Standard 1.0 Skills and Processes
A. Constructing Knowledge
- Explain that scientists differ greatly in what phenomena they study and how they go about their work.
- Develop the ability to clarify questions and direct them toward objects and phenomena that can be described, explained, or predicted by scientific investigations.
- Explain and provide examples that all hypotheses are valuable, even if they turn out not to be true, if they lead to fruitful investigations.
- Locate information in reference books, back issues of newspapers, magazines and compact disks, and computer databases.
- Explain that if more than one variable changes at the same time in an investigation, the outcome of the investigation may not be clearly attributable to any one of the variables.
- Give examples of when further studies of the question being investigated may be necessary.
- Give reasons for the importance of waiting until an investigation has been repeated many times before accepting the results as correct.
- Use mathematics to interpret and communicate data.
- Explain why accurate recordkeeping, openness, and replication are essential for maintaining an investigator's credibility with other scientists and society.
B. Applying Evidence and Reasoning
- 1. Review data from a simple experiment, summarize the data, and construct a logical argument about the cause-and-effect relationships in the experiment.
- Verify the idea that there is no fixed set of steps all scientists follow, scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant evidence, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected evidence.
- Explain that what people expect to observe often affects what they actually do observe and that scientists know about this danger to objectivity and take steps to try to avoid it when designing investigations and examining data.
- Explain that even though different explanations are given for the same evidence, it is not always possible to tell which one is correct.
- Describe the reasoning that lead to the interpretation of data and conclusions drawn.
- Question claims based on vague statements or on statements made by people outside their area of expertise.
C. Communicating Scientific Information
- 1. Develop explanations that explicitly link data from investigations conducted, selected readings and, when appropriate, contributions from historical discoveries.
- Organize and present data in tables and graphs and identify relationships they reveal.
- Interpret tables and graphs produced by others and describe in words the relationships they show.
- Give examples of how scientific knowledge is subject to modification as new information challenges prevailing theories and as a new theory leads to looking at old observations in a new way.
- Criticize the reasoning in arguments in which
- Fact and opinion are intermingled
- Conclusions do not follow logically from the evidence given.
- Existence of control groups and the relationship to experimental groups is not made obvious.
- Samples are too small, biased, or not representative.
- Explain how different models can be used to represent the same thing. What kind of a model to use and how complex it should be depend on its purpose. Choosing a useful model is one of the instances in which intuition and creativity come into play in science, mathematics, and engineering
- Participate in group discussions on scientific topics by restating or summarizing accurately what others have said, asking for clarification or elaboration, and expressing alternative positions.
- Recognize that important contributions to the advancement of science, mathematics, and technology have been made by different kinds of people, in different cultures, at different times.
- 1. DESIGN CONSTRAINTS: Explain that complex systems require control mechanisms.
- Explain that the choice of materials for a job depends on their properties and on how they interact with other materials.
- Demonstrate that all control systems have inputs, outputs, and feedback.
- Realize that design usually requires taking constraints into account. (Some constraints, such as gravity or the properties of the materials to be used, are unavoidable. Other constraints, including economic, political, social, ethical, and aesthetic ones also limit choices.)
- Identify reasons that systems fail-they have faulty or poorly matched parts, are used in ways that exceed what was intended by the design, or were poorly designed to begin with.
- 1. DESIGNED SYSTEMS: Analyze, design, assemble and troubleshoot complex systems.
- Provide evidence that a system can include processes as well as things.
- Explain that thinking about things as systems means looking for how every part relates to others. (The output from one part of a system (which can include material, energy, or information) can become the input to other parts. Such feedback can serve to control what goes on in the system as a whole.)
- Analyze any system to determine its connection, both internally and externally to other systems and explain that a system may be thought of as containing subsystems and as being a subsystem of a larger system.
- 1. MAKING MODELS: Analyze the value and the limitations of different types of models in explaining real things and processes.
- Explain that the kind of model to use and how complex it should be depends on its purpose and that it is possible to have different models used to represent the same thing.
- Explain, using examples that models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly, or that are too vast to be changed deliberately, or that are potentially dangerous.
- Explain that models may sometimes mislead by suggesting characteristics that are not really shared with what is being modeled.
Standard 2.0 Earth/Space Science
- 1. Explain how sedimentary rock is formed periodically, embedding plant and animal remains and leaving a record of the sequence in which the plants and animals appeared and disappeared.
- Explain how sedimentary rock buried deep enough may be reformed by pressure and heat and these re-formed rock layers may be forced up again (uplift) to become land surface and even mountains.
- Cite evidence to confirm that thousands of layers of sedimentary rock reveal the long history of the changing surface of the Earth.
- Explain why some fossils found in the top layers of sedimentary rock are older then those found beneath in lower layers.
- Recognize and explain that the fossil record of plants and animals describes changes in life forms over time.
- 1. Identify and describe the components of the universe.
- Recognize that a galaxy contains billions of stars that cannot be distinguished by the unaided eye because of their great distance from Earth, and that there are billions of galaxies.
