Module 1 – Soaps assessment task

This depth study task draws on Year 11 students’ prior knowledge about everyday substances that are familiar to them, such as soap.

The Investigating science course is multidisciplinary and develops students' abilities to engage with scientific processes to investigate personal, community and global scientific issues.

Investigating science:

  • is designed for all students and may be differentiated to suit school contexts
  • promotes active inquiry and the planning and conducting of evidence-based investigations
  • provides opportunities for problem-solving and making informed scientific decisions
  • lets students engage in examples and situations that relate to biology, chemistry, earth sciences and physics
  • is designed to complement the study of other science disciplines
  • provides additional opportunities for students to develop capability and capacity in critical thinking, problem-solving and developing and communicating evidence-based arguments and making informed decisions.

Teachers can easily differentiate the depth study as a guided or open-ended task so that it is accessible to all students. Students are encouraged to develop their own ideas about how to test their samples. Through the depth study, discussion and research can lead to questions about:

  • why some soaps are more effective than others
  • how soaps are different
  • why antibacterial liquid soaps have become more popular and how effective are they
  • how soaps, shampoos and detergents are different and why detergents rather than soaps, are used to clean clothes
  • what effects do soaps, shampoos and detergents have on our environment
  • what affects consumer preferences

It could also be used to follow or as a pre-study to making soap in the laboratory and looking at the science of saponification, how suds form and the chemistry of soaps and detergents.


Please note:

Syllabus outcomes and content descriptors from Investigating Science Stage 6 Syllabus (2017) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017.

Return to top of page Back to top