VCE | Chemistry


Chemistry Pathways

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Chemistry | Unit 1

How can the diversity of materials be explained?

OVERVIEW

The development and use of materials for specific purposes is an important human endeavour. In this unit, you will investigate the chemical properties of a range of materials from metals and salts to polymers and nanomaterials. Using your knowledge of elements and atomic structure you will explore and explain the relationships between properties, structure and bonding forces within and between particles that vary in size from the visible, through nanoparticles, to molecules and atoms.

You will examine the modification of metals, assess the factors that affect the formation of ionic crystals and investigate a range of non-metallic substances from molecules to polymers and giant lattices and relate your structures to specific applications.

You will be introduced to quantitative concepts in chemistry including the mole concept. You will apply your knowledge to determine the relative masses of elements and the composition of substances. Throughout the unit, you will use chemistry terminology including symbols, formulas, chemical nomenclature and equations to represent and explain observations and data from experiments and to discuss chemical phenomena.

A research investigation is undertaken in Area of Study 3 related to one of ten options that draw upon and extend the content from Area of Study 1 and/or Area of Study 2. This is produced as a keynote presentation.

VCAA Chemistry Study Design

PREREQUISITES

It is expected that students undertaking Units 1 & 2 Chemistry will have studied either Chemistry or Environmental Science at Year 10. Competency in Chemistry topics at the Year 10 level is presumed for Units 1 & 2

 

AREAS OF STUDY

  1. How do substances interact with water?

  2. How are substances in water measured and analysed?

  3. Practical Investigation

In the first area of study, you will learn how to relate the position of elements in the periodic table to their properties, investigate the structures and properties of metals and ionic compounds, and calculate mole quantities.

In the second area of study, you will investigate and explain the properties of carbon lattices and molecular substances with reference to their structures and bonding, use systematic nomenclature to name organic compounds, and explain how polymers can be designed for a purpose.

In the third area of study, you will investigate a question related to the development, use and/or modification of a selected material or chemical and communicate a substantiated response to the question.

ASSESSMENT  

Assessment for Outcomes 1 and 2 may include: annotations of a practical work folio; a report of a practical activity; media response; problem-solving; data analysis; or a test.

Outcome 3 will be assessed by a report of a student-designed quantitative laboratory investigation using a scientific poster.

PATHWAYS

Chemistry Unit 1 and 2 are completed in Year 11. It is expected that students studying Unit 3 and 4 Chemistry have previously achieved a competent standard in both Unit 1 and Unit 2 Chemistry. Acceleration is not available in this subject.

 
 

 
 
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Chemistry | Unit 2

What makes water such a unique chemical?

overview

Water is the most widely used solvent on Earth. In this unit, you will explore the physical and chemical properties of water, the reactions that occur in water and various methods of water analysis.

You will examine the polar nature of a water molecule and the intermolecular forces between water molecules. You will explore the relationship between these bonding forces and the physical and chemical properties of water. In this context, you will investigate solubility, concentration, pH and reactions in water including precipitation, acid-base and redox.

You will be introduced to stoichiometry and to analytical techniques and instrumental procedures, and apply these to determine concentrations of different species in water samples, including chemical contaminants. You will use chemistry terminology including symbols, units, formulas and equations to represent and explain observations and data from experiments and to discuss chemical phenomena. You will explore the solvent properties of water in a variety of contexts and analyse selected issues associated with substances dissolved in water.

VCAA Chemistry Study Design

PREREQUISITES

It is expected that students undertaking Units 1 & 2 Chemistry will have studied either Chemistry or Environmental Science at Year 10. Competency in Chemistry topics at the Year 10 level is presumed for Units 1 & 2

AREAS OF STUDY

  1. How do substances interact with water?

  2. How are substances in water measured and analysed?

  3. Practical Investigation

A practical investigation into an aspect of water quality is undertaken in Area of Study 3. The investigation draws on content from Area of Study 1 and/or Area of Study 2.

In the first area of study, you will learn how to relate the properties of water to its structure and bonding, and explain the importance of the properties and reactions of water in selected contexts.

In the second area of study, you will learn how to measure amounts of dissolved substances in water and analyse water samples for salts, organic compounds and acids and bases.

In the third area of study, you will design and undertake a quantitative laboratory investigation related to water quality, and draw conclusions based on evidence from collected data.

ASSESSMENT

Assessment for Outcomes 1 and 2 may include: annotations of a practical work folio; a report of a practical activity; media response; problem-solving; data analysis; or a test.

Outcome 3 will be assessed by a report of a student-designed quantitative laboratory investigation using a scientific poster.

PATHWAYS

Chemistry Unit 1 and 2 are completed in Year 11. It is expected that students studying Unit 3 and 4 Chemistry have previously achieved a competent standard in both Unit 1 and Unit 2 Chemistry. Acceleration is not available in this subject.

 

 
 
 
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Chemistry | Unit 3

How can chemical processes be designed to optimise efficiency?

OVERVIEW

The global demand for energy and materials is increasing with world population growth. In this unit, you will explore energy options and the chemical production of materials with reference to efficiencies, renewability and the minimisation of their impact on the environment.

