Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Next Generation Science Standards are structured into Earth Space Science, Life Science, and Physical Science disciplines, along with Crosscutting Concepts and the principles for Understanding Nature of Science.
|Earth Space Science|
|Understanding Nature of Science|
These topics are progressively taught from Kindergarten to 12th grade. The standard defines the high level material that should be taught during a three year interval, and provides sample assessments for level of attainment. Summary tables can be found below.
|Earth Space Science Progression|
|The universe and its stars||Patterns of movement of the sun, moon, and stars as seen from Earth can be observed, described, and predicted.||Stars range greatly in size and distance from Earth and this can explain their relative brightness.||The solar system is part of the Milky Way, which is one of many billions of galaxies.||Light spectra from stars are used to determine their characteristics, processes, and lifecycles. Solar activity creates the elements through nuclear fusion. The development of technologies has provided the astronomical data that provide the empirical evidence for the Big Bang theory.|
|Earth and the solar system||Patterns of movement of the sun, moon, and stars as seen from Earth can be observed, described, and predicted.||The Earth’s orbit and rotation, and the orbit of the moon around the Earth cause observable patterns.||The solar system contains many varied objects held together by gravity. Solar system models explain and predict eclipses, lunar phases, and seasons.||Kepler’s laws describe common features of the motions of orbiting objects. Observations from astronomy and space probes provide evidence for explanations of solar system formation. Changes in Earth’s tilt and orbit cause climate changes such as Ice Ages.|
|The history of planet Earth||Some events on Earth occur very quickly; others can occur very slowly.||Certain features on Earth can be used to order events that have occurred in a landscape.||Rock strata and the fossil record can be used as evidence to organize the relative occurrence of major historical events in Earth’s history.||The rock record resulting from tectonic and other geoscience processes as well as objects from the solar system can provide evidence of Earth’s early history and the relative ages of major geologic formations.|
|Earth materials and systems||Wind and water change the shape of the land.||Four major Earth systems interact. Rainfall helps to shape the land and affects the types of living things found in a region. Water, ice, wind, organisms, and gravity break rocks, soils, and sediments into smaller pieces and move them around.||Energy flows and matter cycles within and among Earth’s systems, including the sun and Earth’s interior as primary energy sources. Plate tectonics is one result of these processes.||Feedback effects exist within and among Earth’s systems.|
|Plate tectonics and large-scale system interactions||Maps show where things are located. One can map the shapes and kinds of land and water in any area.||Earth’s physical features occur in patterns, as do earthquakes and volcanoes. Maps can be used to locate features and determine patterns in those events.||Plate tectonics is the unifying theory that explains movements of rocks at Earth’s surface and geological history. Maps are used to display evidence of plate movement.||Radioactive decay within Earth’s interior contributes to thermal convection in the mantle.|
|The roles of water in Earth’s surface processes||Water is found in many types of places and in different forms on Earth.||Most of Earth’s water is in the ocean and much of the Earth’s fresh water is in glaciers or underground.||Water cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere, and is propelled by sunlight and gravity. Density variations of sea water drive interconnected ocean currents. Water movement causes weathering and erosion, changing landscape features. ------ Complex interactions determine local weather patterns and influence climate, including the role of the ocean.||The planet’s dynamics are greatly influenced by water’s unique chemical and physical properties.|
|Weather and climate||Weather is the combination of sunlight, wind, snow or rain, and temperature in a particular region and time. People record weather patterns over time.||Climate describes patterns of typical weather conditions over different scales and variations. Historical weather patterns can be analyzed.||Water cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere, and is propelled by sunlight and gravity. Density variations of sea water drive interconnected ocean currents. Water movement causes weathering and erosion, changing landscape features. ------ Complex interactions determine local weather patterns and influence climate, including the role of the ocean.||The role of radiation from the sun and its interactions with the atmosphere, ocean, and land are the foundation for the global climate system. Global climate models are used to predict future changes, including changes influenced by human behavior and natural factors.|
|Biogeology||Plants and animals can change their local environment. ------ Living things need water, air, and resources from the land, and they live in places that have the things they need. Humans use natural resources for everything they do.||Living things can affect the physical characteristics of their environment.||[Content found in LS4.A and LS4.D]||The biosphere and Earth’s other systems have many interconnections that cause a continual co-evolution of Earth’s surface and life on it|
|Natural resources||Plants and animals can change their local environment. ------ Living things need water, air, and resources from the land, and they live in places that have the things they need. Humans use natural resources for everything they do.||Energy and fuels humans use are derived from natural sources and their use affects the environment. Some resources are renewable over time, others are not.||Humans depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere for different resources, many of which are limited or not renewable. Resources are distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geologic processes.||Resource availability has guided the development of human society and use of natural resources has associated costs, risks, and benefits.|
|Natural hazards||In a region, some kinds of severe weather are more likely than others. Forecasts allow communities to prepare for severe weather.||A variety of hazards result from natural processes; humans cannot eliminate hazards but can reduce their impacts.||Mapping the history of natural hazards in a region and understanding related geological forces.||Natural hazards and other geological events have shaped the course of human history at local, regional, and global scales.|
