Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Senior Secondary navigation


Achievement objective NOS 7-2

Students will:

  • develop and carry out investigations that extend their science knowledge, including developing their understanding of the relationship between investigations and scientific theories and models.


  • Explores a local scientific phenomenon and develops testable questions that lead to a scientific investigation that is planned and carried out.
  • Develops and tests a hypothesis for an observed phenomenon.
  • Selects, measures, and manages variables when collecting and processing data.
  • Interprets results of an investigation into a scientific phenomenon in terms of current scientific theories.
  • Uses a model to clarify the concepts underpinning a scientific theory.
  • Clarifies relationships in a complex system using a physical or conceptual model.
  • Carries out an investigation that explores a phenomenon, and discusses how the findings link to current scientific theories.
  • With reference to relevant scientific ideas, suggests other possible explanations that fit the evidence from an investigation.
  • Identifies a scientific question for which they do not yet have an answer.
  • Suggests reasons why a measurement may be inaccurate; can justify the claim that there is/is not a 'real difference' between two measurements of the same quantity.
  • Explains and gives an example of why a correlation between a factor and an outcome does not necessarily mean that one causes the other.
  • Clarifies relationships in a complex system using a physical or conceptual model.

Possible context elaborations

  • The growth of wheat in a paddock: scientific investigation of a testable question.
  • The behaviour of pukeko: suggest and test a hypothesis.
  • Data from an investigation into pendulum length: analyse and interpret using appropriate theories.
  • The concepts of a given scientific theory: develop a model to explain.
  • The cycling of nutrients in a flax swamp: construct a digital model to demonstrate how this works.
  • An investigation into rock and soil types in an exposed face at Boatman’s beach on Cape Wanbrow: link findings to current theories of the evolution of New Zealand over the last 100,000 years.
  • Chemical powered rockets.
  • Structural and geometric isomerism of organic molecules: use models to explain.
  • Salt concentration and seed germination.
  • Sediment load of rivers after rainfall.
  • Simulated erosion, such as the effect of extreme rainfall on mountains, rivers, plains.
  • What is the relationship between the amount of house insulation and heat loss?
  • Wire wound around a soft iron core and paper clips it can support: is there a relationship between amount of wire and number of clips?
  • Comparison of the lifetimes of batteries of different types or make.
  • Is there a trend or pattern in the splashes caused by the (simulated) dropping of blood from different heights?
  • Electrical conductivity of a candle flame: the influence of parameters such as shape and polarity of electrodes. (Do not exceed 150V).

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:

  • NZQA subject resources for  Science.

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