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Achievement objective NOS 7-1

Students will:

  • understand that scientists have an obligation to connect their new ideas to current and historical scientific knowledge and to present their findings for peer review and debate.


  • Describes how scientists develop new ideas through research, and relates these to current scientific knowledge.
  • Investigates the process by which a specific scientific idea has evolved from its first proposal to acceptance by the scientific community.
  • Gives examples of the same scientific information being used by different people in different ways with different motives.
  • Identifies statements that are data and statements that are all or part of an explanation.
  • Recognises data or observations that are accounted for by (or conflict with) an explanation.
  • Recognises that an observation that agrees with a prediction (derived from an explanation) increases confidence in the explanation but does not prove it is correct.
  • Identifies absence of replication as a reason for questioning a scientific claim.
  • Suggests plausible reasons why scientists involved in a scientific event or issue disagree.
  • Identifies imagination and creativity in the development of an explanation.

Possible context elaborations

  • Climate change: the debate (causes and rate of change).
  • Lamarck and Darwin: duelling theories of natural selection.
  • The debate between Hooke and Newton over theories of gravity, etc.
  • Millikan’s data and explanation in his 'Oil drop experiment'.
  • The smoking debate: suppression of data relating smoking and health issues in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • Issues relating to public access to knowledge and/or data and the desire of private companies to keep/sell information (for example, the Genome Project).

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.

Last updated September 15, 2020