|Human impacts on Earth systems||Things people do can affect the environment but they can make choices to reduce their impacts.||Societal activities have had major effects on the land, ocean, atmosphere, and even outer space. Societal activities can also help protect Earth’s resources and environments.||Human activities have altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging it, although changes to environments can have different impacts for different living things. Activities and technologies can be engineered to reduce people’s impacts on Earth.||Sustainability of human societies and the biodiversity that supports them requires responsible management of natural resources, including the development of technologies.|
|Global climate change||N/A||N/A||Human activities affect global warming. Decisions to reduce the impact of global warming depend on understanding climate science, engineering capabilities, and social dynamics.||Global climate models used to predict changes continue to be improved, although discoveries about the global climate system are ongoing and continually needed.|
|Life Science Progression|
|Structure and function||All organisms have external parts that they use to perform daily functions.||Organisms have both internal and external macroscopic structures that allow for growth, survival, behavior, and reproduction.||All living things are made up of cells. In organisms, cells work together to form tissues and organs that are specialized for particular body functions.||Systems of specialized cells within organisms help perform essential functions of life. Any one system in an organism is made up of numerous parts. Feedback mechanisms maintain an organism’s internal conditions within certain limits and mediate behaviors.|
|Growth and development of organisms||Parents and offspring often engage in behaviors that help the offspring survive.||Reproduction is essential to every kind of organism. Organisms have unique and diverse life cycles.||Animals engage in behaviors that increase the odds of reproduction. An organism’s growth is affected by both genetic and environmental factors.||Growth and division of cells in organisms occurs by mitosis and differentiation for specific cell types.|
|Organization for matter and energy flow in organisms||Animals obtain food they need from plants or other animals. Plants need water and light.||Food provides animals with the materials and energy they need for body repair, growth, warmth, and motion. Plants acquire material for growth chiefly from air, water, and process matter and obtain energy from sunlight, which is used to maintain conditions necessary for survival.||Plants use the energy from light to make sugars through photosynthesis. Within individual organisms, food is broken down through a series of chemical reactions that rearrange molecules and release energy.||The hydrocarbon backbones of sugars produced through photosynthesis are used to make amino acids and other molecules that can be assembled into proteins or DNA. Through cellular respiration, matter and energy flow through different organizational levels of an organism as elements are recombined to form different products and transfer energy.|
|Information Processing||Animals sense and communicate information and respond to inputs with behaviors that help them grow and survive.||Different sense receptors are specialized for particular kinds of information; Animals use their perceptions and memories to guide their actions.||Each sense receptor responds to different inputs, transmitting them as signals that travel along nerve cells to the brain; The signals are then processed in the brain, resulting in immediate behavior or memories.||N/A|
|Interdependent relationships in ecosystems||Plants depend on water and light to grow, and also depend on animals for pollination or to move their seeds around.||The food of almost any animal can be traced back to plants. Organisms are related in food webs in which some animals eat plants for food and other animals eat the animals that eat plants, while decomposers restore some materials back to the soil.||Organisms and populations are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors, any of which can limit their growth. Competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial interactions vary across ecosystems but the patterns are shared.||Ecosystems have carrying capacities resulting from biotic and abiotic factors. The fundamental tension between resource availability and organism populations affects the abundance of species in any given ecosystem.|
|Cycles of matter and energy transfer in ecosystems||[Content found in LS1.C and ESS3.A]||Matter cycles between the air and soil and among organisms as they live and die.||The atoms that make up the organisms in an ecosystem are cycled repeatedly between the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem. Food webs model how matter and energy are transferred among producers, consumers, and decomposers as the three groups interact within an ecosystem.||Photosynthesis and cellular respiration provide most of the energy for life processes. Only a fraction of matter consumed at the lower level of a food web is transferred up, resulting in fewer organisms at higher levels. At each link in an ecosystem elements are combined in different ways and matter and energy are conserved. Photosynthesis and cellular respiration are key components of the global carbon cycle.|
|Ecosystem dynamics, functioning, and resilience||N/A||When the environment changes some organisms survive and reproduce, some move to new locations, some move into the transformed environment, and some die.||Ecosystem characteristics vary over time. Disruptions to any part of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all of its populations. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health.||If a biological or physical disturbance to an ecosystem occurs, including one induced by human activity, the ecosystem may return to its more or less original state or become a very different ecosystem, depending on the complex set of interactions within the ecosystem.|
|Social interactions and group behavior||N/A||Being part of a group helps animals obtain food, defend themselves, and cope with changes.||N/A||Group behavior has evolved because membership can increase the chances of survival for individuals and their genetic relatives.|
|Inheritance of traits||Young organisms are very much, but not exactly, like their parents and also resemble other organisms of the same kind.||Different organisms vary in how they look and function because they have different inherited information; the environment also affects the traits that an organism develops.||Genes chiefly regulate a specific protein, which affect an individual’s traits.||DNA carries instructions for forming species’ characteristics. Each cell in an organism has the same genetic content, but genes expressed by cells can differ|
