Materials are available to assist with the preparation for HSK learning, particular in relation to the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE). Materials include text, resources and learning implementation guidelines. Content is available under following 7 categories:

    4. Science, Technology and Environment - learning materials

     1. Death of Loulan

    The article starts with Tang Dynasty poet Wang Changling’s famous poem about the battle of Loulan. Loulan was once a major stop on the old Silk Road, but the city and its oasis are now desert, leaving only ruins and memories. Desertification is one of the most important environmental issues necessary to the survival of human species on earth. The author asks: should we allow a tragedy such as Loulan to repeat itself?

    2. The forever young green hill

    Facing harsh natural conditions and hard living conditions, an elderly farmer devoted 15 years of his life to the forestation efforts, miraculously creating an oasis in northwest Shanxi for the benefit of future generations.

    3. Zuogong Willow

    The giant Zuogong willow trees are legacies of the Hunan army led by General Zuo Zongtang during the long Northwest campaign in the late 1870s. Between battles, General Zuo ordered his soldiers to plant trees in the Gobi desert.

    4. Lop Nur, the disappearing fairytale lake

    Located in the northeast of Ruoqiang County, Lop Nur is about 780 meters (2,560 feet) above sea level and covers an area of about 3,000 square kilometers (1,160 square miles). Once it was the second largest inland lake in China and an important station on the Silk Road. Due to its geological features, Lop Nur has had many names over the centuries - Salt Lake, Puchang Sea and Peacock Sea among them. Since the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), it has been called Lop Nur. In Uygur, 'Lop' means a place having a vast expanse of water. In Mongolian, 'Nur' refers to a lake. 'Lop' and 'Nur' together means a vast lake. However, it dried up in 1972 because of excessive human economic activities in the area.

    5. How Yellow River changes

    The Yellow River, China’s second largest river, originates in the northern part of the Bayankala Mountains and the Northeast of the Tibetan Plateau, is 5,464 km long, and drains a total area of 752,443 km2. The river traverses the Inner Mongolian Plateau, the Loess Plateau, and the North China Plain and finally discharges into the Bohai Sea. The Yellow River, which is characterized by a high concentration of suspended sediment of about 25kg/m3 on average and more than 200 kg/m3 in flood stage at Lijin station, about 100 km from the river mouth, supplies a huge sediment load to the Bohai Gulf through the North China Plain forming a macro-delta toward to the Bohai Sea coast.

    6. Here was a village (A poem on the Shenzhen miracle)

    What is behind the rapid modernisation and urbanisation miracle? For much of the 20th century, China defined its quest for modernity in terms of the industrialisation and the urbanisation of its economy and landscape. State policies and private initiatives in pursuit of specific goals within this general framework have brought along significant transformations. China today is a land of gleaming towers and polluted air, of high-speed railroad connections and massive population dislocations, of abundant manufacturing wealth and scarce natural resources. The Shenzhen Special Economic Zone is now a major trade route for goods in and out of China, reducing the importance of overland trade via the Silk Road.

    7. The disappearing forest kingdom

    We are destroying the world’s precious ancient forests at an unprecedented rate. An area of natural forest the size of a soccer pitch is cut down every two seconds. A quarter of the forest lost in the last 10,000 years has been destroyed in the last 30 years. Forest loss has a direct link to loss of biodiversity. The current extinction rate of plant and animal species is around 1,000 times faster than it was in pre-human times - and this will increase to 10,000 times faster by 2050.

    8. Bird surveillance report

    In this paper, in the form of a fairy tale, with the author's bird friend sending the author the four scouting reports. Throughout the text, it’s told different birds that human’s misuse of pesticides, oil spills, emissions, etc. These behaviours seriously caused ecological damage and have brought painful consequences.

    9. A willow on the Qinghai Plateau

    This is a willow, by the water and extremely common, standing among the plains of willow. This is also a magic and respectful willow to me, which stands on the Qinghai plateau. In Qinghai plateau, wherever you are, it’s a vast grass-covered field with few barren, bluestone rugged peaks under the deep blue sky and slow-moving clouds, my heart is filled with the sadness and desolation of classical poetry. At the entrance of the headquarters of Lijiaxia Dam, I had a glance of this willow, I could not help crying out "Oh".

    10. Euphrates Poplar in the westerly wind

    Euphrates Poplar grows in China’s north-western deserts, where it is renowned for its ability to survive the harsh conditions, including saline and sandy soils, extreme temperatures and lack of water. Premier Wen Jiabao described them in his Cambridge Speech: “Earlier in my career, I worked in northwest China for many years. There, in the boundless desert, grows a rare variety of tree called Euphrates Poplar. Rooted over 50 meters down into the ground, they thrive in hostile environments, defying droughts, sandstorms and salinisation. They are known as the hero tree, because a Euphrates Poplar can live for a thousand years. After it dies, it stands upright for a thousand years, and even after it falls, it stays intact for another thousand years. I like Euphrates Poplar because they symbolise the resilience of the Chinese nation.”

