Ah, the SHE task - the assignment of the sciences. This assessment is part of your folio along with deconstruction practical reports. It requires you to explore interactions between science and society, pick between four SHE topics, and explore contemporary research. Writing these pieces can seem quite challenging at first as there are many fine details in the performance standards. In this SACE study guide, I will be diving into what exactly a SHE task is and how you can write one to impress your teachers and SACE moderators - so let’s take a look!
So what even is a SHE task?
SHE essentially stands for science as a human endeavour. This assessment requires you to explore what researchers are currently doing to strengthen our scientific understanding and better the world. You will collect information from a variety of contemporary sources relevant to your topic to form conclusions. All of your sources should be credible, for example, a peer-reviewed research investigation or journal article. Most SHE tasks are completed in the form of a report. In stage 2, this must be a total of 1500 words and contain paragraph headings. Now we have an idea of what a SHE task is, let’s take a look at how to write one.
How do I write one?
SHE tasks differ from subject to subject. As a result, a SHE task in biology will be slightly different to a physics SHE task. Despite this, there are key requirements you must follow in each subject.
The report must contain an introduction, body paragraphs which will typically be about your SHE concept, and a concluding paragraph to synthesise your knowledge. To start writing your SHE task, you will typically either be given a theme on which you can pick a topic or be given the topic directly.
After this, you should do some research to examine which SHE concept is most relevant to your topic. Ensure that the topic you have picked has a ton of information behind it as you do not want to be stuck for ideas halfway through writing the SHE task. The four SHE concepts include Communication and Collaboration, Development, Influence, and Application and Limitation. Each of these has specific requirements you must follow for each. This information can be found under the subject assessment advice PDF for each subject on the SACE online website.
What are markers looking for?
In order to achieve your full potential throughout the SACE, it is important to know what you are being assessed on. You should check your rubric for each assessment and ensure you are following it closely. In the SHE task, you are being assessed on how well you communicate the bidirectional relationship between science and society; that is how advancements in science have an effect on society and how society affects advancements in science.
You are also being assessed on how well you understand the course content. Make sure you explain and support your findings with the terminology you have been learning in class throughout the year. Your introduction should include basic foundational knowledge of your topic and clearly state the SHE concept you have picked.
The body paragraphs should clearly reveal which concept you are discussing as well as the requirements for that concept. Finally, in your conclusion, condense each key point in the body paragraphs and finish with a hard-hitting final sentence that supports all of your research.
Throughout the SHE task, make sure that you consistently demonstrate the interaction between science and society as well as mention scientific terms. Ultimately, ensure your writing is clear, straight to the point, and has strong fluency.
So how do I know which SHE concept to pick?
Knowing which concept to pick can be rather tricky. Many topics may be suitable with multiple concepts. You can select more than one concept if you feel strongly about multiple, however, if you do this, ensure you mention the requirements under all of the chosen concepts, not just a few.
You can seek advice from your teacher if you are not sure which concept fits your topic best. Although, it is best to select the concept and topic which has the most research behind it. This way, you will not run out of things to say when writing your SHE.
But what do I talk about in each SHE concept?
As each SHE concept has different requirements, you will need to discuss different items depending on which one you have chosen. Communication and collaboration primarily scrutinise how scientists around the world have collaborated to look at a problem. Development focuses on how a wide variety of evidence has been used to create new technologies and tools.
Influence looks at how one field of science may cause ripple effects within another field such as engineering, mathematics, and technology. In this concept, you should also mention the influence of science on economics, society, and ethics. Finally, application and limitation investigates how science has benefited society as well as the potential risks of science; that is the unexpected outcomes that may be probable in research and how insufficient data may prevent studies from taking place.
My final advice
While SHE tasks can be tricky at first, they become easier the more you write them. Ensure to proofread your assignments and edit them to make sure that they are error-free. You can get a friend or guardian to check your work so that you can gain other perspectives on your writing.
Furthermore, check that you are following the performance standards of the SHE task which are listed on the SACE online website. Above all, mention the concept, state how your topic is relevant to the concept, provide evidence from credible sources, show how science and society interact and predict possible future outcomes for society if the topic is implemented in society.
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Written by KIS Academics SACE Tutor for English, Biology and Psychology, Charlotte Kenning. Charlotte is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Speech Pathology at Flinders University and has received stellar reviews from her past KIS Academics students. You can view Charlotte's profile here and request her as a tutor.