|Variation of traits||Young organisms are very much, but not exactly, like their parents and also resemble other organisms of the same kind.||Different organisms vary in how they look and function because they have different inherited information; the environment also affects the traits that an organism develops.||In sexual reproduction, each parent contributes half of the genes acquired by the offspring resulting in variation between parent and offspring. Genetic information can be altered because of mutations, which may result in beneficial, negative, or no change to proteins in or traits of an organism.||The variation and distribution of traits in a population depend on genetic and environmental factors. Genetic variation can result from mutations caused by environmental factors or errors in DNA replication, or from chromosomes swapping sections during meiosis.|
|Evidence of common ancestry and diversity||N/A||Some living organisms resemble organisms that once lived on Earth. Fossils provide evidence about the types of organisms and environments that existed long ago.||The fossil record documents the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of many life forms and their environments through Earth’s history. The fossil record and comparisons of anatomical similarities between organisms enables the inference of lines of evolutionary descent.||The ongoing branching that produces multiple lines of descent can be inferred by comparing DNA sequences, amino acid sequences, and anatomical and embryological evidence of different organisms.|
|Natural selection||N/A||Differences in characteristics between individuals of the same species provide advantages in surviving and reproducing.||Both natural and artificial selection result from certain traits giving some individuals an advantage in surviving and reproducing, leading to predominance of certain traits in a population.||Natural selection occurs only if there is variation in the genes and traits between organisms in a population. Traits that positively affect survival can become more common in a population.|
|Adaptation||N/A||Particular organisms can only survive in particular environments. --- Populations of organisms live in a variety of habitats. Change in those habitats affects the organisms living there.||Species can change over time in response to changes in environmental conditions through adaptation by natural selection acting over generations. Traits that support successful survival and reproduction in the new environment become more common.||Evolution results primarily from genetic variation of individuals in a species, competition for resources, and proliferation of organisms better able to survive and reproduce. Adaptation means that the distribution of traits in a population, as well as species expansion, emergence or extinction, can change when conditions change.|
|Biodiversity and humans||A range of different organisms lives in different places.||Particular organisms can only survive in particular environments. --- Populations of organisms live in a variety of habitats. Change in those habitats affects the organisms living there.||Changes in biodiversity can influence humans’ resources and ecosystem services they rely on.||Biodiversity is increased by formation of new species and reduced by extinction. ---- Humans depend on biodiversity but also have adverse impacts on it. Sustaining biodiversity is essential to supporting life on Earth.|
|Physical Science Progression|
|Structure of matter (includes PS1.C Nuclear processes)||Matter exists as different substances that have observable different properties. Different properties are suited to different purposes. Objects can be built up from smaller parts.||Because matter exists as particles that are too small to see, matter is always conserved even if it seems to disappear. Measurements of a variety of observable properties can be used to identify particular materials.||The fact that matter is composed of atoms and molecules can be used to explain the properties of substances, diversity of materials, states of matter, phase changes, and conservation of matter.||The sub-atomic structural model and interactions between electric charges at the atomic scale can be used to explain the structure and interactions of matter, including chemical reactions and nuclear processes. Repeating patterns of the periodic table reflect patterns of outer electrons. A stable molecule has less energy than the same set of atoms separated; one must provide at least this energy to take the molecule apart.|
|Chemical reactions||Heating and cooling substances cause changes that are sometimes reversible and sometimes not.||Chemical reactions that occur when substances are mixed can be identified by the emergence of substances with different properties; the total mass remains the same.||Reacting substances rearrange to form different molecules, but the number of atoms is conserved. Some reactions release energy and others absorb energy.||Chemical processes are understood in terms of collisions of molecules, rearrangement of atoms, and changes in energy as determined by properties of elements involved.|
|Forces and motion||Pushes and pulls can have different strengths and directions, and can change the speed or direction of its motion or start or stop it.||The effect of unbalanced forces on an object results in a change of motion. Patterns of motion can be used to predict future motion. Some forces act through contact, some forces act even when the objects are not in contact. The gravitational force of Earth acting on an object near Earth’s surface pulls that object toward the planet’s center.||The role of the mass of an object must be qualitatively accounted for in any change of motion due to the application of a force.||Newton’s 2nd law (F=ma) and the conservation of momentum can be used to predict changes in the motion of macroscopic objects.|
|Types of interactions||Pushes and pulls can have different strengths and directions, and can change the speed or direction of its motion or start or stop it.||The effect of unbalanced forces on an object results in a change of motion. Patterns of motion can be used to predict future motion. Some forces act through contact, some forces act even when the objects are not in contact. The gravitational force of Earth acting on an object near Earth’s surface pulls that object toward the planet’s center.||Forces that act at a distance involve fields that can be mapped by their relative strength and effect on an object.||Forces at a distance are explained by fields that can transfer energy and can be described in terms of the arrangement and properties of the interacting objects and the distance between them. These forces can be used to describe the relationship between electrical and magnetic fields.|
|Stability & instability in physical systems||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Definitions of energy||N/A||Moving objects contain energy. The faster the object moves, the more energy it has. Energy can be moved from place to place by moving objects, or through sound, light, or electrical currents. Energy can be converted from one form to another form.||Kinetic energy can be distinguished from the various forms of potential energy. Energy changes to and from each type can be tracked through physical or chemical interactions. The relationship between the temperature and the total energy of a system depends on the types, states, and amounts of matter.||The total energy within a system is conserved. Energy transfer within and between systems can be described and predicted in terms of energy associated with the motion or configuration of particles (objects). --- Systems move toward stable states.|
