NCEA L2 Chemistry - Mātai Matū B

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Mrs S. Withers


Chemistry is a fascinating subject because of its history, the beauty of its logic and its multitude of applications. 

Chemistry is the study of the composition of matter and the changes in composition that this matter undergoes. We do experiments to describe what matter looks like and does and then we learn how to use chemical principles to explain and discuss why matter behaves in this way. 

This course is for students who wish to develop their thinking skills, their ability to engage in logical argument, laboratory skills, and their understanding of the microstructure and behaviour of matter and chemical systems as they learn about the chemicals and chemical reactions that can be used to protect our air, water, and caves

Topics you will learn about include:

Factors that affect the rate of chemical reactions - experiment to find ways to make reactions happen faster

Chemical equilibrium and Kc values - experiment to find ways to control reactions and apply this to industry and organisms

Preserving the stalactites and stalagmites in the  Waitomo caves - apply your experimental findings to the world around you 

Acids, bases and salts, and pH - experiment to build an understanding of how the reactions of common chemicals with water cause their properties 

Using Quantitative analysis to find the concentration of ethanoic acid in household vinegar 

Emission control systems in diesel engines - process a range of provided information to build and communicate your understanding of how chemistry, technology and government regulations have driven the development of vehicle emission control systems

By the end of the course, you will know about the principles of

  • Collision theory 
  • Catalysis 
  • Le Chatelier's principle
  • pH and acid-base strength
  • Stoichiometry
  • Incomplete and complete combustion

and you will have built and have the opportunity to communicate your understanding of 

  •  the implications of chemical reactions on tourism as well as air and water health
  •  how chemistry, technology and government regulations have driven the development of vehicle emission control systems


Course Overview

Semester B
At the start of the PROTECTING OUR AIR ,WATER AND CAVES course you will learn about Collision theory and Le Chatelier's principle, carry out experiments that involve changing the conditions under which reactions occur and observing to see which factors cause a reaction to rate to increase or decrease and a system at equilibrium to be disturbed. You will use these reactions to practice crafting concise, scientifically worded explanations and justifications.
Using the knowledge you have built you will apply these skills to explain the formation of cave structures and the need to monitor tourist numbers in our limestone caves.
While continuing to experiment with and build knowledge about acids bases and salts and pH you will be able to apply reaction rates, equilibrium and pH explain the chemistry of our water ways and suggest ways to protect them. This section is assessed as an external examination.
Your next challenge will be to process provided information and draw on the skills you mastered and the knowledge you built at the start of the course to craft a concise, scientifically worded report on the interaction of chemistry, government regulations and technology in the development of the NO emission systems on diesel vehicles.
You will then learn to engage in Quantitative analysis as you develop a method for finding the percentage of ethanoic acid in Household vinegar and compare your result with that provided by the manufacture.

Recommended Prior Learning

14 credits in Science at Level 1, or higher.

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

All curriculum costs will be covered by the school.

Assessment Information

This course has three documented assessments - a 3 credit practical internal on Quantitative analysis and a 4 credit processing information report on the chemistry involved in Diesel emission control and one 4 credit external on Reactivity.
This course does however provide opportunities for students to design a personal unique course according to their abilities and aspirations as well as the opportunity to compete for a place on the New Zealand team for the international Chemistry Olympiad.
For example there is an option to take a year long 5 credit Level 3 Aqueous Chemistry course (AS 91390) from 3:30 to 4:30 one afternoon a week throughout the year.
These options can be negotiated with your teacher during the course.


Choose Chemistry if.….
You want to keep your career options open or if you are considering a career in any science or in law, writing , politics, farming or a trade or or if you are just interested in the world around you and want to be able to make informed decisions about consumer products and your effect on the environment.

Chemistry develops habits of thinking logically and clearly that can be applied to almost any sort of work

A knowledge of chemistry is useful, no matter what career you follow
Chemistry is part of all natural sciences and a person cannot go very far in any science without a knowledge of chemistry

Chemistry is an essential prerequisite for many university and technical courses.

Career Pathways

Credit Information

This course is eligible for subject endorsement.

Total Credits Available: 11 credits.
Externally Assessed Credits: 4 credits.
Internally Assessed Credits: 7 credits.

Internal or
L1 Literacy Credits
UE Literacy Credits
Numeracy Credits
A.S. 91163 v2
Chemistry 2.3 - Demonstrate understanding of the chemistry used in the development of a current technology
Level: 2
Internal or External: Internal
Credits: 3
Level 1 Literacy Credits: Y
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0
Numeracy Credits: 0
A.S. 91166 v2
Chemistry 2.6 - Demonstrate understanding of chemical reactivity
Level: 2
Internal or External: External
Credits: 4
Level 1 Literacy Credits: Y
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0
Numeracy Credits: 0
A.S. 91910 v1
Chemistry 2.1 - Carry out a practical investigation into a substance present in a consumer product using quantitative analysis
Level: 2
Internal or External: Internal
Credits: 4
Level 1 Literacy Credits: 0
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0
Numeracy Credits: Y
Credit Summary
Total Credits: 11
Total Level 1 Literacy Credits: 7
Total University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0
Total Numeracy Credits: 4