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Achievement objective NOS 7-3

Students will:

  • use accepted science knowledge, vocabulary, symbols, and conventions when evaluating accounts of the natural world and consider the wider implications of the methods of communication and/or representation employed.


  • Explains why scientists use symbols, conventions, and specialist vocabulary.
  • Uses appropriate terminology when discussing or evaluating a scientific issue.
  • Evaluates their own explanations and scientific understanding and the connections they have made, using appropriate scientific language and conventions.
  • Writes balanced equations and models (for example using molymods) to explain chemical reactions.
  • Examines a socio-scientific issue by drawing on a range of resources, considering all aspects and summarising findings in an appropriate visual presentation using accepted scientific knowledge, conventions, and vocabulary.
  • Selects a way to communicate understanding about a scientific topic using appropriate scientific vocabulary, conventions and symbols.
  • Uses appropriate and effective scientific drawings, charts, tables, graphs, or explanatory diagrams to help make information easier to understand.
  • Evaluates the accuracy and bias in the science in newspaper articles, books, journals, pamphlets, websites, television programmes, films, blogs, and advertisements.

Possible context elaborations

  • Diminishing oil supplies: possible scientific scenarios and solutions.
  • Reactions of organic compounds: chemical and ionic equations, word equations, and symbols.
  • Current theories on global warming: a presentation using appropriate scientific vocabulary, conventions, and symbols from an analysis of both popular and scientific resources.
  • The dependence of society on hydrocarbons and their derivatives.
  • Claims made for bottled water: investigation and presentation.
  • Effects of pollution.
  • Oestrogen in waterways: its effect on living creatures.
  • Asteroid impacts.
  • Death of the dinosaurs.
  • Scientific language and terminology in advertising: help or hindrance when determining worth of the product?
  • Use of science knowledge, symbols, and terminology in the media (for example, print, video, film): does this cause mistrust in science?
  • Do consumers understand the terms and scientific knowledge used in the media (including advertising)?
  • A scientific article in a book, magazine, a paper or some form of media: are scientific terms correctly used, is language too difficult?
  • Professional medics promoting products on TV: problem or no problem?
  • 'Genetic engineering has produced many wonderful products that help society, so society and governments should encourage it': debate.
  • The space programme: a waste of money and science resources?
  • Is it ethical for the medical science industry to spend so much of its resources keeping people alive?
  • Should nuclear powered electricity generation be allowed in New Zealand?
  • Should genetically engineered crops be grown in developing nations?
  • Is the continued use of wireless technology likely to be health hazard?

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