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Achievement objective MW 8-3

Students will:

  • apply knowledge of chemistry to explain aspects of the natural world and how chemistry is used in society to meet needs, resolve issues, and develop new technologies.


  • Writes an account of a recent development in chemistry, linking it to the related chemical principles.
  • Describes and evaluates society’s use of a chemical or group of chemicals.
  • Discusses the chemistry involved in a natural process, and the impact that human activity has on this process.
  • Discusses the chemical processes involved in the extraction of a natural resource, and the impact that these processes have on the environment.

Possible context elaborations

  • Polymers – are biodegradable plastics the answer?
  • Nanotechnology: What is it? How safe is it? Where might it take us in the future?
  • Smart materials: How do they work and where are they used?
  • Polymers: To conduct or not conduct?
  • Pharmaceuticals: The development of nicotine patches.
  • Cosmetics: How safe is SPF 30?
  • Paint the town red: Developing new paint formulations.
  • What happens when we have finished with it? The chemical and physical action of a synthetic substance on the environment.
  • The action of chemicals used to limit the environmental damage of an oil spill.
  • Alcohol and society: Production, detection, reactions, and harm.
  • Steroids in sport: What’s the problem?
  • Can antioxidants really prevent aging?
  • Methane emissions on the farm: How can we reduce them?
  • A volcanic eruption affects local waterways.
  • Ethanol production from plant material: The pros and cons of 'land for fuels'.
  • When Ruapehu erupts again.
  • How do chemists contribute to the food processing industry?
  • Alternative energy production.
  • Developing polymers for an environmentally friendly future.
  • Synthetic polymers in agriculture: Help or hindrance?
  • Alpha-hydroxy acids in anti-ageing creams: What is the chemical basis?
  • Biofuels: Are they energetically preferable?
  • Is 1080 poison that bad?
  • Fluoridation of local water supplies: Should it be mandatory?

Assessment for qualifications

At the time of publication, achievement standards were in development to align them with The New Zealand Curriculum. Please ensure that you are using the correct version of the standards by going to the NZQA website.

The NZQA subject-specific resources pages are very helpful. From there, you can find all the achievement standards and links to assessment resources, both internal and external.

Learn more with NZQA subject resources for:

Aligned level 1 achievement standards were registered for use in 2011 and level 2 for use in 2012; level 3 will be registered for use in 2013.

  • 91387 Chemistry 3.1 Carry out an investigation in chemistry involving quantitative analysis; Internal, 4 credits
  • 91388 Chemistry 3.2 Demonstrate understanding of spectroscopic data in chemistry; Internal, 3 credits
  • 91389 Chemistry 3.3 Demonstrate understanding of chemical processes in the world around us; Internal, 3 credits
  • 91390 Chemistry 3.4 Demonstrate understanding of thermochemical principles and the properties of particles and substances; External, 5 credits
  • 91391 Chemistry 3.5 Demonstrate understanding of the properties of organic compounds; External, 5 credits
  • 91392 Chemistry 3.6 Demonstrate understanding of equilibrium principles in aqueous systems; External, 5 credits
  • 91393 Chemistry 3.7 Demonstrate understanding of oxidation-reduction processes; Internal, 3 credits

Last updated September 15, 2020