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What is it and why should I do it?

Chemistry is a key science in explaining the workings of our universe through an understanding of the properties and interaction of substances that make up matter. Studying Chemistry can enrich students’ lives through the development of particular knowledge, skills and attitudes, and enable them to become scientifically capable members of society. Chemistry permeates numerous fields of endeavour, including agriculture, art, biochemistry,dietetics, engineering, environmental studies, food, forensic science, forestry, horticulture, law, medicine, oceanography, pharmacy, sports science and wine making.

In Unit One students will cover the development and use of materials and investigate the chemical properties of a range of materials from metals and salts to polymers. Using their knowledge of elements and atomic structure students explore and explain the relationships between properties, structure and bonding forces within and between particles.

Students 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 giant lattices and relate their structures to specific applications.

Students are introduced to quantitative concepts in chemistry including the mole concept. Throughout the unit students use chemistry terminology including symbols, formulas, chemical nomenclature and equations to represent and explain observations and data from experiments.

In Unit Two students explore the physical and chemical properties of water, the reactions that occur in water and various methods of water analysis.

Students examine the polar nature of a water molecule and the inter-molecular forces between water molecules. They explore the relationship between these bonding forces and the physical and chemical properties of water. Students investigate solubility, concentration, pH and reactions in water including precipitation, acid-base and redox. Students are introduced to stoichiometry and to analytical techniques and instrumental procedures, and apply these to determine concentrations of different species in water samples.

What will I do in class?

In most classes a new chemical concept will be introduced and you will have time to discuss this and work through examples with your teacher and class mates. You will have some time to work on practise problems in class. Experimental work is completed on a regular basis, which makes the theory "come alive". 

How much homework will I have?

Most of the essential topic review questions will need to be completed for homework. You would have at least 30 minutes of homework on each night you have a chemistry class, with more over the weekend and leading up to assessments.

How do I satisfactorily complete the unit?

To gain an S for any VCE subject you need to demonstrate that you have met the Outcomes. In Chemistry, the Outcomes involve being able to apply the theory studied in the course.

You will meet the Outcomes through your results on topic tests for each topic and participation in class discussions as well as completion of the set coursework.

The award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on a decision that the student has demonstrated achievement of the set of outcomes specified for the unit. This decision will be based on the teacher’s assessment of the student’s performance on attendance, and completing and submitting set work requirements designated for the unit.

 Unit 1: The big ideas of chemistry

  • SAC 1 - Experimentally based task on a selected topic
  • SAC 2 - Research Poster
  • Topic tests
  • Exam 1

Unit 2: Environmental Chemistry Assessment

  • SAC 3 - Experimentally based task a on selected topic
  • SAC 4 - Experimental Design 
  • Topic tests
  • Exam 2

Give me all the details I want to know more:

VCAA Chemistry

PHSC Chemistry 1&2 Wiki Page





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