Physical World, Year 7 and 8

Physical World Year 7: Forces keep the world moving

Year 7 term 4

What do forces do to objects?

PW1: Change to an object’s motion is caused by unbalanced forces acting on the object.

  1. What changes take place when forces act on an object?
  2. What happens when unbalanced forces act on an object? Give an everyday example.
  3. Describe some examples of technological developments that have contributed to finding solutions to reduce the impact of forces in everyday life, eg car safety equipment, and footwear design
  4. Can you explain what effects friction has on everyday objects? Give an example
  5. Investigate factors that influence the size and effect of frictional forces

Additional content is not prerequisite knowledge for the following stages, but may be used to broaden and deepen students’ skills, knowledge, and understanding in Stage 4.

  1. investigate characteristics of specific forces in terms of size and direction
  2. investigate some simple machines, eg levers, pulleys, gears or inclined planes

Can a force act on an object without touching it?

PW2: The action of forces that act at a distance may be observed and related to everyday situations.

  1. How do field forces act on objects?
  2. How do objects get an electrostatic charge?
  3. How do charged objects behave when they are brought close to each other?
  4. Investigate everyday situations where the effects of electrostatic forces can be observed, eg lightning strikes during severe weather and dust storms
  5. Identify that the Earth’s gravity pulls objects towards the centre of the Earth
  6. Describe everyday situations where gravity acts as an unbalanced force
  7. What is the difference between the terms ‘mass’ and ‘weight’?
  8. Describe the behaviour of the magnetic poles when they are brought close together.
  9. investigate how magnets and electromagnets are used in some everyday devices or technologies used in everyday life

Additional content is not prerequisite knowledge for following stages, but may be used to broaden and deepen students’ skills, knowledge, and understanding in Stage 4.

  • research current ideas about the Earth’s magnetic field and its effects

Physical world Year 8: Energy, making things happen 

Year 8 Term 1

Do all objects have energy inside them?

PW3: Energy appears in different forms including movement (kinetic energy), heat and potential energy, and causes change within systems

Kinetic and potential energy

  1. Identify objects that possess energy because of their motion (kinetic) or because of other properties (potential)

Kinetic and potential energy meanings

Interactive potential and kinetic energy demonstration involving a rollercoaster

Heat energy

  1. How does heat transfer in conduction, convection, and radiation? Give some everyday examples of these

Interactive activity on heat transfer

Infrared radiation? Infrared light or thermography is the use of an infrared imaging and measurement camera to “see” and “measure” thermal energy emitted from an object. Thermal, or infrared energy, is light that is not visible because its wavelength is too long to be detected by the human eye; it’s the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we perceive as heat. Unlike visible light, in the infrared world, everything with a temperature above absolute zero emits heat. Even very cold objects, like ice cubes, emit infrared.

Electrical energy 

  1. Show the relationship between electricity and energy transfer in a simple circuit
  2. Construct and draw circuits containing a number of components to show a transfer of electricity

Tutorial on simple circuits and their components 

Simple circuit interactive 

Everyday energy transformations

  1. Investigate some everyday energy transformations that cause change within systems, including motion, electricity, heat, sound, and light

How energy transfers are represented

a) energy flow diagrams

b) Sankey diagram 

Everyday energy transformations 

Forms of energy click view (sign in required )

Everyday examples of convection

Practical activities

Making a balloon-powered car

Outdoor energy transfer activity

Making an Electric Kettle using nichrome wire

Simple heat conduction experiments

Does can colour affect heat transfer?

Observing heat rising using a paper swirl

Using bimetallic strips to make a fire alarm

STELR cotton reel activity

Additional content is not prerequisite knowledge for following stages, but may be used to broaden and deepen students’ skills, knowledge, and understanding in Stage 4.

  • trace the history of the development of particular devices or technologies, eg circuitry through to microcircuitry

The History of the Integrated Circuit

How does technology and the practice of science improve energy efficiency in devices?

PW4: Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations

  1. Identify that most energy conversions are inefficient and lead to the production of heat energy, eg in light bulbs

Law of conservation of energy 

Research ways in which scientific knowledge and technological developments have led to finding a solution to a contemporary issue, eg improvements in devices to increase the efficiency of energy transfers or conversions

Light globes and energy efficiency 

What are the benefits and drawbacks of different types of light sources?

Sourced from


  1. Discuss the implications for society and the environment of some solutions to increase the efficiency of energy conversions by reducing the production of heat energy

The CSIRO has a number of resources that discuss how your home can be made to be more energy efficient by controlling heat transfer.

Heat transfer and efficiency calculation

Running costs calculator using the star system

YOUR HOME  a guide from the Australian government to improving energy efficiency in your home

Additional content is not prerequisite knowledge for following stages, but may be used to broaden and deepen students’ skills, knowledge, and understanding in Stage 4.

  • describe the scientific principles used in some traditional technologies used and developed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples


  • trace the history of pendulum-motion studies and its connection with timekeeping and setting standards of length

The Pendulum and Galileo

  • debate intergenerational implications of the use of non-renewable energy resources