​Science has a powerful and unique contribution to make to a comprehensive and balanced education. During a course of study at Pioneer State High School, students will engage in a variety of the disciples of science ranging from Earth Science, Physics, Chemistry, Marine Studies, Biology and Marine and Aquatic Practices.

These subjects are designed to develop students’ knowledge in particular disciplines and more importantly, processes of thinking as well as practical skills essential to a career in the field of Science.

Pioneer is a Centre of Excellence in Science and offers a wide range of curricular and extra-curricular programs relating to science. Pioneer is a member of the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy and provides a range of opportunities to undertake authentic and real-world scientific experiences and studies relating to mining. Pioneer is the only school in our district to offer students Earth Science as a senior subject.

Junior secondary curriculum

The middle school science curriculum is aligned to the Australian Curriculum in the format of Education Queensland’s Curriculum into the Classroom, and is therefore compulsory. The science curriculum is built around three interrelated strands of Understanding Science, Science as a Human Endeavour, and Science Inquiry Skills. Students will be studying topics from the science disciplines of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth Science in each of their years of study.

Senior secondary curriculum

Pioneer offers a wide range of senior sciences as electives in Years 11 and 12. These include Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science, Marine Studies, Marine and Aquatic Practices and Biology.


All students try to make sense of the world around them and the study of physics is one discipline which leads to the derivation of natural laws enabling parts of the world to be understood, controlled and predicted, and as such, it is a worthwhile human endeavour. It is included in the curriculum at Pioneer State High School to cater for those students who are curious to discover the laws of the physical universe or simply want to know how things work. Topics covered include: Car Speed and Safety, The Physics of Sport, Waves, Sound and Amusement Park Physics.


Chemistry is the study of matter and its interactions. Knowledge of chemistry can assist students in understanding and interpreting many experiences in their everyday surroundings, thus enriching their daily lives. Chemistry is intimately involved in extractive, refining and manufacturing industries, which provide our food, clothing and many of the articles we use daily. These industries are important to our economy. Students should come to appreciate the impact of chemical knowledge and technology on their society. Topics include: Foundation Chemistry, Stoichiometry, Gases in the Atmosphere, and Chemical Reactions.

Earth science

A study of Earth science at senior level fosters knowledge of planet Earth, its systems, and its geological processes, as well as an understanding of human interaction with Earth’s systems. Earth science is designed to encourage and challenge students and to develop their sense of inquiry and investigation.

Students will realize that a knowledge of Earth science affects decisions ranging from those as big as choosing a nuclear power site, to those as small as selecting an aesthetic and functional rock material for a retaining wall.

Marine studies

Marine studies makes a particular contribution to the education of students by providing opportunities to focus student attention on the marine environment. The subject provides a broad range of experiences including boating and snorkelling.

The focus of the course is studying marine ecosystems with a goal of producing students that have an understanding of the importance of our marine environment and the need for its preservation. Topics include: Water Safety, Coral Reef Ecology and Snorkelling. Navigation, Aquaculture, Boating and Mangrove Ecology.

Marine and aquatic practices

Marine and aquatic practices offers similar experiences to Marine studies. However, Marine and aquatic practices does not go into as much depth with the understanding of marine ecosystems.

This subject is aimed at students with a genuine interest in marine industry, fishing and boating.


Biological science provides students with an insight into the scientific manner of investigating problems pertaining to the living world and the processes of science, which lead to the discovery of new knowledge. It provides students with a deeper understanding and an enhanced aesthetic appreciation of the living world. Participation in Biological Science enables students to engage in creative scientific thinking and to apply their knowledge in practical situations. Studies of Biological Science will assist students in foreseeing the consequences for the living world of their own and society’s activities. This will enable them to participate as informed and responsible citizens in decision making processes, the outcomes of which will affect the living world. Topics include: Animal and Plant Physiology, Reproduction and Ecology, Cell Biology, Homeostasis, Genetics and Evolution.

Last reviewed 18 December 2019
Last updated 18 December 2019