Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Senior Secondary navigation


Section menu


Curriculum strands

Specialist strands

AOs/LOs by level

Technological practice (TP)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3

Technological knowledge (TK)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3

Nature of technology (NT)

6-1 | 6-2

7-1 | 7-2

8-1 | 8-2

Design in technology (DET)

6-1 | 6-2

7-1 | 7-2


Manufacturing (MFG)

6-1 | 6-2

7-1 | 7-2


Technical areas (TCA)


Construction and mechanical technologies (CMT)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3 | 6-4

6-5 | 6-6 | 6-7

7-1 |  7-2 |  7-3 |  7-4

7-5 |  7-6 |  7-7

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3 | 8-4

8-5 | 8-6 | 8-7

Design and visual communication (DVC)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3

Digital technologies (DTG)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3 | 6-4

6-5 | 6-6 | 6-7 | 6-8

6-9 | 6-10 | 6-11 | 6-12

7-1 |  7-2 |  7-3 |  7-4

7-5 |  7-6 |  7-7 |  7-8

7-9 |  7-10 |  7-11 |  7-12

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3 | 8-4

8-5 |  8-6/7 | 8-8 | 8-9

8-10 |  8-11 | 8-12

Processing technologies (PRT)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1/2 | 8-3

Technological products TK 6-2

Achievement standard 1.6 AS91049

This component focuses on the relationship between the composition of materials and their performance properties and the role of material evaluation how this relationship impacts on the use of the materials in developing technological products.

Achievement Objective: TK 6-2

Students will:

  • Understand how materials are formed, manipulated, and transformed in different ways, depending on their properties, and understand the role of material evaluation in determining suitability for use in product development.


Students can:

  • explain how the composition and structure of different materials enables them to be manipulated in specific ways
  • explain how the composition and structure of materials determines the ways they can be transformed 

  • explain how the composition and structure of materials impacts
on how they can be combined to formulate a new material 

  • describe the role of material evaluation in determining material suitability for use in a technological product 

  • discuss examples to illustrate how material evaluation informed the selection of materials in particular product development.


Prior to level 6 students should be exploring the nature of materials and their composition, performance properties and the link between specifications of a product and the selected materials performance properties. Students learn the nature of material related to performance properties within a specific context, the subjective and objective testing that takes place in development of outcomes and the meaning of form transforms and manipulate.

At Level 6 students develop their understanding of material development considering the characteristics and structure of materials. They must have an understanding of the terms form transform and manipulate and the application of these within the development of an outcome and the materials from which it is made. Students will be able to explain how the composition and structure of materials allows them to be manipulated and transformed in particular ways and the role of material evaluation to inform the selection of materials for use in a technological product. 

The Teacher Guidance section provides information that supports teachers scaffolding of learning from levels 1-8 of the curriculum. This allows for differentiation of a programme of learning.

The deliberate use of provide, guide, and support in this section signals that as students' capacity for self-management increases, teachers progressively reduce the level of scaffolding provided.

  • Provide – the teacher should take full responsibility for introducing and explicitly teaching new knowledge, skills or practices.
  • Guide – the students have a level of understanding and competency on which they can draw but the teacher remains primarily responsible for continuing to develop these.
  • Support – the students take primary responsibility for their own learning, drawing on all their previous experiences to consolidate and extend their understanding. The teacher is supportive rather than directive.
  • The Teacher Guidance also uses the term ensure to indicate when the teacher plays a monitoring role to check that conditions critical for learning are present.

Teacher Guidance

To support students to develop understanding of technological products at level 6, teachers could:

  • provide students with the opportunity to research and experiment with a range
of materials to develop understandings of how the composition and structure of materials impacts on how they can be manipulated and/or transformed, or combined to formulate a new material.
  • guide students to understand that material evaluation enables decisions to be made about
how a material would support, 
or not, the fitness for purpose of particular technological products, and decrease the probability of a product malfunction. 

  • support students to analyse examples of how materials have been evaluated to determine their suitability for use in particular technological products 

  • examples should include the material evaluation practices of technologists. 

Contexts for teaching and learning

  • Ensure students understand the concepts of forming materials, and the transforming and manipulation of materials and how these processes impact on the development of materials. Refer to the definitions below
  • It is important that students understand the relationship between the composition and structure of materials and their related performance properties, and how this is essential for understanding and developing technological outcomes
  • This objective is about students matching the performance properties of materials to the performance specifications of a product, either the one they are developing or of an existing one. It is also about understanding how different material evaluations are undertaken and how these support material selection for a specific product. This objective is not, however, a diary of practice about what the student did but it is about how the role of material selection leads to product development and decision-making. The focus should be clearly about the material knowledge used.

To ensure understanding students should:

  • Investigate a range of products and the materials used in the development of products to establish an understanding of the relationship between the performance specifications of the product and the performance properties of the materials used. These can be casual conversations about everyday items or with reference to “a breaking news” development. This raises the awareness of technological products in our daily lives and any discussions can be about the "why" and "how" of fitness for purpose. 
  • identify the performance specifications (of own or existing product) and explain how they relate to the performance properties of materials/ingredients including references to any forming, manipulation or transformation that may have occurred to the material in the development of the product.
  • Explore the different material properties important to the development of the product. This could be related to such things as tensile strength, viscosity, acoustics, stability, weather proofing, nutrition, ductability, washability, elasticity
  • The following is an example demonstrating students discussing the relationship between materials, structure and performance of the outcome

“In my report I have discussed how the interaction between composition, structure and manipulation of my chosen materials enables technological products to function, e.g. “Knit fabric is produced on a machine where one yarn travels backwards and forwards making loops. The yarns are able to move around because the loops are not locked tight. This makes the fabric stretchy. Stretchy fabrics don’t need shaping as they stretch when we move. Knitted are warmer than woven fabrics because air is trapped into the loops, air acts as an insulation layer. Looping of the yarn creates an interwoven pattern that blocks wind. Knitted fabrics offer more elasticity than woven making them more flattering to human form. Knitted fabrics are much lighter than woven, which meets my brief. The way yarn is looped uses less yarn, in woven strands are tighter packed using a criss-cross technique making the fabric heavier”. 