|Conservation of energy and energy transfer||[Content found in PS3.D]||Moving objects contain energy. The faster the object moves, the more energy it has. Energy can be moved from place to place by moving objects, or through sound, light, or electrical currents. Energy can be converted from one form to another form.||Kinetic energy can be distinguished from the various forms of potential energy. Energy changes to and from each type can be tracked through physical or chemical interactions. The relationship between the temperature and the total energy of a system depends on the types, states, and amounts of matter.||The total energy within a system is conserved. Energy transfer within and between systems can be described and predicted in terms of energy associated with the motion or configuration of particles (objects). --- Systems move toward stable states.|
|Relationship between energy and forces||Bigger pushes and pulls cause bigger changes in an object’s motion or shape.||When objects collide, contact forces transfer energy so as to change the objects’ motions.||When two objects interact, each one exerts a force on the other, and these forces can transfer energy between them.||Fields contain energy that depends on the arrangement of the objects in the field.|
|Energy in chemical processes and everyday life||Sunlight warms Earth’s surface.||Energy can be “produced,” “used,” or “released” by converting stored energy. Plants capture energy from sunlight, which can later be used as fuel or food.||Sunlight is captured by plants and used in a reaction to produce sugar molecules, which can be reversed by burning those molecules to release energy.||Photosynthesis is the primary biological means of capturing radiation from the sun; energy cannot be destroyed, it can be converted to less useful forms.|
|Wave properties||Sound can make matter vibrate, and vibrating matter can make sound.||Waves are regular patterns of motion, which can be made in water by disturbing the surface. Waves of the same type can differ in amplitude and wavelength. Waves can make objects move.||A simple wave model has a repeating pattern with a specific wavelength, frequency, and amplitude, and mechanical waves need a medium through which they are transmitted. This model can explain many phenomena including sound and light. Waves can transmit energy.||The wavelength and frequency of a wave are related to one another by the speed of the wave, which depends on the type of wave and the medium through which it is passing. Waves can be used to transmit information and energy.|
|Electromagnetic radiation||Objects can be seen only when light is available to illuminate them.||Object can be seen when light reflected from their surface enters our eyes. ---- Patterns can encode, send, receive and decode information.||The construct of a wave is used to model how light interacts with objects.||Both an electromagnetic wave model and a photon model explain features of electromagnetic radiation broadly and describe common applications of electromagnetic radiation.|
|Information technologies and instrumentation||People use devices to send and receive information.||Object can be seen when light reflected from their surface enters our eyes. ---- Patterns can encode, send, receive and decode information.||Waves can be used to transmit digital information. Digitized information is comprised of a pattern of 1s and 0s.||Large amounts of information can be stored and shipped around as a result of being digitized.|
|Nature of Science|
|Scientific Investigations Use a Variety of Methods||Science investigations begin with a question.
Science uses different ways to study the world.
|Science methods are determined by questions.
Science investigations use a variety of methods, tools, and techniques.
|Science investigations use a variety of methods and tools to make measurements and observations.
Science investigations are guided by a set of values to ensure accuracy of measurements, observations, and objectivity of findings.
Science depends on evaluating proposed explanations.
Scientific values function as criteria in distinguishing between science and non-science.
|Science investigations use diverse methods and do not always use the same set of procedures to obtain data.
New technologies advance scientific knowledge.
Scientific inquiry is characterized by a common set of values that include: logical thinking, precision, open-mindedness, objectivity, skepticism, replicability of results, and honest and ethical reporting of findings.
The discourse practices of science are organized around disciplinary domains that share exemplars for making decisions regarding the values, instruments, methods, models, and evidence to adopt and use.
Scientific investigations use a variety of methods, tools, and techniques to revise and produce new knowledge.
|Scientific Knowledge is Based on Empirical Evidence||Scientists look for patterns and order when making observations about the world.||Science findings are based on recognizing patterns.
Science uses tools and technologies to make accurate measurements and observations.
|Science knowledge is based upon logical and conceptual connections between evidence and explanations.
Science disciplines share common rules of obtaining and evaluating empirical evidence.
|Science knowledge is based on empirical evidence.
Science disciplines share common rules of evidence used to evaluate explanations about natural systems.
Science includes the process of coordinating patterns of evidence with current theory.
Science arguments are strengthened by multiple lines of evidence supporting a single explanation.
|Scientific Knowledge is Open to Revision in Light of New Evidence||Science knowledge can change when new information is found.||Science explanations can change based on new evidence.||Scientific explanations are subject to revision and improvement in light of new evidence.
The certainty and durability of science findings varies.
Science findings are frequently revised and/or reinterpreted based on new evidence.
|Scientific explanations can be probabilistic.
Most scientific knowledge is quite durable but is, in principle, subject to change based on new evidence and/or reinterpretation of existing evidence.
Scientific argumentation is a mode of logical discourse used to clarify the strength of relationships between ideas and evidence that may result in revision of an explanation.
|Science Models, Laws, Mechanisms, and Theories Explain Natural Phenomena||Science uses drawings, sketches, and models as a way to communicate ideas.
Science searches for cause and effect relationships to explain natural events.
|Science theories are based on a body of evidence and many tests.
Science explanations describe the mechanisms for natural events.
|Theories are explanations for observable phenomena.
Science theories are based on a body of evidence developed over time.
Laws are regularities or mathematical descriptions of natural phenomena.
