Unit 4: Structure, synthesis and design

Unit 4: Structure, synthesis and design

Context

Investigate one of the following claims:

  • An understanding of organic chemistry is crucial for many industrial applications.
  • Green chemistry principles need to be utilised to improve sustainable development.
  • Plastics synthesised using green chemistry principles are a sustainable replacement for their non-biodegradable counterparts.
  • Using greener synthetic pathways to produce pharmaceutical products is better for the environment.

You may identify an alternative claim in consultation with your teacher. This claim must be related to Unit 4 subject matter.

Task

Gather secondary evidence related to your research question in order to evaluate the claim. Develop your research question based on a number of possible claims provided by your teacher.

Evidence must be obtained by researching scientifically credible sources, such as scientific journals, books by well-credentialed scientists, and websites of governments, universities, independent research bodies or science and technology manufacturers.

Research conventions must be adhered to.

To complete this task you must:

  • Select a claim to be evaluated
  • Identify the relevant scientific concepts associated with the claim
  • Pose a research question addressing an aspect of the claim
  • Conduct research to gather scientific evidence that may be used to address the research question and subsequently evaluate the claim
  • Analyse the data to identify sufficient and relevant evidence
  • Identify the trends, patterns or relationships in the evidence
  • Analyse the evidence to identify limitations
  • Interpret the evidence to construct justified scientific arguments
  • Interpret the evidence to form a justified conclusion to the research question
  • Discuss the quality of the evidence
  • Evaluate the claim by extrapolating the findings of the research question to the claim
  • Suggest improvements and extensions to the investigation
  • Communicate findings in an appropriate scientific genre, empirical essay

Stimulus

Checkpoints

Term 2 Week 7: Select claim and develop research question – assignment issued Monday 29 May 2023.

Term 2 Week 7: Identify sources and conduct research. Term 2 Week 8: Analyse and evaluate evidence.

Term 2 Week 8: Submit Draft – Friday 9th June. Term 2 Week 9: Edit draft and complete conclusion.

Term 2 Week 10: Submit final response (Hard copy and Safe Assign) – Assignment due Friday 23rd June, by 3:00 pm.

Authentication strategies

  • You will be provided class time for task completion.
  • Your teacher will observe you completing work in class.
  • Your teacher will collect a draft.
  • You must acknowledge all sources.
  • You will use Safe Assign to submit your response for an authenticity check.
  • You will provide documentation of your progress at checkpoint four.

Scaffolding

The response must be presented using an appropriate scientific genre (e.g. scientific report, empirical essay) and contain:

  • A claim
  • A research question
  • A rationale for the investigation
  • Justified scientific arguments using evidence
  • A conclusion to the research question based on the interpretation of the evidence
  • An evaluation of the claim and suggestions of improvements and extensions to the investigation
  • A Harvard reference list

An example of how a claim could be developed into a research question is shown below:

Claim: Plastics are bad for the environment.

Research question: What effect do catalysts have on the chemical recycling of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) by glycolysis?

Developing the research question:

  1. Identify the key (important) terms in the claim. a. ‘plastics’, ‘bad’, ‘environment’
  2. Propose refining questions that need to be addressed to refine key terms and narrow the focus of the claim.
    1. Which plastic will I investigate?
    1. Why did I choose this plastic?
    • What do I mean by ‘bad’ for the environment in chemical terms?
  3. Provide an example of how one of the claims could be developed into a research question. Conduct research to gather information to address the refining questions.
    1. The plastic that will be investigated is PET.
    1. PET’s structural and chemical properties make it a high-demand plastic that is not biodegradable. Therefore, it is an environment problem if not recycled.
    1. PET can be recycled by a chemical process called glycolysis, which requires a catalyst.
    • Products from chemically recycling PET can be used as feedstock (raw materials) for other products.
  4. Draft the research question to address the claim.
    • How does chemically recycling PET help the environment?
  5. Refine and focus the research question.
    1. How does chemically recycling PET by glycolysis help the environment?
    • What factors affect the chemical recycling of PET by glycolysis?
  6. Present the research question to the teacher for approval.
    • What effect do catalysts have on the chemical recycling of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) by glycolysis?

