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Achievement objective NOS 6-2

Students will:

  • develop and carry out more complex investigations, including using models; Show an increasing awareness of the complexity of working scientifically, including recognition of multiple variables; Begin to evaluate the suitability of the investigative methods chosen.


  • Critiques elements of the method of an existing investigation, such as sample size, control of variables, or precision.
  • Plans an investigation and gathers multivariate data to answer a testable question.
  • Selects and uses a range of techniques such as direct observations, collection of experimental and/or field data, resource sheets, photos, videos, websites, and reference texts.
  • Undertakes activities that show that investigations can use a wide range of techniques.
  • Can explain why it is necessary to control all factors that may affect an outcome (not just the factor being investigated).
  • Analyses a conclusion reached by a study (for example, the health effects of drinking a glass of wine or eating chocolate), based on the investigative methods used.
  • Develops a conclusion by processing data from a large sample or multiple sources and evaluates the quality of that conclusion.
  • Identifies relationships in a complex system, using a physical or conceptual model.
  • Begins to self evaluate, and assess the quality of the evidence gained from an investigation.

Possible context elaborations

  • Effectiveness of indigestion remedies.
  • How does a Bell jar balloon model respiration in mammals?
  • How does the coal truck model of electricity build understanding of electricity concepts?
  • Acceleration: measured using distance and time.
  • Accuracy and distortion in maps of train systems.
  • Coin toss punnet square models of chromosomal or sex assignment.
  • Uses and drawbacks of an orrery, sextant, astrolabe, and radio-telescope.
  • Shoemaker-Levy comet hitting Jupiter.
  • Erosion of a beach or effect of storm waves and surges on a coastline.
  • Tracking a planet such as Venus across the night sky and recording retrograde motion.
  • Dust storms or finding water on Mars.
  • Extreme weather events such as storms, cyclones.
  • Extreme tectonic events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
  • Effect of weak acid on marine creatures.
  • Comparing stream direction changes on maps to find out how far the Alpine fault has moved.

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.

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.

Learning described by this objective could be assessed using one or more of these achievement standards:

  • science AS90941 1.2, AS90942 1.3, AS90943 1.4, AS90944 1.5, AS90945 1.6, AS90949 1.10, AS90950 1.11, AS90951 1.12, AS90955 1.16;
  • (depending on the context of the learning, examples only) biology AS90925 1.1, chemistry AS90930 1.1, physics AS90935 1.1, etc.

Last updated September 15, 2020