    11. The strange big rock

    Li Siguang, the most famous geologist in China, was of Mongolian descent. He founded a branch of geology called geomechanics, which deals with the stresses and strains on the earth's crust. Li’s theories made great contribution to China's oil reconnaissance and survey, as well as earthquake forecasting. He proved China had had Quaternary Period glaciers, in contrast to academic conclusions at the time.

    12. Contemporary Shennongshi

    Yuan Longping came up with the idea of hybridising rice for the first time in the world in 1960s. Since then, Yuan’s achievements in breeding high-yield hybrid rice substantially increased China's grain output: 50% of China's total rice cultivation fields grow hybrid rice, adding 300 billion kgs to the country's grain output. China is now able to feed its population of 1.2 billion with limited cultivated land. Shennongshi (Shennong or theYan Emperor) and the Yellow Emperor are regarded as the ancestors of all the Chinese Han people. For a Chinese scientist, being crowned as Contemporary Shennongshi is the highest possible praise.

    13. Cai Lun invented paper

    Paper was invented by Cai Lun in 105 AD, which was one of the four great inventions by the Chinese. Cai Lun not only greatly improved the papermaking technique, but also made it possible to use a variety of materials, such as tree bark, hemp, rags, etc. The earliest paper discovered in Fufeng County, Shaanxi, was made from hemp during the Western Han (206 BC - 24 AD).

    Bamboo paper was produced in the Tang Dynasty (608 - 907). Xuan paper made in Jing County, Anhui, is probably the best-known paper, which is mainly used in Chinese painting and calligraphy. Xuan paper is soft, smooth, white, absorbent and very durable.

    14. Deng Jiaxian

    Nobel Prize Winner Yang Zhenning wrote this article in memory of his classmate Deng Jiaxian, who was the founding father of China's A-Bomb and H-Bomb. China was one of the five original weapon states before the landmark international Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons entered into force in 1970. China wants to make nuclear energy the foundation of its power-generation system in the next 10–20 years. At the time of writing, China has 14 nuclear power reactors in operation, at least 25 under construction, and more planned. Australia has the world's largest uranium reserves, with 23% of the total.

    15. Hua Tuo and Anesthetics

    Hua Tuo (late 100s) was a doctor: the first person on record to develop and use anaesthetics during surgery. However, he was executed by Cao Cao (ruler of the Cao Wei kingdom), and most of his medical innovations were lost.

    16. Li Shizhen’s overnight stay at an ancient temple

    Li Shizhen, a herbalist and acupuncturist, lived in the 1500s. His reference work on medicine, which organised and categorised all the available published medical knowledge, as well as his own work, remained a foundational work for Chinese traditional medicine until the 1960s.

    17. The really big changes in agriculture resources

    Saturday, I went to the Agricultural Science and Technology Exhibition. The most remarkable contribution was made by Yuan Longping. The guide told that he bred hybrid rice seeds, which greatly improved the production of rice. China managed to use seven percent of the world's land to feed more than twenty-two percent of world population, he had done a great work.

    18. Qian Xuesen

    Qian Xuesen, is widely regarded as the father of China’s space program. In the 1940s he worked in the US space program, but lost his security clearance in 1950 because of suspected communist leanings. Qian was detained for several years, but returned to China in 1955.

    19. Yang Zhenning winning the Nobel Prize

    This text starts with Yang Zhenning (Chen Ning Yang or CN Yang) winning the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics, with Li Zhengdao (Tsung-Dao Lee), then describes Yang’s life — his childhood and youth in China, his educational experience in China and America, his Nobel-winning discovery in physics and his contribution to scientific exchange between America and China.

    20. Yuan Longping

    "I saw rice plants as tall as Chinese sorghum,” said Yuan Longping of a dream he once had, “each ear of rice as big as a broom and each grain of rice as huge as a peanut. I could hide in the shadow of the rice crops with a friend." Yuan was just awarded 5-million-yuan State Supreme Science and Technology Prize for his high yield hybrid rice species. This award is viewed as "Chinese Nobel Prize".

    21. Zhan Tianyou

    Zhan Tianyou was chief engineer on the first railway constructed in China without foreign help: the Imperial Beijing–Zhangjiakou (Peking–Kalgan) railway. Over the course of his career he not only worked on the design of many of the major railways, but also set up technical

    22. Zhang Heng

    Zhang Heng (78–139 AD) was what we would call a “Renaissance man” — inventor, astronomer, mathematician, artist, geographer and cartographer, poet, scholar and public servant. His achievements included various applications of mechanics and gears and invention of a seismometer to measure ground movements, such as earthquakes. Zhang also had a somewhat controversial career in the civil service, and was a highly regarded poet.

    23. Zu Congzi

    Zu Congzi was a mathematician and astronomer who lived in the 400s. Among his many achievements, he developed highly accurate calculations with applications to calendars and the most accurate rational approximation for pi (π).