While the significance of the cross-curriculum priorities for Chemistry varies, there are opportunities for teachers to select contexts that incorporate the key concepts from each priority.
Through an investigation of contexts that draw on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures students can appreciate the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ knowledge in developing richer understandings of the chemical diversity in the Australian environment, for example the chemical properties of plants used for bush medicines, or mineral ores used for decoration or artwork.
Contexts that draw on Asian scientific research and development and collaborative endeavours in the Asia Pacific region provide an opportunity for students to investigate Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia. Students could examine the important role played by people of the Asia region in such areas as medicine, materials science, nanotechnology, energy security and food security. They could consider collaborative projects between Australian and Asian scientists and the contribution these make to scientific knowledge.
In Chemistry, the Sustainability cross-curriculum priority provides authentic contexts for exploring, investigating and understanding the function and interactions of chemical systems. Chemistry explores a wide range of chemical systems that operate at different time and spatial scales. By investigating the relationships between chemical systems and system components, and how systems respond to change, students develop an appreciation for the ways in which interactions between matter and energy connect Earth’s biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. Students appreciate that chemical science and its applications provide the basis for decision making in many areas of society and that these decisions can impact on the Earth system. They understand the importance of using science to predict possible effects of human and other activity, such as ocean acidification, mineral extraction or use of fossil fuels, and to develop management plans, alternative technologies or approaches such as green chemistry that minimise these effects and provide for a more sustainable future.