State Science Standards and What You Need to Know:
Motion and Forces
• Descriptive rather than calculated
• Newton’s laws (inertia, acceleration, momentum) (e.g. use of vehicle seatbelts, amusement
park rides, which object would have greater momentum, soccer ball/bowling ball).
· Vocabulary: velocity, speed, force acceleration, momentum, friction, inertia, mass, acceleration
• State of matter, temperature, density, solubility, conductivity, magnetic, malleability,
ductility, color, freezing and boiling points, etc.
• Flammability, corrosiveness, explosiveness, oxidation, etc.
Examples of science measuring tools
• Balance, metric ruler, beaker, graduated cylinder, thermometer, conductivity probe, etc.
Qualitative understanding of density
• E.g. heavy for its size
· Vocabulary: displacement, heterogeneous mixture, homogeneous mixture, reaction, solution,
• The atmosphere of the Earth has several layers.
• The Layers of the Atmosphere have different compositions.
• The current atmosphere is different than the early atmosphere of the Earth.
• The early atmosphere had no oxygen.
• Early life changed the atmosphere and the rocks of the Earth (e.g. banded iron
formations showing rust)
• Plants interact with the atmosphere and the atmosphere interacts with plants
• Animals interact with the atmosphere and the atmosphere interacts with animals.
• Human civilization has an impact on the atmosphere (e.g. smog, ozone layer).
• Natural cycles change the atmosphere over long periods of time (e.g. ice ages,
· Vocabulary: greenhouse effect, acid rain, global warming ozone depletion, stratosphere, troposphere, mesosphere, exosphere, thermosphere, ionosphere
Water Cycle Processes
· Cloud formation and nucleation
· Vocabulary: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, collection/runoff, rain shadow
Cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems
• Similar cells interact to form tissues that interact to form organs that interact to form
• The various levels of organization can be described by their particular functions.
Interactions & Change
• Organ systems interact and change based on the activities of the organism (e.g.
running increases respiration and circulation based on muscular needs).
· Vocabulary: skeletal system (skeleton), muscular system (muscles), digestive system (digestion,
stomach), circulatory system (heart), respiratory system (respiration, lungs), excretory system
(excretion, kidney), nervous system (brain), endocrine system, immune system, reproductive system
Processes of Organelles
• Organelles perform specific processes.
Cellular processes within a cell
• The organelles work together to perform cell functions (e.g. photosynthesis,
cellular respiration, osmosis/diffusion, active transport, waste removal)
• Organelles use raw materials (e.g. nutrients, water, gases, sunlight) to perform
• Cells obtain raw materials in different ways (e.g. chloroplasts help use the
energy from the sun; how cells in roots obtain water).
· Vocabulary: nucleus, mitochondria, chloroplast/chlorophyll, glucose, cell membrane, cell
wall, cytoplasm, ribosome, protein synthesis, photosynthesis, stomata, respiration, selectively
permeable, passive transport
Inherited vs. Learned Traits
• Inherited traits are those which are genetically determined while learned or acquired
traits are the result of environmental influences (example: bleached hair vs. natural hair
• Inherited traits are passed along to offspring through the genetic material from
the parent generation.
Relationships of Genetic Expression
• Punnett squares are used as tools for the prediction of the outcomes of various
• Modification of genetic materials occurs due to an alteration of genetic material
(DNA) by such events as mutation.
• Genes, carried on chromosomes as homozygous or heterozygous allele pairs,
make up the genotype of an individual.
• Because of dominant and recessive alleles, only one of the genes may be expressed in
• Some alleles may be expressed as co-dominant or blended dominant in the
· Vocabulary: heredity, gene/alleles, chromosome, DNA, RNA, homozygous, heterozygous
Plants and animals obtain energy and materials for
growth and metabolism
Plants Obtain Energy through Photosynthesis
• Photosynthesis involves using the energy from sunlight to power a process to combine water and carbon dioxide to produce glucose and oxygen.
• Photosynthesis occurs in the chloroplasts which contain the photosynthetic
Animals Obtain Energy from Materials Consumed
• Materials may be consumed from plants or other animals.
• Digestion/absorption provides cells with energy-containing materials.
• Inside animal cells, cellular metabolism converts materials into new cell
products, such as proteins and sugars, and cellular respiration releases carbon dioxide and energy.
• Food chains/food webs (producers, consumers, scavengers, decomposers) transfer energy, originally from sunlight, to plants and animals.
· Vocabulary: metabolism, cellular respiration
Possible learning targets: Underline the literacy component
Populations of Organisms
• A population is a group of organisms of a single given species.
• Population size changes with growth, stability (equilibrium), or decline.
• Carrying capacity is the population size determined by the limiting factors found in a particular habitat.
Interactions among populations can be described
• Energy interactions occur between different populations: predator, prey; producer, consumer; parasite, host.
