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Achievement objective NOS 6-4

Students will:

  • develop an understanding of socio-scientific issues by gathering relevant scientific information in order to draw evidence-based conclusions and to take action where appropriate.


  • Presents the scientific rationale for a position on a social issue, or selects and uses scientific evidence in a debate on the issue.
  • Takes action on a socio-scientific issue for the benefit of the community.
  • Presents a case based on evidence to argue for an appropriate human intervention on a socio-scientific issue.
  • Develops arguments for appropriate human actions and uses of science in the environment.
  • Justifies positions on a socio-scientific issue by prioritising values and taking effective collaborative action for the wider environment.
  • Seeks and uses scientific understanding and evidence to debate more complex social issues related to science and the environment.
  • Supports collaborative action and/or presents a supported argument to convince others to do so.

Possible context elaborations

  • Should Didymo be controlled by physical or chemical methods?
  • How should antibiotics be used in farming?
  • Is nanotechnology good for cosmetics?
  • Palm oil: important food additive or carbon cycle bugbear?
  • Where should we locate wind farms and waste treatment plants?
  • Food additives and preservatives: useful or dangerous?
  • Are fertilisers good for New Zealand?
  • How should we control greenhouse gas emissions from livestock?
  • Societies’ dependence on oil: What is the best way forward?

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.

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

  • science AS90950 1.11, AS90951 1.12, AS90953 1.14, AS90955 1.16;
  • (depending on the context of the learning, examples only) biology AS90926 1.2, chemistry AS90931 1.2, physics AS90936 1.2, etc.

Last updated September 15, 2020