- Identify and describe the various types of galaxies
- Identify and describe the type, size, and scale, of the Milky Way Galaxy.
- Identify and describe the relationships among the period of revolution of a planet, the length of its solar year, and its distance from the sun.
- Identify and explain the relationship between the rotation of a planet or moon on its axis and the length of the solar day for that celestial object.
- Identify and explain the cause of the phases of the moon.
- Describe how lunar and solar eclipses occur.
- 3. Recognize and explain the effects of the tilt of Earth's axis.
- Recognize and describe that Earth's axis is tilted about 23¼° from vertical with respect to the plane of its orbit and points in the same direction during the year.
- Recognize and describe that as Earth orbits the sun, the tilt of Earth's axis causes
- Changes in the angle of the sun in the sky during the year
- Seasonal differences in the northern and southern latitudes
- Recognize and describe how the tilt of Earth's axis affects the climate in Maryland.
- Identify and describe the cause of high and low tides.
- Identify and describe how the temperature and precipitation in a geographic area are affected by surface features and changes in atmospheric and ocean content.
- 2. Recognize and describe the various factors that affect climate.
- 3. Identify and describe the atmospheric and hydrospheric conditions related to weather systems.
- Identify and describe how various tools are used to collect weather data and forecast weather conditions.
Standard 3.0 Life Science
- 1. Recognize and describe that evolutionary change in species over time occurs as a result of natural variation in organisms and environmental changes.
- Recognize and describe that gradual (climatic) and sudden (floods and fires) changes in environmental conditions affect the survival of organisms and populations.
- Recognize that adaptations may include variations in structures, behaviors, or physiology, such as spiny leaves on a cactus, birdcalls, and antibiotic resistant bacteria.
- Recognize and describe that adaptation and speciation involve the selection of natural variations in a population.
Standard 4.0 Chemistry
- Investigate and describe what happens to the properties of elements when they react chemically with other elements.
- 1. Provide evidence to support the fact that the idea of atoms explains conservation of matter.
- Use appropriate tools to gather data and provide evidence that equal volumes of different substances usually have different masses.
- Give reasons to justify the statement, "If the number of atoms stays the same no matter how the same atoms are rearranged, then their total mass stays the same."
D. Physical and Chemical Changes
- Analyze the results of research completed to develop a comparison of compounds and mixtures.
- 3. Provide evidence to support the fact that common substances have the ability to change into new substances.
- Investigate and describe the occurrence of chemical reactions using the following evidence:
- Color change
- Formation of a precipitate or gas
- Release of heat or light
- Use evidence from observations to identify and describe factors that influence reaction rates.
Standard 5.0 Physics
- Observe, describe, and compare the motions of objects using position, speed, velocity, and the direction.
- Based on data given or collected, graph and calculate average speed using distance and time.
- Compare accelerated and constant motions using time, distance, and velocity.
- 2. Identify and relate formal ideas (Newton's Laws) about the interaction of force and motion to real world experiences.
- Investigate and explain the interaction of force and motion that causes objects that are at rest to move.
- Demonstrate and explain, through a variety of examples, that moving objects will stay in motion at the same speed and in the same direction unless acted on by an unbalanced force.
- Investigate and collect data from multiple trials, about the motion that explain the motion that results when the same force acts on objects of different mass; and when different amounts of force act on objects of the same mass.
- 3. Recognize and explain that every object exerts gravitational force on every other object.
- Describe the relationship between the gravitational force and the masses of the attracting objects.
- Describe the relationship between the gravitational force and the distance between the attracting objects.
- Recognize and cite examples showing that mass remains the same in all locations while weight may vary with a change in location (weight on Earth compared to weight on moon).
- 4. Recognize and explain that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather it changes form or is transferred through the action of forces.
- Identify the relationship between the amount of energy transferred (work) to the product of the applied force and the distance moved in the direction of that force.
- Identify and describe that simple machines (levers and inclined planes) may reduce the amount of effort required to do work.
- Calculate input and output work using force and distance
- Demonstrate that input work is always greater than output work
- Based on observable phenomena, identify and describe examples of heat being transferred through conduction and through convection.
- 2. Identify and explain that heat energy is a product of the conversion of one form of energy to another.
- Identify and describe the various forms of energy that are transformed in order for systems (living and non-living) to operate.
- Chemical - Flashlight battery-Light
- Mechanical - Pulleys-Motion
- Solar/Radiant - Solar calculator
- Chemical - Plant cells
Standard 6.0 Environmental Science
- 1. Recognize and explain how human activities can accelerate or magnify many naturally occurring changes.
- Based on data from research identify and describe how natural processes change the environment.
- Identify and describe how human activities produce changes in natural processes:
Note: Highlighting identifies assessment limits. All highlighted Indicators will be tested on the Grades 5 and 8 MSA. The highlighted Objectives under each highlighted Indicator identify the limit to which MSA items can be written. Although all content standards are tested on MSA, not all Indicators and Objectives are tested. Objectives that are not highlighted will not be tested on MSA, however are an integral part of Instruction.