Note: You cannot use this claim or sample research question for your investigation.

Instrument-specific marking guide (IA3): Research investigation (20%)

Criterion: Research and planning

Assessment objectives

2.    apply understanding of the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design to develop research questions

5.    investigate phenomena associated with the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design through research

The student work has the following characteristics:Marks
informed application of understanding of the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated by a considered rationale identifying clear development of the research question from the claim effective and efficient investigation of phenomena associated with the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated bya specific and relevant research questionselection of sufficient and relevant sources.    5–6
adequate application of understanding of the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated by a reasonable rationale that links the research question and the claim effective investigation of phenomena associated with the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated bya relevant research questionselection of relevant sources.    3–4
rudimentary application of understanding of the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated by a vague or irrelevant rationale for the investigation ineffective investigation of phenomena associated with the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated byan inappropriate research questionselection of insufficient and irrelevant sources.    1–2
does not satisfy any of the descriptors above.0

Criterion: Analysis and interpretation

Assessment objectives

  • analyse research evidence about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design
  • interpret research evidence about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design
The student work has the following characteristics:Marks
systematic and effective analysis of qualitative data and/or quantitative data within the sources about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated bythe identification of sufficient and relevant evidencethorough identification of relevant trends , patterns or relationshipsthorough and appropriate identification of limitations of evidence insightful interpretation of research evidence about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated by justified scientific argument /s.      5–6
effective analysis of qualitative data and/or quantitative data within the sources about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated bythe identification of relevant evidenceidentification of obvious trends , patterns or relationshipsbasic identification of limitations of evidence adequate interpretation of research evidence about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated by  reasonable scientific argument /s.      3–4
rudimentary analysis of qualitative data and/or quantitative data within the sources about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated bythe identification of insufficient and irrelevant evidenceidentification of incorrect or irrelevant trends , patterns or relationshipsincorrect or insufficient identification of limitations of evidence invalid interpretation of research evidence about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated by inappropriate or irrelevant argument /s.      1–2
does not satisfy any of the descriptors above.0

Criterion: Conclusion and evaluation

Assessment objectives

4.    interpret research evidence about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design

  • evaluate research processes , claims and conclusions about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design
The student work has the following characteristics:Marks
insightful interpretation of research evidence about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated by justified conclusion /s linked to the research question critical evaluation of the research processes , claims and conclusions about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated byinsightful discussion of the quality of evidenceextrapolation of credible findings of the research to the claimsuggested improvements and extensions to the investigation that are considered and relevant to the claim.      5–6
adequate interpretation of research evidence about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated by reasonable conclusion /s relevant to the research question basic evaluation of the research processes , claims and conclusions about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated byreasonable description of the quality of evidenceapplication of relevant findings of the research to the claimsuggested improvements and extensions to the investigation that are relevant to the claim.      3–4
invalid interpretation of research evidence about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated by inappropriate or irrelevant conclusion /s superficial evaluation of the research processes , claims and conclusions about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated bycursory or simplistic statements about the quality of evidenceapplication of insufficient or inappropriate findings of the research to the claimineffective or irrelevant suggestions.      1–2
does not satisfy any of the descriptors above.0

Criterion: Communication

Assessment objectives

  • communicate understandings and research findings , arguments and conclusions about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design.
The student work has the following characteristics:Marks
effective communication of understandings and research findings , arguments and conclusions about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated byfluent and concise use of scientific language and representationsappropriate use of genre conventionsacknowledgment of sources of information through appropriate use of referencing conventions .    2
adequate communication of understandings and research findings , arguments and conclusions about the properties and structure of organic materials or chemical synthesis and design demonstrated bycompetent use of scientific language and representationsuse of basic genre conventionsuse of basic referencing conventions .    1
does not satisfy any of the descriptors above.0
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