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Achievement objective PW 6-1

Students will:

  • investigate trends and relationships in physical phenomena (in the areas of mechanics, electricity, electromagnetism, heat, light and waves, and atomic and nuclear physics); demonstrate an understanding of physical phenomena and concepts by explaining and solving questions and problems that relate to straightforward situations.


  • Designs a controlled experiment to answer a testable question about physical phenomena.
  • Collects and processes data to verify/deduce a simple physics relationship.
  • Makes a prediction by extrapolating or interpolating from experimental physics data.
  • Begins to consider techniques to increase the validity of results for a physics investigation.
  • Analyses secondary data to identify a trend.
  • Uses a model to explain physical phenomena.
  • Explains and justifies which physics concepts apply to a given situation or problem.
  • Represents, estimates, or calculates physical outcomes using a simple conceptual model.
  • Constructs a labelled diagram to illustrate a simple physics idea.

Possible context elaborations

  • Justify the best position for a mirror on a blind corner.
  • Investigate the maximum safe speed of a car for a given road condition.
  • Investigate the physics behind whakataukī/proverbs such as 'red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning; red sky at night shepherd’s delight'.
  • Analyse a child’s picture storybook, such as Mr Archimedes Bath or Duck in the Truck in terms of the physics concepts involved.
  • Explains why New Zealand has a moderate climate compared with larger landmasses.
  • Describe the science ideas behind the precautions taken to avoid electrostatic effects when pumping petrol.

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.

Learning described by this objective could be assessed using one or more of these achievement standards:

  • science AS90941 1.2, AS90942 1.3, AS90943 1.4 (for investigations in a physics context)
  • physics AS90935 1.1 (for investigation process)
  • science AS90940 1.1; physics AS90937 1.3, AS90938 1.4, AS90939 1.5 (for understanding of physics phenomena and concepts)

Note the following exclusions:

  • Science AS90941 1.2 and Physics AS90937 1.3
  • Science AS90942 1.3 and Physics AS90938 1.4
  • Science AS90943 1.4 and Physics 1.5

Last updated September 15, 2020