A hypothesis is used by scientists as an idea that may contribute important new knowledge for the evaluation of a scientific theory.
The term "theory" as used in science is very different from the common use outside of science.
|Theories and laws provide explanations in science, but theories do not with time become laws or facts.
A scientific theory is a substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that has been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment, and the science community validates each theory before it is accepted. If new evidence is discovered that the theory does not accommodate, the theory is generally modified in light of this new evidence.
Models, mechanisms, and explanations collectively serve as tools in the development of a scientific theory.
Laws are statements or descriptions of the relationships among observable phenomena.
Scientists often use hypotheses to develop and test theories and explanations
|Science is a Way of Knowing||Science knowledge helps us know about the world.||Science is both a body of knowledge and processes that add new knowledge.
Science is a way of knowing that is used by many people.
|Science is both a body of knowledge and the processes and practices used to add to that body of knowledge.
Science knowledge is cumulative and many people, from many generations and nations, have contributed to science knowledge.
Science is a way of knowing used by many people, not just scientists.
|Science is both a body of knowledge that represents a current understanding of natural systems and the processes used to refine, elaborate, revise, and extend this knowledge.
Science is a unique way of knowing and there are other ways of knowing.
Science distinguishes itself from other ways of knowing through use of empirical standards, logical arguments, and skeptical review.
Science knowledge has a history that includes the refinement of, and changes to, theories, ideas, and beliefs over time.
|Scientific Knowledge Assumes an Order and Consistency in Natural Systems||Science assumes natural events happen today as they happened in the past.
Many events are repeated.
|Science assumes consistent patterns in natural systems.
Basic laws of nature are the same everywhere in the universe.
|Science assumes that objects and events in natural systems occur in consistent patterns that are understandable through measurement and observation.
Science carefully considers and evaluates anomalies in data and evidence.
|Scientific knowledge is based on the assumption that natural laws operate today as they did in the past and they will continue to do so in the future.
Science assumes the universe is a vast single system in which basic laws are consistent.
|Science is a Human Endeavor||People have practiced science for a long time.
Men and women of diverse backgrounds are scientists and engineers.
|Men and women from all cultures and backgrounds choose careers as scientists and engineers.
Most scientists and engineers work in teams.
Science affects everyday life.
Creativity and imagination are important to science.
|Men and women from different social, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds work as scientists and engineers.
Scientists and engineers rely on human qualities such as persistence, precision, reasoning, logic, imagination and creativity.
Scientists and engineers are guided by habits of mind such as intellectual honesty, tolerance of ambiguity, skepticism and openness to new ideas.
Advances in technology influence the progress of science and science has influenced advances in technology.
|Scientific knowledge is a result of human endeavor, imagination, and creativity.
Individuals and teams from many nations and cultures have contributed to science and to advances in engineering.
Scientists’ backgrounds, theoretical commitments, and fields of endeavor influence the nature of their findings.
Technological advances have influenced the progress of science and science has influenced advances in technology.
Science and engineering are influenced by society and society is influenced by science and engineering.
|Science Addresses Questions About the Natural and Material World.||Scientists study the natural and material world.||Science findings are limited to what can be answered with empirical evidence.||Scientific knowledge is constrained by human capacity, technology, and materials.
Science limits its explanations to systems that lend themselves to observation and empirical evidence.
Science knowledge can describe consequences of actions but is not responsible for society’s decisions.
|Not all questions can be answered by science.
Science and technology may raise ethical issues for which science, by itself, does not provide answers and solutions.
Science knowledge indicates what can happen in natural systems—not what should happen. The latter involves ethics, values, and human decisions about the use of knowledge.
Many decisions are not made using science alone, but rely on social and cultural contexts to resolve issues.
|Patterns||Patterns in the natural and human designed world can be observed, used to describe phenomena, and used as evidence.||Similarities and differences in patterns can be used to sort, classify, communicate and analyze simple rates of change for natural phenomena and designed products.
Patterns of change can be used to make predictions.
Patterns can be used as evidence to support an explanation.
|Macroscopic patterns are related to the nature of microscopic and atomic-level structure.
Patterns in rates of change and other numerical relationships can provide information about natural and human designed systems.
Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships.
Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.
|Different patterns may be observed at each of the scales at which a system is studied and can provide evidence for causality in explanations of phenomena.
Classifications or explanations used at one scale may fail or need revision when information from smaller or larger scales is introduced; thus requiring improved investigations and experiments.
Patterns of performance of designed systems can be analyzed and interpreted to reengineer and improve the system.
Mathematical representations are needed to identify some patterns.
|Cause and Effect: Mechanism and Prediction||Events have causes that generate observable patterns.
Simple tests can be designed to gather evidence to support or refute student ideas about causes.
|Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.
Events that occur together with regularity might or might not be a cause and effect relationship.
|Relationships can be classified as causal or correlational, and correlation does not necessarily imply causation.
Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.
Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.
|Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.
Cause and effect relationships can be suggested and predicted for complex natural and human designed systems by examining what is known about smaller scale mechanisms within the system.
Systems can be designed to cause a desired effect.
|Scale, Proportion, and Quantity||Relative scales allow objects and events to be compared and described (e.g., bigger and smaller; hotter and colder; faster and slower).
