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NSW Syllabuses

Chemistry Stage 6 - Year 12 - Module 8: Applying Chemical Ideas Module 8: Applying Chemical Ideas


A student:

  • CH11/12-1

    develops and evaluates questions and hypotheses for scientific investigation

  • CH11/12-2

    designs and evaluates investigations in order to obtain primary and secondary data and information

  • CH11/12-3

    conducts investigations to collect valid and reliable primary and secondary data and information

  • CH11/12-4

    selects and processes appropriate qualitative and quantitative data and information using a range of appropriate media

  • CH11/12-7

    communicates scientific understanding using suitable language and terminology for a specific audience or purpose

  • CH12-15

    describes and evaluates chemical systems used to design and analyse chemical processes

Content Focus

The identification and analysis of chemicals is of immense importance in scientific research, medicine, environmental management, quality control, mining and many other fields.

Students investigate a range of methods used to identify and measure quantities of chemicals. They investigate and process data involving the identification and quantification of ions present in aqueous solutions. This is particularly important because of the impact of adverse water quality on the environment. Students deduce or confirm the structure and identity of organic compounds by interpreting data from qualitative tests of chemical reactivity and determining structural information using proton and carbon‑13 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

Working Scientifically

In this module, students focus on developing and evaluating questions and hypotheses when: designing, evaluating and conducting investigations; analysing trends, patterns and relationships in data; and communicating scientific understanding about applying chemical ideas. Students should be provided with opportunities to engage with all the Working Scientifically skills throughout the course.


  • Analysis of Inorganic Substances

  • Inquiry question: How are the ions present in the environment identified and measured?
  • Students:
  • analyse the need for monitoring the environment SEEUICT
  • conduct qualitative investigations – using flame tests, precipitation and complexation reactions as appropriate – to test for the presence in aqueous solution of the following ions: ICTN
  • cations: barium \(\left(\text{Ba}^{2+}\right)\), calcium \(\left(\text{Ca}^{2+}\right)\), magnesium \(\left(\text{Mg}^{2+}\right)\), lead \(\left(\text{II}\right) \left(\text{Pb}^{2+}\right)\), silver ion \(\left(\text{Ag}^+\right)\), copper(II) \(\left(\text{Cu}^{2+}\right)\), iron(II) \(\left(\text{Fe}^{2+}\right) \), iron(III) \(\left(\text{Fe}^{3+}\right)\)
  • anions: chloride \(\left(\text{Cl}^-\right)\), bromide \(\left(\text{Br}^–\right)\), iodide \(\left(\text{I}^-\right)\), hydroxide \(\left(\text{OH}^-\right)\), acetate \(\left(\text{CH}_3\text{COO}^-\right)\), carbonate \(\left(\text{CO}_3\,^{2-}\right)\), sulfate \(\left(\text{SO}_4\,^{2-}\right)\), phosphate \(\left(\text{PO}_4\,^{3-}\right)\)
  • conduct investigations and/or process data involving:
  • gravimetric analysis
  • precipitation titrations
  • conduct investigations and/or process data to determine the concentration of coloured species and/or metal ions in aqueous solution, including but not limited to, the use of:
  • colourimetry
  • ultraviolet visible spectrophotometry
  • atomic absorption spectroscopy
  • Analysis of Organic Substances

  • Inquiry question: How is information about the reactivity and structure of organic compounds obtained?
  • Students:
  • conduct qualitative investigations to test for the presence in organic molecules of the following functional groups:
  • carbon–carbon double bonds
  • hydroxyl groups
  • carboxylic acids (ACSCH130)
  • investigate the processes used to analyse the structure of simple organic compounds addressed in the course, including but not limited to:
  • proton and carbon-13 NMR
  • mass spectroscopy (ACSCH19)
  • infrared spectroscopy (ACSCH130)
  • Chemical Synthesis and Design

  • Inquiry question: What are the implications for society of chemical synthesis and design?
  • evaluate the factors that need to be considered when designing a chemical synthesis process, including but not limited to:
  • availability of reagents
  • reaction conditions (ACSCH133)
  • yield and purity (ACSCH134)
  • industrial uses (eg pharmaceutical, cosmetics, cleaning products, fuels) (ACSCH131)
  • environmental, social and economic issues