Working Scientifically

Embracing all STEM strands

It is the Young Scientist Committee’s desire that teachers and school departments provide opportunities for students to work on STEM projects that embrace skills from each of the Working Scientifically, Working Technologically and Working Mathematically strands. By embracing these foundational skills of our current technological age, students will be better equipped to think critically and solve problems. To encourage student involvement in applying the different processes of Working Scientifically, Technologically and Mathematically, the STANSW Young Scientist Awards offers 41 sponsored prizes that award achievement in both specific skills and in general skills that encompass all three strands. We also have specific Category Awards that are sponsored by the Professional Teaching Association that is responsible for that area of STEM.

The Science Teachers’ Association of New South Wales is the professional body sponsoring the STANSW Scientific Investigation Awards, the major category awards in the Working Scientifically category. STANSW is offering 24 secondary prizes in the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry, Earth & Environmental Science and Physics and they are offering 18 primary awards. Visit the STANSW Scientific Investigation Awards page to get specific details about these awards.


The Benefits of Working Scientifically?

Active engagement in the processes of Working Scientifically increases a student’s appreciation and understanding of Science.

“Through applying the processes of Working Scientifically, students use scientific inquiry to develop their understanding of science ideas and concepts, as well as the importance of scientific evidence. They demonstrate honesty, ethical principles and respect for differing viewpoints on scientific issues. By engaging in scientific inquiry, students develop a deeper appreciation of the unique nature and development of science as an evolving body of knowledge, of the provisional nature of scientific explanations and of the complex relationship between evidence and ideas. Providing opportunities for students to continue to strengthen these scientific capabilities, helps them further develop as scientifically literate citizens.”     Year 7-10 Rationale excerpt from Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) Syllabus


The Processes of Working Scientifically

The Working Scientifically processes in the Science K10 (incorporating Science and Technology K6) Syllabus are:

  • questioning and predicting
  • planning investigations
  • conducting investigations
  • processing and analysing data and information
  • problem-solving
  • communicating

These processes are at the centre of learning and teaching in Science. It is the level of coverage of these processes that determines the quality of an open-ended investigation submitted into the Working Scientifically category. For further guidance, visit the Primary Scientific Investigation page or the Secondary Scientific Investigation page where these processes are broken down and explained further.