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Achievement objective PW 8-2

Students will:

  • use physics ideas to explain a technological, biological, or astronomical application of physics and discuss related issues.


  • Identifies a range of physical concepts relevant to an application.
  • Explains how physics concepts are used in an application.
  • Considers broader aspects of an application, such as advantages and disadvantages, and developmental effects on/by society.

Possible context elaborations

  • The physics of bungy jumps and how safety features are based on physics concepts.
  • The launch, re-entry and orbital physics of the space shuttle.
  • The generation and amplification of notes on a guitar.
  • The physics related to safety factors for aerial shows such as War Birds Over Wanaka.
  • The physics of solar cells and their role in the energy crisis.
  • Roller coaster design: How does it use acceleration to thrill riders?
  • Spectrometers and their use to collect evidence about the universe.
  • The Transit of Venus and the role it played in developing our understanding of space.
  • Technological developments in DVD players, and their relative merits.
  • The use and possible value to society of the large Hadron Collider.
  • Ultrasound imaging and its advantages over other diagnostic methods.

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.

  • 91521 Physics 3.1 Carry out a practical investigation to test a physics theory relating two variables in a non-linear relationship; Internal, 4 credits
  • 91522 Physics 3.2 Demonstrate understanding of the application of physics to a selected context; Internal, 3 credits
  • 91523 Physics 3.3 Demonstrate understanding of wave systems; External, 4 credits
  • 91524 Physics 3.4 Demonstrate understanding of mechanical systems; External, 6 credits
  • 91525 Physics 3.5 Demonstrate understanding of modern physics; Internal, 3 credits
  • 91526 Physics 3.6 Demonstrate understanding of electrical systems; External, 6 credits
  • 91527 Physics 3.7 Use physics knowledge to develop an informed response to a socio-scientific issue; Internal, 3 credits

Last updated September 15, 2020