You will compare and evaluate different chemical energy resources, including fossil fuels, biofuels, galvanic cells and fuel cells. You will investigate the combustion of fuels, including the energy transformations involved, the use of stoichiometry to calculate the amounts of reactants and products involved in the reactions, and calculations of the amounts of energy released and their representations. You will consider the purpose, design and operating principles of galvanic cells, fuel cells and electrolytic cells. In this context, you will use the electrochemical series to predict and write half and overall redox equations, and apply Faraday's laws to calculate quantities in electrolytic reactions.

You will analyse manufacturing processes with reference to factors that influence their reaction rates and extent. You will investigate and apply the equilibrium law and Le Chatelier's principle to different reaction systems, including to predict and explain the conditions that will improve the efficiency and percentage yield of chemical processes. You will use the language and conventions of chemistry including symbols, units, chemical formulas and equations to represent and explain observations and data collected from experiments and to discuss chemical phenomena.

During this unit, you will learn to compare fuels quantitatively with reference to combustion products and energy outputs, apply knowledge of the electrochemical series to design, construct and test galvanic cells, and evaluate energy resources based on energy efficiency, renewability and environmental impact. You will also investigate how to apply rate and equilibrium principles to predict how the rate and extent of reactions can be optimised, and explain how electrolysis is involved in the production of chemicals and in the recharging of batteries.

VCAA Chemistry Study Design

PREREQUISITES

It is expected that students studying Unit 3 and 4 Chemistry have previously achieved a competent standard in both Unit 1 and Unit 2 Chemistry.

AREAS OF STUDY

  1. What are the options for energy production?

  2. How can the yield of a chemical product be optimised?

UNIT ASSESSMENT

  • Unit 3 School assessed coursework (SAC's) 16%

  • Unit 4 School assessed coursework (SAC's) 16%

  • Unit 3 and/or 4 Practical Investigation 8%

  • Unit 3 & 4 examination 60%

Assessment for Outcomes 1 and 2 may include: annotations of a practical work folio; a report of a practical activity; media response; problem-solving; data analysis; or a test.

Unit 3 or 4 Practical Investigation: A student-designed or adapted investigation related to energy and/or food is undertaken in either Unit 3 or Unit 4, or across both Units 3 and 4. The investigation is to relate to knowledge and skills developed across Units 3 and 4 and may be undertaken by the student through laboratory work and/or fieldwork.

A student practical investigation related to energy is undertaken in this unit and is assessed as Outcome 3. The findings of the investigation are presented in a scientific poster format.

PATHWAYS

Acceleration is not available in this subject.

 
 

 
 
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Chemistry | Unit 4

How are organic compounds categorised, analysed and used?

OVERVIEW

The carbon atom has unique characteristics that explain the diversity and number of organic compounds that not only constitute living tissues but are also found in the fuels, foods, medicines and many of the materials we use in everyday life. In this unit you will investigate the structural features, bonding, typical reactions and uses of the major families of organic compounds including those found in food.

You will study the ways in which organic structures are represented and named. You will process data from instrumental analyses of organic compounds to confirm or deduce organic structures and perform volumetric analyses to determine the concentrations of organic chemicals in mixtures. You will consider the nature of the reactions involved to predict the products of reaction pathways and to design pathways to produce particular compounds from given starting materials.

You will investigate key food molecules through an exploration of their chemical structures, the hydrolytic reactions in which they are broken down and the condensation reactions in which they are rebuilt to form new molecules. In this context the role of enzymes and coenzymes in facilitating chemical reactions is explored. You will use calorimetry as an investigative tool to determine the energy released in the combustion of foods.

A student practical investigation related to energy and/or food is undertaken.

During this unit, you will compare the general structures and reactions of the major organic families of compounds, deduce structures of organic compounds using instrumental analysis data, and design reaction pathways for the synthesis of organic molecules. The chemical structures of key food molecules, the chemical reactions involved in the metabolism of the major components of food including the role of enzymes, and calculations the energy content of food using calorimetry will also be studied.

VCAA Chemistry Study Design

PREREQUISITES

It is expected that students studying Unit 3 and 4 Chemistry have previously achieved a competent standard in both Unit 1 and Unit 2 Chemistry.

AREAS OF STUDY

  1. How can the diversity of carbon compounds be explained and categorised?

  2. What is the chemistry of food?

ASSESSMENT

  • Unit 3 School assessed coursework (SAC's) 16%

  • Unit 4 School assessed coursework (SAC's) 16%

  • Unit 3 and/or 4 Practical Investigation 8%

  • Unit 3 & 4 examination 60%

Assessment for Outcomes 1 and 2 may include: annotations of a practical work folio; a report of a practical activity; media response; problem-solving; data analysis; or a test.

Unit 3 or 4 Practical Investigation: A student-designed or adapted investigation related to energy and/or food is undertaken in either Unit 3 or Unit 4, or across both Units 3 and 4. The investigation is to relate to knowledge and skills developed across Units 3 and 4 and may be undertaken by the student through laboratory work and/or fieldwork.

PATHWAYS

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