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Science and Technology

D. The Physical Setting: Students understand the universal nature of matter, energy, force, and motion and identify how these relationships are exhibited in Earth Systems, in the solar system, and throughout the universe.

D1 Universe and Solar System

Pre K-2 3-5 6-8 9-Diploma
Students describe the movement of objects across the sky, as seen from Earth. Students describe the positions and apparent motions of different objects in and beyond our solar system and how these objects can be viewed from Earth. Students explain the movements and describe the location, composition, and characteristics of our solar system and universe, including planets, the sun, and galaxies. Students explain the physical formation and changing nature ofour universe and solar system, and how our past and present knowledge of the universe and solar system developed.

a. Describe how the sun and moon seem to move across the sky.

b. Describe the changes in the appearance of the moon from day to day.

a. Show the locations of the sun, Earth, moon, and planets and their orbits.

b. Observe and report on observations that the sun appears to move across the sky in the same way every day, but its path changes slowly over the seasons.

c. Recognize that the sun is a star and is similar to other stars in the universe.

a. Describe the different kinds of objects in the solar system including planets, sun, moons, asteroids, and comets.

b. Explain the motions that cause days, years, phases of the moon, and eclipses.

c. Describe the location of our solar system in its galaxy and explain that other galaxies exist and that they include stars and planets.

a. Explain why the unit of light years can be used to describe distances to objects in the universe and use light years to describe distances.

b. Explain the role of gravity in forming and maintaining planets, stars, and the solar system.

c. Outline the age, origin, and process of formation of the universe as currently understood by science.

d. Describe the major events that have led to our current understanding of the universe and the current technologies used to further our understanding.

D1 Universe and Solar System


D2 Earth

Pre K-2 3-5 6-8 9-Diploma
Students describe Earth’s weather and surface materials and the different ways they change. Students describe the properties of Earth’s surface materials, the processes that change them, and cycles that affect the Earth. Students describe the various cycles, physical and biological forces and processes, position in space, energy transformations, and human actions that affect the short-term and long-term changes to the Earth. Students describe and analyze the biological, physical, energy, and human influences that shape and alter Earth Systems.

a. Explain that the sun warms the air, water, and land.

b. Describe the way in which weather changes over months.

c. Describe what happens to water left in an open container as compared to water left in a closed container.

a. Explain the effects of the rotation of Earth on the day/night cycle, and how that cycle affects local temperature.

b. Describe the various forms water takes in the air and how that relates to weather.

c. Explain how wind, waves, water, and ice reshape the surface of Earth.

d. Describe the kinds of materials that form rocks and soil.

e. Recognize that the sun is the source of Earth’s surface heat and light energy.

f. Explain how the substance called air surrounds things, takes up space, and its movement can be felt as wind.

a. Explain how the tilt of Earth’s rotational axis relative to the plane of its yearly orbit around the sun affects the day length and sunlight intensity to cause seasons.

b. Describe Earth Systems - biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere - and cycles and interactions within them (including water moving among and between them, rocks forming and transforming, and weather formation).

c. Give several reasons why the climate is different in different regions of the Earth.

d. Describe significant Earth resources and how their limited supply affects how they are used.

e. Describe the effect of gravity on objects on Earth.

f. Give examples of abrupt changes and slow changes in Earth Systems.

a. Describe and analyze the effect of solar radiation, ocean currents, and atmospheric conditions on the Earth’s surface and the habitability of Earth.

b. Describe Earth’s internal energy sources and their role in plate tectonics.

c. Describe and analyze the effects of biological and geophysical influences on the origin and changing nature of Earth Systems.

d. Describe and analyze the effects of human influences on Earth Systems.

D2 Earth


D3 Matter and Energy

Pre K-2 3-5 6-8 9-Diploma
Students use observable characteristics to describe objects and materials and changes to physical properties of materials. Students describe properties of objects and materials before and after they undergo a change or interaction. Students describe physical and chemical properties of matter, interactions and changes in matter, and transfer of energy through matter. Students describe the structure, behavior, and interactions of matter at the atomic level and the relationship between matter and energy.

a. Describe objects in terms of what they are made of and their physical properties.

b. Describe changes in properties of materials when mixed, heated, frozen, or cut.

a. Describe how the weight of an object compares to the sum of the weight of its parts.

b. Illustrate how many different substances can be made from a small number of basic ingredients.

c. Describe properties of original materials, and the new material(s) formed, to demonstrate that a change has occurred.

