Pathways to Australian Science

Produced by ABC Education Television. A series of programs for secondary school classes devoted to basic concepts in science. Most of the programs show how scientific ideas have built on past research and pave the way for the future. Where possible, the concepts are treated as stories, covering the major developments in the subject. Each episode ends by taking a look at some contemporary science in the area.
Ep 1 - Gravity, Orbits and Asteroids
This program looks at the physics of movement, beginning with the classical notions taught by Aristotle. But with the Renaissance came gunpowder. Unfortunately, Aristotle's ideas were quite useless when it came to firing cannons accurately. Gallileo proposed very different ideas and the program looks at him experimenting with his 'inclined plane'. His concepts were then further developed by Isaac Newton into a more complete description of how things move.
Ep 2 - Thinking Scientifically About Crime
This program tracks the activities of a Police Arson Squad investigating a house fire, with the emphasis on scientific method. The officers control the site, excluding unwanted interference. They gather evidence systematically, documenting as they proceed and avoiding contamination. A hypothesis is made, to be tested by the forensic chemist.
Ep 3 - Earth's Atmosphere and Greenhouse Effect
The atmosphere provides vital oxygen and a stable thermal blanket. Along with the oceans it creates our weather. It gives our planet its characteristic blue skies and red sunsets. This program examines the atmosphere, how it is changing and the potential future effects of these changes. More greenhouse gases are helping to deplete the protective layer of ozone around the earth, with evidence suggesting that greenhouse gases have greatly increased in the last one hundred years.
Ep 4 - Genetics and a Gene for Epilepsy
For thousands of years humans bred animals and plants to improve them, but with only the most rudimentary understanding of why the process works. Perhaps the first to systematically study these questions was the Austrian monk Gregor Mendel. Then, not long after Mendel, a breakthrough was made in the staining of microscope specimens and chromosomes were seen. Science was set for the discovery of genes.
Ep 5 - Challenge of Disease, The - New Vaccine
Even the so-called Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, could not prevail against superstition and mysticism, because he lacked the methodology to study the causes. What were the breakthroughs that lead to understanding? What are the principal causes of disease? We reveal the basic story, stopping to look at Edward Jenner and the development of vaccination, and at Louis Pasteur and how he came to spearhead the germ theory of disease.
Ep 6 - Energy and the Solar Challenge
In the push to build more efficient machines a painstaking investigation into the relationship between heat and work lead to a momentous revelation - the all powerful law called The Conservation of Energy. James Joule takes the historical headline and lends his name to the unit of energy, the Joule. But what exactly is energy? This program looks at the energy story and the meaning of energy
Ep 7 - On Sound - And a Seismic Shake
This program looks at the basics of sound, starting with the characteristics of waves. The way that sound propagates is explained, and the basic concepts underlying the speed of sound. The relationship between frequency and wave length is demonstrated and the existence and use of ultrasonic and subsonic sounds is established. The program closes with a look at the study of possibly the most devastating kinds of sound waves - seismic waves from earthquakes.

This program is released for non theatrical use within educational, government and business organisations. Additional payments under a Screenrights licence are not required. Please contact us for Exhibition or Streaming Licences.

Production Year: 
7 x 15 mins
Series Episode
Standard $220
Schools $198

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