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Achievement objective NOS 8-1

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.


  • Explains why scientists must relate discoveries or developments to current scientific knowledge and must present their research for peer review and debate.
  • Explains why there is a process through which scientific ideas must go from the time they are first proposed to acceptance by the scientific community.
  • Explores the evolution of a concept (such as gravity or cell structure) from early days to current theories.
  • Investigates the history of an aspect of science and how it has shaped and been shaped by cultural, moral, and religious forces.

Possible context elaborations

  • A group of scientists believe they have discovered a new metallic element: What must happen before this discovery can be endorsed by other scientists?
  • A group of ecologists believe they have discovered a new micro-organism that could reduce the amount of methane released by ruminants: Why must their research be reviewed and the organism tested before it can be released and trialled on farms?
  • Differing views on climate change or global warming: Why there are differing interpretations of data that lead to different conclusions?
  • The importance of peer review in climate change science.
  • The historical development of current theories relating to gravity: how these have evolved over time and been influenced by cultural, moral, and religious forces.
  • Various models of the atom exist: How do scientific explanations change and develop in the light of ongoing experimental research?

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