Water is the most widely used solvent on Earth. In this unit 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 intermolecular forces between water molecules. They explore the relationship between these bonding forces and the physical and chemical properties of water. In this context 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, including chemical contaminants. They use chemistry terminology including symbols, units, formulas and equations to represent and explain observations and data from experiments, and to discuss chemical phenomena. Students explore the solvent properties of water in a variety of contexts and analyse selected issues associated with substances dissolved in water.
Assessment tasks will be designed to reinforce and extend knowledge in accordance with each unit’s learning outcomes, including the setting of practical application tasks designed to provide evidence of competence outcomes, within periodic and scheduled timelines. Students will be expected to demonstrate the following knowledge:
On completion of this unit the student should be able to relate the properties of water to its structure and bonding, and explain the importance of the properties and reactions of water in selected contexts.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to measure amounts of dissolved substances in water and analyse water samples for salts, organic compounds and acids and bases.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to design and undertake a quantitative laboratory investigation related to water quality, and draw conclusions based on evidence from collected data.
The qualified trainer and assessor will provide teaching and learning materials as required in the form of workbooks produced by the Polytechnic and/or via the Polytechnic e-learning system.
This unit is not compulsory for any specific course. Depending on the course you study, this unit may be taken as an elective.