Standard units are used to measure length.
|Natural objects and/or observable phenomena exist from the very small to the immensely large or from very short to very long time periods.
Standard units are used to measure and describe physical quantities such as weight, time, temperature, and volume.
|Time, space, and energy phenomena can be observed at various scales using models to study systems that are too large or too small.
The observed function of natural and designed systems may change with scale.
Proportional relationships (e.g., speed as the ratio of distance traveled to time taken) among different types of quantities provide information about the magnitude of properties and processes.
Scientific relationships can be represented through the use of algebraic expressions and equations.
Phenomena that can be observed at one scale may not be observable at another scale.
|The significance of a phenomenon is dependent on the scale, proportion, and quantity at which it occurs.
Some systems can only be studied indirectly as they are too small, too large, too fast, or too slow to observe directly.
Patterns observable at one scale may not be observable or exist at other scales.
Using the concept of orders of magnitude allows one to understand how a model at one scale relates to a model at another scale.
Algebraic thinking is used to examine scientific data and predict the effect of a change in one variable on another (e.g., linear growth vs. exponential growth).
|Systems and System Models||Objects and organisms can be described in terms of their parts.
Systems in the natural and designed world have parts that work together.
|A system is a group of related parts that make up a whole and can carry out functions its individual parts cannot.
A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions.
|Systems may interact with other systems; they may have sub-systems and be a part of larger complex systems.
Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.
Models are limited in that they only represent certain aspects of the system under study.
|Systems can be designed to do specific tasks.
When investigating or describing a system, the boundaries and initial conditions of the system need to be defined and their inputs and outputs analyzed and described using models.
Models (e.g., physical, mathematical, computer models) can be used to simulate systems and interactions—including energy, matter, and information flows—within and between systems at different scales.
|Energy and Matter: Flows, Cycles, and Conservation||Objects may break into smaller pieces, be put together into larger pieces, or change shapes.||Matter is made of particles.
Matter flows and cycles can be tracked in terms of the weight of the substances before and after a process occurs. The total weight of the substances does not change. This is what is meant by conservation of matter. Matter is transported into, out of, and within systems.
Energy can be transferred in various ways and between objects.
|Matter is conserved because atoms are conserved in physical and chemical processes.
Within a natural or designed system, the transfer of energy drives the motion and/or cycling of matter.
Energy may take different forms (e.g. energy in fields, thermal energy, energy of motion).
The transfer of energy can be tracked as energy flows through a designed or natural system.
|The total amount of energy and matter in closed systems is conserved.
Changes of energy and matter in a system can be described in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system.
Energy cannot be created or destroyed—only moves between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems.
Energy drives the cycling of matter within and between systems.
|Structure and Function||The shape and stability of structures of natural and designed objects are related to their function(s).||Different materials have different substructures, which can sometimes be observed.
Substructures have shapes and parts that serve functions.
|Complex and microscopic structures and systems can be visualized, modeled, and used to describe how their function depends on the shapes, composition, and relationships among its parts; therefore, complex natural and designed structures/systems can be analyzed to determine how they function.
Structures can be designed to serve particular functions by taking into account properties of different materials, and how materials can be shaped and used.
|Investigating or designing new systems or structures requires a detailed examination of the properties of different materials, the structures of different components, and connections of components to reveal its function and/or solve a problem.
The functions and properties of natural and designed objects and systems can be inferred from their overall structure, the way their components are shaped and used, and the molecular substructures of its various materials.
|Stability and Change||Some things stay the same while other things change.
Things may change slowly or rapidly.
|Change is measured in terms of differences over time and may occur at different rates.
Some systems appear stable, but over long periods of time will eventually change.
|Explanations of stability and change in natural or designed systems can be constructed by examining the changes over time and forces at different scales, including the atomic scale.
Small changes in one part of a system might cause large changes in another part.
Stability might be disturbed either by sudden events or gradual changes that accumulate over time.
Systems in dynamic equilibrium are stable due to a balance of feedback mechanisms.
|Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable.
Change and rates of change can be quantified and modeled over very short or very long periods of time. Some system changes are irreversible.
Feedback (negative or positive) can stabilize or destabilize a system.
Systems can be designed for greater or lesser stability.
