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Achievement objective NOS 7-4

Students will:

  • use relevant information to develop a coherent understanding of socio-scientific issues that concern them, to identify possible responses at both personal and societal levels.


  • Researches a local socio-scientific issue to develop an understanding of the complexity of the issue, and summarises the research with a range of evidence-supported personal and community actions that could be adopted.
  • Presents an argument for the importance of eliciting personal actions in response to comprehensive exploration and research into a local socio-scientific issue, basing the argument on data rather than opinion.
  • Comprehensively summarises differing views on a local socio-scientific issue and suggests possible responses from both a personal and a societal perspective.
  • Uses scientific knowledge or process to answer a socio-economic question.
  • Distinguishes questions that can be addressed using a scientific approach from those that cannot.
  • Distinguishes what can be done (technical feasibility) from what should be done (values) when assessing a proposed application of science in a specific context.

Possible context elaborations

  • Waste disposal techniques used by the local council: impact on community and environment; personal and community action plan.
  • Wind farming in the Maniototo: arguments for and against.
  • Impact of mining minerals such as gold in national park areas of the West Coast: personal and societal perspectives.
  • 'Should scientists spend time designing and solving problems for the military when they could be using their skills to benefit society?'
  • 'Should companies be allowed to use their scientists to create (for example) anti-wrinkle agents when millions of people in third-world countries die of disease every year?'
  • 'Science is progressing at such a rate that society is unable to understand or evaluate the worth or impact of the products and processes scientists produce.' Is this a problem?
  • Cloning: should it be stopped?
  • What happens when we’ve finished with it? The chemical and physical action of a synthetic substance on the environment.
  • What’s behind the polyunsaturated vs saturated spreads or trans fatty acid debate?

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