d. Describe what happens to the temperatures of objects when a warmer object is near a cooler object.

e. Describe how the heating and cooling of water and other materials can change the properties of the materials.

f. Explain that the properties of a material may change but the total amount of material remains the same.

g. Explain that materials can be composed of parts too small to be seen without magnification.

a. Describe that all matter is made up of atoms and distinguish between/among elements, atoms, and molecules.

b. Describe how physical characteristics of elements and types of reactions they undergo have been used to create the Periodic Table.

c. Describe the difference between physical and chemical change.

d. Explain the relationship of the motion of atoms and molecules to the states of matter for gases, liquids, and solids.

e. Explain how atoms are packed together in arrangements that compose all substances including elements, compounds, mixtures, and solutions.

f. Explain and apply the understanding that substances have characteristic properties, including density, boiling point, and solubility and these properties are not dependent on the amount of matter present.

g. Use the idea of atoms to explain the conservation of matter.

h. Describe several different types of energy forms including heat energy, chemical energy, and mechanical energy.

i. Use examples of energy transformations from one form to another to explain that energy cannot be created or destroyed.

j. Describe how heat is transferred from one object to another by conduction, convection, and/or radiation.

k. Describe the properties of solar radiation and its interaction with objects on Earth.

a. Describe the structure of atoms in terms of neutrons, protons, and electrons and the role of the atomic structure in determining chemical properties.

b. Describe how the number and arrangement of atoms in a molecule determine a molecule’s properties, including the types of bonds it makes with other molecules and its mass, and apply this to predictions about chemical reactions.

c. Explain the essential roles of carbon and water in life processes.

d. Describe how light is emitted and absorbed by atoms’ changing energy levels, and how the results can be used to identify a substance.

e. Describe factors that affect the rate of chemical reactions (including concentration, pressure, temperature, and the presence of molecules that encourage interaction with other molecules).

f. Apply an understanding of the factors that affect the rate of chemical reaction to predictions about the rate of chemical reactions.

g. Describe nuclear reactions, including fusion and fission, and the energy they release.

h. Describe radioactive decay and half-life.

i. Explain the relationship between kinetic and potential energy and apply the knowledge to solve problems.

j. Describe how in energy transformations the total amount of energy remains the same, but because of inefficiencies (heat, sound, and vibration) useful energy is often lost through radiation or conduction.

k. Apply an understanding of energy transformations to solve problems.

l. Describe the relationship among heat, temperature, and pressure in terms of the actions of atoms, molecules, and ions.

D3 Matter and Energy


D4 Force and Motion

Pre K-2 3-5 6-8 9-Diploma
Students describe how objects move in different ways. Students summarize how various forces affect the motion of objects. Students describe the force of gravity, the motion of objects, the properties of waves, and the wavelike property of energy in light waves. Students understand that the laws of force and motion are the same across the universe.

a. Describe different ways things move and what it takes to start objects moving, keep objects moving, or stop objects.

b. Give examples of things that make sound by vibrating.

a. Predict the effect of a given force on the motion of an object.

b. Describe how fast things move by how long it takes them to go a certain distance.

c. Describe the path of an object.

d. Give examples of how gravity, magnets, and electrically charged materials push and pull objects.

a. Describe the similarities and differences in the motion of sound vibrations, earthquakes, and light waves.

b. Explain the relationship among visible light, the electromagnetic spectrum, and sight.

c. Describe and apply an understanding of how the gravitational force between any two objects would change if their mass or the distance between them changed.

d. Describe and apply an understanding of how electric currents and magnets can exert force on each other.

e. Describe and apply an understanding of the effects of multiple forces on an object, and how unbalanced forces will cause changes in the speed or direction.

a. Describe the contribution of Newton to our understanding of force and motion, and give examples of and apply Newton’s three laws of motion and his theory of gravitation.

b. Explain and apply the ideas of relative motion and frame of reference.

c. Describe the relationship between electric and magnetic fields and forces, and give examples of how this relationship is used in modern technologies.

d. Describe and apply characteristics of waves including wavelength, frequency, and amplitude.

e. Describe and apply an understanding of how waves interact with other waves and with materials including reflection, refraction, and absorption.

f. Describe kinetic energy (the energy of motion), potential energy (dependent on relative position), and energy contained by a field (including electromagnetic waves) and apply these understandings to energy problems.

D4 Force and Motion







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