Chemical World, Year 7 and 8

Year 7 Chemical World: What is everything made up of?

Year 7 term 1

NSW Syllabus CW1: The properties of the different states of matter can be explained regarding the motion and arrangement of particles.

Glossary of matter

What is this snowflake made up of? Image from FLIKR

General videos

Differences between different states of matter( video)

Particles in solids.liquids and gases( click view video)

Properties and modelling of matter 

  1. How do we use the  Metric System?
  2. How does matter behave?
  3. How does heat affect matter?
  4. How can we model matter?Are there any limitations to our models?
  5. What happens to matter when it changes state such as ;
  • evaporates
  • condenses
  • boils
  • melts
  • freezes
changes of state
changes in the states of matter from BBC bytes

Experiments with matter (videos)

Additional content  Outline how some historical developments have contributed to evidence that has advanced our understanding of the particle model of matter.

States of Matter Quiz

What is density and how can we use it to describe properties of matter?


Which is denser? Left or right? why? Image and further explanation from the “engineering mindset”

Additional content 


Taking advantage of some floating ice.


How do scientists describe and classify matter?

Matter can be classified using a flow diagram. The information comes from this site.

Mass, matter volume tutorials  

Oche, a type of metal oxide, is widely used and traded by the


Year 7 Chemical World: How can we obtain useful materials by utilising the physical properties of a substance?

NSW Syllabus CW3: Mixtures, including solutions, contain a combination of pure substances that can be separated using a range of techniques. 

Read the introductory slide show on separating mixtures.

Why do mixtures need to be separated? 

What type of mixture is a solution?

  1. Describe aqueous mixtures regarding solute, solvent, and solution
  2. Why is water an essential solvent in the world around us?

Solubility and the importance of water as a solvent ( click view)

How do the following separation techniques help to separate mixtures?

Here is a link to the theory and video that explains these techniques. This page also has additional animations and  interactive simulators( with a free sign up)

General separation video ( click view sign in)

  • filtration

filtration in everyday life ( vid)

  • decantation
  • evaporation
  • crystallisation
  • chromatography
  • distillation

Separating the components of air via fractional distillation (click view)

How are some of the above separation techniques used in everyday life?

Look at the examples below.

Water filtration

Potable water and water treatment plants( click view sign in)

The water treatment process youtube video showing various separation methods to make clean drinking water from dams.

Waste sorting

Sewage and wastewater treatment ( click view sign in)

Using distillation to separate substances that are mixed together as a solution




Using a centrifuge to separate various size particles in a mixture



Year 8 Chemical World: How can we obtain useful materials by utilising the chemical properties of a substance?

Year 8 term 2

NSW Syllabus CW2: Scientific knowledge and developments in technology have changed our understanding of the structure and properties of matter.

Properties of matter continued: Elements and compounds 

  1. What are some properties and uses of metal and non-metal elements?
  2. How has our use of technologies changed how we understand the structure and properties of elements?
  3. What is an element?
  4. How do we write the name of elements in symbols?
  5. What makes elements, compounds, and mixtures different from each other? Watch this video to find out more.
  6. What are the names and symbols of some common compounds?

Some common compounds found around your home and in the products you use.

Theodore Gray website on elements in the periodic table includes amazing examples of uses of every element.

Making new substances out of elements and compounds 

NSW Syllabus CW4: In a chemical change, new substances are formed, which may have specific properties related to their uses in everyday life.

Signs of a chemical change 

  1. How do we know a chemical change has taken place?

Video tutorial on the differences between physical and chemical changes 

2.  How is the arrangement of particles different in a physical and chemical change? Which one can be reversed?

Conduct an investigation to demonstrate that a chemical change involves substances reacting to form new materials.The following are links to videoes showing simple demonstrations involving physical and chemical change.


Physical and chemical change theory revision

Chemical reactions sustain life 

Investigate everyday chemical reactions like photosynthesis, respiration and chemical weathering.

Photosynthesis is a reaction the all life on earth relies on.Image from learning about photosynthesis 
  • respiration




Photosystems and respiration are linked








How have different cultures used their understanding of elements and compounds to make useful objects such as weapons and tools?

Some examples by Australian Indigenous peoples include;

turtle art.jpg
Oche, a type of metal oxide, is widely used and traded by the Aboriginal people in the creation of rock art.


Other examples


Why should society support scientific research into the knowledge of new chemicals and substances?

Describe, using examples, how scientific knowledge can develop through  collaboration and connecting ideas across the disciplines of science, e.g. making or obtaining new substances from Earth’s spheres

You could discuss this by thinking about the development of new pharmaceutical and the development of polymers used in industry

Additional content 

  • discuss the cost and benefits to society of the development of new materials
  • investigate how the chemical properties of a substance will affect its use, e.g. flammability and ability to corrode
  • research how knowledge of physical properties of natural materials is used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in everyday life, e.g. tools, weapons, utensils, shelter, housing or bush medicine

Using spinifex

Spinifex resin is a thermoplastic bio-molecule used extensively throughout Australia by Aboriginal people. Both men and women are involved in the processing of the resin.


Grass tree resin, durable enough to bind stone and wood together.Imaged sourced from