In this module students take on the role of the apprentice in a scenario like the TV programme ‘Apprentice Asia’. In this scenario, the apprentice is required to show skill and determination in pursuing a goal. In this case, the task is gathering information about materials and their properties. The goal is a better and more profitable manufacturing industry based on the properties of those materials.

The module starts by recapping the Kinetic Theory of Matter and solids/ liquids/ gases. The idea of an atom as the smallest particle of matter that can exist on its own is established. This is extended to elements and a list of the known elements in the form of the Periodic Table. ‘Atom’ and other terms are defined and consolidated by reading and questioning. Elements are explored, particularly the limited range of elements present in common materials. Some coverage of subatomic particles is given, but only as far as understanding the role of protons in determining the atomic type, and the electrons’ role in atomic interactions. The learning then covers atoms reacting to form compounds and the nature of the particles in these compounds. The combining power of atom is introduced, but not covered in depth.