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Achievement objective PW 7-1

Students will:

  • investigate physical phenomena (in the areas of mechanics, electricity, electromagnetism, heat, light and waves, and atomic and nuclear physics) and produce qualitative and quantitative explanations for a variety of unfamiliar situations; analyse data to deduce complex trends and relationships in physical phenomena.


  • Designs a controlled experiment to answer a testable question about unfamiliar physics phenomena.
  • Collects and processes data to verify/deduce a non-linear physics relationship.
  • Makes a prediction by extrapolating or interpolating from complex trends in experimental physics data.
  • Modifies a method of a physics investigation to improve the accuracy of results.
  • Combines and analyses secondary data to provide supporting evidence for a physics concept.
  • Applies a model to make sense of an unfamiliar physics situation.
  • Explains which physics concepts apply to a novel situation or problem.
  • Represents, estimates, or calculates physical outcomes using conceptual models.
  • Given an unfamiliar situation, constructs a labelled diagram to illustrate the physics concepts.

Possible context elaborations

  • The acoustic design of an auditorium: identify and explain elements.
  • Explore ways of improving radio wave reception.
  • Safety features in cars: Examine the physics behind them.
  • Which is more dangerous: touching a faulty 240-volt toaster or touching a carpet that has been rubbed so that its charge is 5000 volts? Explain why.
  • Methods of generating electricity: compare and contrast.
  • Explain why some physics ideas (for example, 'an object will continue in constant motion unless a force acts') seem counter-intuitive.
  • Thermal pools in Rotorua: What causes them to be heated?
  • Why do stars twinkle and planets not?
  • A segment from a film or cartoon: What physics is involved and how realistic is the portrayal?

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