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Chemistry depth study - is this too easy? (1 Viewer)


New Member
May 6, 2018
Hi everyone thought I'd post a copy of the depth study below from a well known eastern suburbs school. A friend of my sister is studying chemistry there and they have been given this as their year 11 depth study. She is worried that it is way too simple and basic but someone here on this forum may find it useful for you or your school.

I was a student there as well and finished many years ago. This depth study reminds me of a task we used to do in year 7 Science. Yes Year 7!!!! it might have been year 8 I can't remember. For an assignment we had to research an element (copy information using google) and make a powerpoint and present to class. cant believe this is now being used in year 11 as a depth study - it just seems way too easy and I think sis's friend is right, why wouldnt everybody get nearly 100% in this???? She says it is supposed to be done in 15 hours....she reckons she will do it in about 3, working slowly. I know the science department there has lost its best teachers recently and standards have probably gone down a lot but even new teachers would make a better assessment task than this? The principal there is also a chemistry teacher at the school so I wonder what he thinks. He used to teach me science in junior years and he was always really nice but would always give basic explanations to questions so it does look as if nothing much has changed.

Hope this depth study gives you guys some ideas...might be really good for maybe a year 9 assessment?

I have taken out the name of the school because it might be a bit embarrassing.



30% of Year 11 Assessemnt

TERM 1 2018 WEEK 5, 10, 11, TERM 2 WEEK 2, 7 AND 9 SUBMIT AT END OF TERM 2


A depth study is any type of investigation/activity that a student completes individually or collaboratively that allows the further development of one or more concepts found within or inspired by the syllabus.

In your depth study you will:

1. Research an element or an allotrope or an isotope of an element that has been discovered in the last 200 years in terms of the following: Historical significance, physical and chemical properties, uses as element or as a compound, future uses, impacts and costs to the environment, effects on society
Most common source of the element / allotrope / isotope
Countries with significant production
Electron configuration and identify nature of bonding
A bibliography

2. Model of element / allotrope / isotope / compound of this element

You will be marked on the following:
Visual presentation of your choice incorporating your research from above eg prezi, powerpoint, webpage, scientific poster. You are not limited to these suggestions.
Physical Model maximum size 50cm X 50cm X 50cm

Component Weighting %
1. Skills in working scientifically 60
2. Knowledge and understanding of course content 40

Term 1 Week 5 – Introduce Depth Study (1 lesson)

Aim to select your element / allotrope / isotope

Term 1 Week 10 and 11 – Research

Aim to complete research

Term 2 Week 5 – Presentation

Aim to complete your presentation

Term 2 Week 7 – Model

Aim to complete your model

Term 2 Week 9 – Finalise your depth study ready to hand in at the end your last lesson for the term.


Sep 12, 2018
The KEY is to understand the marking criteria for YOUR HSC depth study.

The RELEVANT marking criteria, as stated by NESA, for YOUR friend's sister to consider is the follows:

Using BOTH qualitative and quantitative data from a RANGE of sources
APPLYING quantitative processes
Evaluate and IMPROVE on the QUALITY of data.
DERIVE trends, patterns and relationships in data and information
ASSESS error, uncertainty, and limitation with data
Assess relevance, accuracy, reliability, validity of the secondary data used
Using the model to NOT only explain but also make PREDICTIONS, solve problems using supporting secondary data -
Construct evidence-based arguments to arrive to a conclusion or proposal.

If she wants to do well, she not only needs to execute on the presentation but also in:

Critical thinking (identifying and analysing relevant patterns, trends, data to develop insights that creates VALUE to the depth study).
Good synthesis of information from secondary sources and with your model
How you can simplify your model yet including all your data-backed information
Addressing limitations of your presentation (scope of presentation)
Assessing the quality of EACH of your secondary data in terms of addressing your depth study
Demonstrating how each secondary source used adds value to your depth study by bringing further clarification.

NESA wants the depth study to allow the student to DEMONSTRATE and ACQUIRE DEEPER KNOWLEDGE (not just deep, but DEEPER) and understanding of the scientific concepts that have already been taught (such as those learning outcomes in the old syllabus - I recommend looking into old syllabus. The learning outcome there is what is to be elaborated, researched to create VALUE for the case study and powerpoint presentation).

In short, the depth study's objective is not copying n pasting information from google webpages. Nor it is to just copy and paste information from research journals. It is to get you develop a unique POV to tactic the subject matter (in this case an element, allotrope or isotope). The study is more than just definitions and outlining historical significance.

Message me for FREE resources for HSC Chemistry for the NEW syllabus (Year 11 and Year 12).

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