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AoS 1 & AoS 2 How the diversity of materials is explained.

Full Day
Book Program
Year Levels
Unit 1 — How can the diversity of materials be explained?


Elements and compounds have many different uses based on their properties. The properties and performance of these substances may be explained by the way their atoms are bonded together.

This program focuses on aspects of Area of Study 1 and Area of Study 2.

Water, one of the simplest substances on Earth exhibits interesting properties that are not predicted by looking at the trends of the periodic table.

In the first part of this program, students examine the bonding in water and examine the concepts of Polarity and Hydrogen Bonding. They use these concepts to make predictions and explain everyday phenomena.

In our Ionic bonding section students investigate some of the properties of Ionic substances including Brittleness and Solubility and explain these in terms of Ionic Bonds and Lattices. Students use model kits to construct Ionic lattices.

In the second part of this program, students investigate Nanotechnology by making Nano gold particles and investigating some of their uses and applications. Students examine the allotropes of carbon and investigate applications of Graphene and other carbon based Nano structures.

Prior Knowledge

Students should have covered Atomic structure and electronic arrangements.

Learning Intentions

In this program students will:

  • Investigate and explain Ionic and Covalent bonding through the use molecular models
  • Conduct simple experiments to highlight and explain properties Ionic and Covalent compounds and the concepts of Polarity and Hydrogen Bonding
  • Investigate and explain the properties and uses of metallic nanomaterials.


Students will:

  • Examine some of the properties of water and explain them through the use of models and simple experiments
  • Investigate some properties of Ionic compounds and explain these using models and observations
  • Produce Gold Nano particles and investigate some of the properties and uses
  • Investigate allotropes of Carbon with particular emphasis on carbon Nano materials.

VCE links

Area of Study 1

How can knowledge of elements explain the properties of matter?

Ionic compounds

  • Common properties of ionic compounds (brittleness, hardness, high melting point, difference in electrical conductivity in solid and liquid states) with reference to their formation, nature of ionic bonding and crystal structure including limitations of representations
  • The uses of common ionic compounds.

Area of Study 2

How can the versatility of non-metals be explained?

Materials from molecules

  • Representations of molecular substances (electron dot formulas, structural formulas, valence structures, ball and stick models, space-filling models) including limitations of representations
  • Shapes of molecules and an explanation of their polar or non-polar character with reference to the electronegativity’s of their atoms and electron-pair repulsion theory
  • Explanation of properties of molecular substances (including low melting point and boiling point, softness, and non-conduction of electricity) with reference to their structure, intramolecular bonding and intermolecular forces
  • The relative strengths of bonds (covalent bonding, dispersion forces, dipole-dipole attraction and hydrogen bonding) and evidence and factors that determine bond strength including explanations for the floating of ice and expansion of water at higher temperatures.

Carbon lattices and carbon nanomaterials

  • The structure and bonding of diamond and graphite that explain their properties (including heat and electrical conductivity and hardness) and their suitability for diverse applications
  • The structures, properties and applications of carbon nanomaterials including graphene and fullerenes.