be discussed.

Topic 4: Climate Change

Students explore the hot topic of many debates in scientific forums and the media. Climate change will be explored in regards to the natural variation of climate over geological time and human caused climate change.

How will I be assessed?

The following assessment types enable students to demonstrate their learning in Stage 2 Earth and Environmental Science:

School Assessment (70%)

Assessment Type 1: Investigations Folio (30%)

Assessment Type 2: Skills and Applications Tasks (40%)

External Assessment (30%)

Assessment Type 3: Earth System Study (30%).

Students provide evidence of their learning through eight assessments, including the external assessment component. Students complete:

• two practical investigations

• one investigation with a focus on science as a human endeavour

• four skills and applications tasks

• one Earth systems study

At least one investigation or skills and applications task should involve collaborative work.




This subject may require some field trips of which the student must pay for the cost.

Last updated: 29 July 2021