Work samples


Year 9


Science research project

Summary of task

In previous Science teaching and learning units, students practised how to: identify questions that can be investigated scientifically, plan and conduct scientific investigations, collect and process data, and present their results in the format of a scientific report.

In this task, students were asked to individually plan and conduct an experimental investigation on a question of their own choosing. They were asked to submit a detailed research action plan and receive teacher feedback and approval before embarking on their investigation. Students were asked to present their results in the form of a scientific report. However, instead of the customary ‘Introduction’ section, students were asked to include a 'Background information' section in which to define and explain any scientific principles and terminology used, as well as a ‘Reflection’ on their choice of subject for the investigation, their research, and on the key decisions they made in their experimental design.

Students conducted their investigations in school and at home over the course of one month. Several lessons of class time were dedicated to researching and planning the investigation, as well as writing the report.

Achievement standard

By the end of Year 9, students explain chemical processes and natural radioactivity in terms of atoms and energy transfers and describe examples of important chemical reactions. They describe models of energy transfer and apply these to explain phenomena. They explain global features and events in terms of geological processes and timescales. They analyse how biological systems function and respond to external changes with reference to interdependencies, energy transfers and flows of matter. They describe social and technological factors that have influenced scientific developments and predict how future applications of science and technology may affect people’s lives.

Students design questions that can be investigated using a range of inquiry skills. They design methods that include the control and accurate measurement of variables and systematic collection of data and describe how they considered ethics and safety. They analyse trends in data, identify relationships between variables and reveal inconsistencies in results. They analyse their methods and the quality of their data, and explain specific actions to improve the quality of their evidence. They evaluate others’ methods and explanations from a scientific perspective and use appropriate language and representations when communicating their findings and ideas to specific audiences.

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