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Achievement objective NOS 8-4

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.


  • Collects and selects scientific information from a variety of sources (for example, direct observations, secondary data, resource sheets, photos, videos, websites, and scientific texts) to address a socio-scientific issue.
  • Researches a local socio-scientific issue to understand the complexity of the issue; summarises the research and suggests a range of evidence-supported personal and community actions that could be adopted.
  • Presents a range of scientific evidence to demonstrate the range of perspectives that exist on a local socio-scientific issue, and indicates the importance of weighing such evidence before considering a personal response.
  • Prepares a comprehensive summary of the differing scientific, social, cultural, and economic views on a local socio-scientific issue, and suggests possible responses from a personal and a societal perspective.

Possible context elaborations

  • Waste disposal techniques used by the local council: their impact on both the community and the environment; a personal and community action plan.
  • Intensive dairy farming in the Mackenzie Country: scientific, cultural, social, and economic considerations … possible personal responses to differing perspectives.
  • Selective logging of rimu in national parks: an impact report with personal and societal responses that reflect scientific, cultural, social, and economic perspectives on the issue.
  • The use of detergents and phosphate-containing compounds to control the effects of a major oil spill from the Marsden Point Oil Refinery that is approaching marshland and coastal regions close Whangarei: scientific and societal impacts.
  • Wind farms
  • Extinction of the dinosaurs
  • Extinctions caused by human activity
  • Degradation of water supplies
  • Climate change
  • Ocean acidification
  • Effect of solar flares on telecommunications
  • Depletion of oil reserves

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