• Relationships (beneficial, harmful, competitive, shared)
Changes in populations are related to resources
• Ecosystems consist of biotic and abiotic factors (e.g. – quantity of light & water, range of temperatures, soil composition).
• Limiting resources/factors are those that restrict the growth and size of populations, (e.g., food supply, disease, predation
· Vocabulary: niche, food chain/web, energy pyramid, symbiosis, mutualism
• Propose questions or hypotheses
• Use observations and scientific principles
• Design a scientific investigation
• Identify appropriate tools and techniques
• Collect data relevant to the question or hypothesis
• Relevant data
• dependent variable
• independent variable
Results of an investigation
• Relevant data is organized and displayed (e.g. tables, graphs)
• Explanation of results is based on evidence obtained from the investigation
• Conclusions are communicated in a manner that relates to the original question or
Validity of an investigation
• Valid scientific explanations and conclusions are based on evidence cited from the investigation
• Both the amount and quality of the evidence are important in determining
• Investigation should deal with only one variable at a time.
• More than one variable may yield an outcome that is not clearly related to or caused byany individual variable.
• Independent variable (manipulated variable)
• Dependent variable/responding variable
Explain how energy is transferred, transformed, and conserved
• Transformation (e.g. conduction, radiation, convection)
• Transformed (e.g. mechanical energy from a river to electrical energy)
• Law of Conservation of Energy
• Potential vs. Kinetic Energy (e.g. pendulum)
· Vocabulary: thermal, electromagnetic, sound, chemical, electrical, mechanical,
nuclear, electromagnetic, kinetic, potential, transformed, conservation of energy
The motion and spacing of particles determines states of matter
• Is related to energy
• Increased energy - increased movement - increased spacing
• Decreased energy – decreased movement - decreased spacing (except water to ice)
• The closer particles are to each other the denser a substance will be.
· Vocabulary: energy, solid, liquid, gas, density
Compare and contrast physical and chemical changes and describe how the law of
conservation of mass applies to these changes.
• Tearing paper, phase change, creating a mixture (e.g., trail mix)
• Burning, rusting, forming compounds (e.g., baking cookies)
• Qualitative description of how mass is conserved – reactants to products
Indicators of chemical change may include:
• change in temperature
• electrical potential
• color change
• gas produced
• solid produced
• light produced
• change in smell
· Vocabulary: conservation of mass, chemical reaction, molecular, suspension, system
Explain how gravity is the force that keeps objects in the solar system in regular and
predictable motion. Explain Earth’s seasons.
• Law of Gravitation
• Orbiting objects
• Axis tilt
• Differential heating
• Equinox and Solstice
• Length of Daylight
• Directness of Sunlight
• Lunar and Solar Eclipses
• Moon Phases
· Vocabulary: gravity, earth’s axis, rotation, revolution, seasons, eclipses, phases, eclipse, equator, hemisphere, latitude
• Particles in an atom and where they are located (i.e., electrons orbit around a
nucleus of protons and neutrons)
• Different atoms have different numbers of particles and different atomic masses.
Qualitative description of bonding
• The outermost electrons are involved to join atoms together.
• Different numbers of atoms join together to create different compounds (e.g.
oxygen joins with 2 hydrogen to form a new compound with different properties
than the original elements, sodium + chlorine = salt).
· Vocabulary: nucleus, proton, neutron, electron, electron cloud, chemical
properties, elements, compounds, molecule, atomic mass
• A tool for organizing elements based on properties and characteristics
• Metal/nonmetals/metalloids are areas on the Periodic Table and those elements share common characteristics.
• Noble gases are stable elements.
• Atomic number gives us information about the atom.
• Atomic mass is an average mass of the isotopes of that type of atom.
• Rows and columns have meaning.
· Vocabulary: metal, non-metal, metalloid, family, period, isotope, atomic mass,
atomic number, noble gases
Sea Floor Spreading
Lithospheric (crustal) Plates
Plate Boundaries (constructive, destructive)
Fault block Mountains
· Vocabulary: crust, mantle, lithosphere, divergent boundary, convergent boundary, transformed boundary, ridges/trenches, faults, subduction, continental drift, Pangaea, convection, cementation, crystallization, fossilization, magnetic reversals, metamorphism, minerals, plateau
Species Change as a Result of Natural Selection
• Variations occur in the population of a species through changes in their genetic
material (DNA on chromosomes).
• More offspring are produced than can survive due to limiting factors in their
• Natural selection factors, such as changes in environment, food supply,
predators, or disease, will select for those individuals of the species best able to
survive, and these, in turn, will pass along their genetics to their offspring.
Example: when antibiotics are applied to a population of bacteria, most of the
bacteria die, but some are resistant to the antibiotic and pass on this resistance to
• Failure of a species to have variations needed for survival under changing
conditions can lead to extinction.
· Vocabulary: natural selection, variation, evolution, adaptation, species, homologous
structures, adaptation, niche, random