|Science Assessment by Grade|
|K-PS2-1 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions||K-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object. [Examples of pushes or pulls could include a string attached to an object being pulled, a person pushing an object, a person stopping a rolling ball, and two objects colliding and pushing on each other.] [Assessment is limited to different relative strengths or different directions, but not both at the same time. Assessment does not include non-contact pushes or pulls such as those produced by magnets.]||1-PS4-1 Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer||1-PS4-1. Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate. [Examples of vibrating materials that make sound could include tuning forks and plucking a stretched string. Examples of how sound can make matter vibrate could include holding a piece of paper near a speaker making sound and holding an object near a vibrating tuning fork.]||2-PS1-1 Matter and Its Interactions||2-PS1-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties. [Observations could include color, texture, hardness, and flexibility. Patterns could include the similar properties that different materials share.]|
|K-PS2-2 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions||K-PS2-2. Analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull.* [Examples of problems requiring a solution could include having a marble or other object move a certain distance, follow a particular path, and knock down other objects. Examples of solutions could include tools such as a ramp to increase the speed of the object and a structure that would cause an object such as a marble or ball to turn.] [Assessment does not include friction as a mechanism for change in speed.]||1-PS4-2 Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer||1-PS4-2. Make observations to contruct an evidence-based account that objects in darkness can be seen only when illuminated. [Examples of observations could include those made in a completely dark room, a pinhole box, and a video of a cave explorer with a flashlight. Illumination could be from an external light source or by an object giving off its own light.]||2-PS1-2 Matter and Its Interactions||2-PS1-2. Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.* [Examples of properties could include, strength, flexibility, hardness, texture, and absorbency.] [Assessment of quantitative measurements is limited to length.]|
|K-PS3-1 Energy||K-PS3-1. Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface. [Examples of Earth’s surface could include sand, soil, rocks, and water] [Assessment of temperature is limited to relative measures such as warmer/cooler.]||1-PS4-3 Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer||1-PS4-3. Plan and conduct investigations to determine the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light. [Examples of materials could include those that are transparent (such as clear plastic), translucent (such as wax paper), opaque (such as cardboard), and reflective (such as a mirror).] [Assessment does not include the speed of light.]||2-PS1-3 Matter and Its Interactions||2-PS1-3. Make observations to construct an evidence-based account of how an object made of a small set of pieces can be disassembled and made into a new object. [Examples of pieces could include blocks, building bricks, or other assorted small objects.]|
|K-PS3-2 Energy||K-PS3-2. Use tools and materials provided to design and build a structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface.* [Examples of structures could include umbrellas, canopies, and tents that minimize the warming effect of the sun.]||1-PS4-4 Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer||1-PS4-4. Use tools and materials to design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance.* [Examples of devices could include a light source to send signals, paper cup and string “telephones,” and a pattern of drum beats.] [Assessment does not include technological details for how communication devices work .]||2-PS1-4 Matter and Its Interactions||2-PS1-4. Construct an argument with evidence that some changes caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot. [Examples of reversible changes could include materials such as water and butter at different temperatures. Examples of irreversible changes could include cooking an egg, freezing a plant leaf, and heating paper.]|
|K-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes||K-LS1-1. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive. [Examples of patterns could include that animals need to take in food but plants do not; the different kinds of food needed by different types of animals; the requirement of plants to have light; and, that all living things need water.]||1-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes||1-LS1-1. Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.* [Examples of human problems that can be solved by mimicking plant or animal solutions could include designing clothing or equipment to protect bicyclists by mimicking turtle shells, acorn shells, and animal scales; stabilizing structures by mimicking animal tails and roots on plants; keeping out intruders by mimicking thorns on branches and animal quills; and, detecting intruders by mimicking eyes and ears.]||2-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics||2-LS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow. [Assessment is limited to testing one variable at a time.]|
|K-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems||K-ESS2-1. Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time. [Examples of qualitative observations could include descriptions of the weather (such as sunny, cloudy, rainy, and warm); examples of quantitative observations could include numbers of sunny, windy, and rainy days in a month. Examples of patterns could include that it is usually cooler in the morning than in the afternoon and the number of sunny days versus cloudy days in different months.] [Assessment of quantitative observations limited to whole numbers and relative different months.] [Assessment of quantitative observations limited to whole numbers and relative measures such as warmer/cooler.]||1-LS1-2 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes||1-LS1-2. Read texts and use media to determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive. [Examples of patterns of behaviors could include the signals that offspring make (such as crying, cheeping, and other vocalizations) and the responses of the parents (such as feeding, comforting, and protecting the offspring).]||2-LS2-2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics||2-LS2-2. Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.*|
|K-ESS2-2 Earth's Systems||K-ESS2-2. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs. [Examples of plants and animals changing their environment could include a squirrel digs in the ground to hide its food and tree roots can break concrete.]||1-LS3-1 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits||1-LS3-1. Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents. [Examples of patterns could include features plants or animals share. Examples of observations could include leaves from the same kind of plant are the same shape but can differ in size; and, a particular breed of dog looks like its parents but is not exactly the same.] [Assessment does not include inheritance or animals that undergo metamorphosis or hybrids.]||2-LS4-1 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity||2-LS4-1. Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats. [Emphasis is on the diversity of living things in each of a variety of different habitats.] [Assessment does not include specific animal and plant names in specific habitats.]|