Literacy considerations

  • Students may need support to understand the specialist language related to the formation, manipulation and transformation of materials, product performance, and evaluation /testing procedures, particularly if this has not been previously taught.
  • Forming refers to bringing two or more materials together to formulate a new material resulting in a different overall composition and structure to that of the original materials. This results in different performance properties. For example: mixing flour, water and salt to make dough; mixing wood fibres, resin and wax to make MDF; glass fibre and a polymer resin combined to form fiberglass or fibre reinforced polymer (FRP).
  • Manipulating materials refers to "working" existing materials in ways that do not change their properties as their composition and structure is not altered. For example: cutting; moulding; bending; jointing; gluing; painting.
  • Transforming refers to changing the structure of an existing material to change some of its properties, but in terms of its composition, it remains the same material. For example: felting; beating an egg white; steaming timber to soften its fibres and allow it to be manipulated (bent).
  • Students will also need to understand the concepts of evaluation of materials in relation to the performance properties of materials that can be measured objectively and subjectively. Subjective measurement is reliant on people’s perception and preferences (such things as tasty, evokes a sense of natural beauty, warm and inviting) whereas objective measurement is measurable and quantifiable (such things as conductivity, UV resistance). The fitness for purpose of a product relies on the material providing appropriate performance properties to ensure the product is technically feasible and socially acceptable (such things as safe, ethical, environmentally friendly, economically viable, as appropriate to particular products)
  • Teachers will need to ensure that students understand the academic vocabulary and assessment vocabulary that is part of this objective which includes understanding what describe, explain and discuss look like in terms of this objective, how to structure a report and the use of appropriate information. These terms are defined below

Generic understanding of the academic terms

  • to describe is a statement that gives details about the outcome or idea
  • to explain is to describe in detail with reasons – often including the how and why
  • to discuss requires an explanation that is comprehensive, detailed, broad and show evidence of some complexity in thinking. It may be a reasoned argument presenting a particular point of view, or a comparison and contrast between two ideas or concepts; or it may be a detailed reasoning and relationship between several complex ideas

Resources to support teaching and learning

Case study material

Assessment for qualifications

The following achievement standard(s) could assess learning outcomes from this achievement objective:

  • AS 91049 Generic Technology 1.6:Demonstrate understanding of how materials enable technological products to function

Key messages from the standard

The focus of this assessment is on the interaction between the composition, structure and manipulation of materials enables technological products to function as intended. Students must be able to describe  and explain the manipulation of materials( refer to the definitions in the literacy section above) and how this impacts on the performance of the selected outcome.

Key terms in the standard to note are:

  1. Materials refer to any substance, raw or processed, used in the creation of a technological product.  Allmaterialshave inherent qualities that combine to provide the material with performance properties. (Explanatory Note 3)
  2. Performance properties include but are not limited to – warmth, strength, taste, flexibility, crease resistance, malleability, drape, form, durability, absorbency, colour, texture, appearance, sheen, style.  Performance properties can be altered through working the materials (e.g. shaped, joined, combined, heated, finished) so that the material can improve the function of a technological product. (Explanatory Note 4)

Candidates can use evidence from one or more technological products when considering how materials enable them to function, however it is essential that students produce their report in relation to a the technological experiences they have had during the year and their programme of learning as

reports produced without close reference to the individual candidate’s experience of material(s) in relation to an actual product are unlikely to succeed.

Teachers must ensure students know how to write a report that meets the requirements as set out in the assessment specifications and covers everything asked for in the standard which demonstrates their knowledge of procedures underpinning material evaluation.

Using the bullet points from the criteria of the standard as headings or using them as focus questions will support students to complete a report that presents evidence of their understanding clearly.

As this is an externally assessed standard the issue of authenticity must be addressed with the students prior to writing or gathering information for their report.

This should include the use of information in an appropriate manner that covers the following:

  • Credible information and how to use this information within their report
  • Authenticity: ensuring that the work is the student’s own work and is not a download that is unmediated and should relate to the student’s technological experiences
  • Referencing: using simple in line referencing and having a bibliography

Students must understand the issue of plagiarism and the consequences within the context of external assessment for qualifications. The student should receive clear guidance about how to structure their report and receive formative assessment feedback prior to the work being sent for assessment to ensure authenticity and accuracy.

To be successful students should structure reports with clearly headed sections for example.

  • The relationship between composition, structure, performance properties and performance specifications
  • Manipulation, transformation of materials and the impact on the functioning of the outcome
  • Knowledge/techniques underpinning a procedure.

The material included for assessment should clearly communicate the candidate’s understanding; students can show evidence of use or their understanding of the information through a number of ways.

  • Through a written brief and attributes and specifications
  • Introduction to their report
  • Evidence of students experimenting with materials e.g. trialling, testing, manipulating etc.
  • Comparisons between different materials or processes
  • Evidence of a final outcome or an evaluation

For the most up to date information, teachers should be referring to the latest standard, assessment specifications, assessment reports and student exemplars on the NZQA website. Refer to links below. 

Resources to support student achievement

Last updated February 20, 2018