Newly introduced to the NSW Science syllabus, Chemistry Depth Studies will give the opportunity to students to further develop their understanding of one or more scientific concepts.

Requirements: A minimum of 15 hours of in-class time for Depth Studies for both Year 11 and 12.

Chemistry Depth Study Ideas


Module 1: Properties and Structure of Matter

What’s the matter?

  • Students are given an unknown solution, mixture or chemical that needs to be identified. They will observe and experiment with several chemical reactions, mixtures and compounds to identify the material.
  • Students also visit a steelworks, learning about the properties and structures of metals and alloys and the chemistry lab of a renowned Australian university with a tour focused on ionic compounds, ceramics and covalent networks.
  • Finally, students will conduct a water sample analysis in a coastal lagoon to investigate the relationship between salt concentration and conductivity in water.

Module 2: Introduction to Quantitative Chemistry

Taste test

  • Students visit a food innovation centre to study how food scientists determine the properties of each food component through various procedures and techniques and how it functions in the final food product.
  • Students collect food samples from a local farm and supermarket. They will investigate the specific nutritional content and other properties from the different sources, further developing their understanding of the mole concept and stoichiometric relationships.

Module 3: Reactive Chemistry

Lake Mysteries

  • Students take part in eco-tours of two endorheic lakes and observe the environmental phenomenon that occurs around the closed-drainage basins. Students are then trained under the supervision of local scientists to collect water samples from five different sites of each lake.
  • For their individual investigation, students carry out several scientific tests to determine the pH of the water samples as well as the materials that are in the water of both lakes. Students investigate what chemical reactions may have contributed to the production of these materials.

Module 4: Drivers of Reactions

Energy for Everyday Life

  • Students conduct a series of investigations over the course of the program to quantify energy stored within everyday samples and relate them to their roles as fuels for the production of work, heat or survival.
  • Students construct their own calorimetry devices and use these to measure and collect data on the change of enthalpy produced by burning nuts and plant samples.
  • Students investigate carbonate reactions in both the natural environment – in cave formations, and in industrial use – in the development of gyprock to comprehend stepwise chemical reactions.


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