Chemistry is the study of matter and energy and the interaction between them. Chemistry is an incredibly fascinating field of study because it is so fundamental to our world, it plays a role in everyone’s lives and touches almost every aspect of our existence in some way. Chemistry is often referred to as the central science because it joins together physics and mathematics, biology and medicine, and the earth and environmental sciences. Chemistry is also central to many new and exciting technologies, including nanotechnology, and drug design and development. Knowledge of the nature of chemicals and chemical processes therefore provides insights into a variety of physical and biological phenomena. The structure for the Chemistry program follows the Australian Curriculum and consists of the following four units:
- UNIT 1: CHEMICAL FUNDAMENTALS
Students use science inquiry skills to develop their understanding of patterns in the properties and composition of materials. They investigate the structure of materials by describing physical and chemical properties at the macroscopic scale and use models of structure and primary bonding at the atomic and sub-atomic scale to explain these properties. They are introduced to the mole concept as a means of quantifying matter in chemical reactions.
- UNIT 2: MOLECULES
Students use a range of practical and research inquiry skills to investigate chemical reactions, including the prediction and identification of products and the measurement of the rate of reaction. They investigate the behaviour of gases and use the kinetic theory to predict the effects of changing temperature, volume and pressure in gaseous systems.
- UNIT 3: EQUILIBRIUM AND REDOX REACTIONS
Students use science inquiry skills to investigate the principles of dynamic chemical equilibrium and how these can be applied to chemical processes and systems. They investigate a range of electrochemical cells, including the choice of materials used and the voltage produced by these cells. Students use the pH scale to assist in making judgments and predictions about the extent of dissociation of acids and bases and about the concentrations of ions in an aqueous solution.
- UNIT 4: STRUCTURE, SYNTHESIS AND DESIGN
Students use science inquiry skills to investigate the principles and application of chemical structure, synthesis and design. They select and use data from instrumental analysis to determine the identity and structure of a range of organic materials. They make predictions based on knowledge of types of chemical reactions and investigate chemical reactions qualitatively and quantitatively.
Students can complete a Major by completing 4 units or a Minor by completing any 2 units.