|K-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity||K-ESS3-1. Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live. [Examples of relationships could include that deer eat buds and leaves, therefore, they usually live in forested areas; and, grasses need sunlight so they often grow in meadows. Plants, animals, and their surroundings make up a system.]||1-ESS1-1 Earth's Place in the Universe||1-ESS1-1. Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted. [Examples of patterns could include that the sun and moon appear to rise in one part of the sky, move across the sky, and set; and stars other than our sun are visible at night but not during the day.] [Assessment of star patterns is limited to stars being seen at night and not during the day.]||2-ESS1-1 Earth's Place in the Universe||2-ESS1-1. Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly. [Examples of events and timescales could include volcanic explosions and earthquakes, which happen quickly and erosion of rocks, which occurs slowly.] [Assessment does not include quantitative measurements of timescales.]|
|K-ESS3-2 Earth and Human Activity||K-ESS3-2. Ask questions to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.* [Emphasis is on local forms of severe weather.]||1-ESS1-2 Earth's Place in the Universe||1-ESS1-2. Make observations at different times of year to relate the amount of daylight to the time of year. [Emphasis is on relative comparisons of the amount of daylight in the winter to the amount in the spring or fall.] [Assessment is limited to relative amounts of daylight, not quantifying the hours or time of daylight.]||2-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems||2-ESS2-1. Compare multiple solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.* [Examples of solutions could include different designs of dikes and windbreaks to hold back wind and water, and different designs for using shrubs, grass, and trees to hold back the land.]|
|K-ESS3-3 Earth and Human Activity||K-ESS3-3. Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.* [Examples of human impact on the land could include cutting trees to produce paper and using resources to produce bottles. Examples of solutions could include reusing paper and recycling cans and bottles.]||K-2-ETS1-1 Engineering Design||K-2-ETS1-1. Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.||2-ESS2-2 Earth's Systems||2-ESS2-2. Develop a model to represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area. [Assessment does not include quantitative scaling in models.]|
|K-2-ETS1-2 Engineering Design||K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.||2-ESS2-3 Earth's Systems||2-ESS2-3. Obtain information to identify where water is found on Earth and that it can be solid or liquid.|
|K-2-ETS1-3 Engineering Design||K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.|
|Science Assessment by Grade|
|3-PS2-1 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions||3-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. [Examples could include an unbalanced force on one side of a ball can make it start moving; and, balanced forces pushing on a box from both sides will not produce any motion at all.] [Assessment is limited to one variable at a time: number, size, or direction of forces. Assessment does not include quantitative force size, only qualitative and relative. Assessment is limited to gravity being addressed as a force that pulls objects down.]||4-PS3-1 Energy||4-PS3-1. Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object. [Assessment does not include quantitative measures of changes in the speed of an object or on any precise or quantitative definition of energy.||5-PS1-1 Matter and Its Interactions||5-PS1-1. Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen. [Examples of evidence could include adding air to expand a basketball, compressing air in a syringe, dissolving sugar in water, and evaporating salt water.] [Assessment does not include the atomic-scale mechanism of evaporation and condensation or defining the unseen particles.]|
|3-PS2-2 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions||3-PS2-2. Make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that that a pattern can be used to predict future motion. [Examples of motion with a predictable pattern could include a child swinging in a swing, a ball rolling back and forth in a bowl, and two children on a see-saw.] [Assessment does not include technical terms such as period and frequency.]||4-PS3-2 Energy||4-PS3-2. Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents. [Assessment does not include quantitative measurements of energy.]||5-PS1-2 Matter and Its Interactions||5-PS1-2. Measure and graph quantities to provide evidence that regardless of the type of change that occurs when heating, cooling, or mixing substances, the total weight of matter is conserved. [Examples of reactions or changes could include phase changes, dissolving, and mixing that form new substances.] [Assessment does not include distinguishing mass and weight.]|
|3-PS2-3 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions||3-PS2-3. Ask questions to determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other. [Examples of an electric force could include the force on hair from an electrically charged balloon and the electrical forces between a charged rod and pieces of paper; examples of a magnetic force could include the force between two permanent magnets, the force between an electromagnet and steel paperclips, and the force exerted by one magnet versus the force exerted by two magnets. Examples of cause and effect relationships could include how the distance between objects affects strength of the force and how the orientation of magnets affects the direction of the magnetic force.] [Assessment is limited to forces produced by objects that can be manipulated by students, and electrical interactions are limited to static electricity.]||4-PS3-3 Energy||4-PS3-3. Ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide. [Emphasis is on the change in the energy due to the change in speed, not on the forces, as objects interact.] [Assessment does not include quantitative measurements of energy.]||5-PS1-3 Matter and Its Interactions||5-PS1-3. Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties. [Examples of materials to be identified could include baking soda and other powders, metals, minerals, and liquids. Examples of properties could include color, hardness, reflectivity, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, response to magnetic forces, and solubility; density is not intended as an identifiable property.] [Assessment does not include density or distinguishing mass and weight.]|
|3-PS2-4 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions||3-PS2-4. Define a simple design problem that can be solved by applying scientific ideas about magnets.* [Examples of problems could include constructing a latch to keep a door shut and creating a device to keep two moving objects from touching each other.]||4-PS3-4 Energy||4-PS3-4. Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.* [Examples of devices could include electric circuits that convert electrical energy into motion energy of a vehicle, light, or sound; and, a passive solar heater that converts light into heat. Examples of constraints could include the materials, cost, or time to design the device.] [Devices should be limited to those that convert motion energy to electric energy or use stored energy to cause motion or produce light or sound.]||5-PS1-4 Matter and Its Interactions||5-PS1-4. Conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances.|
|3-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes||3-LS1-1. Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death. [Changes organisms go through during their life form a pattern.] [Assessment of plant life cycles is limited to those of flowering plants. Assessment does not include details of human reproduction.]||4-PS4-1 Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer||4-PS4-1. Develop a model of waves to describe patterns in terms of amplitude and wavelength and that waves can cause objects to move. [Examples of models could include diagrams, analogies, and physical models using wire to illustrate wavelength and amplitude of waves.] [Assessment does not include interference effects, electromagnetic waves, non-periodic waves, or quantitative models of amplitude and wavelength.]||5-PS2-1 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interaction||5-PS2-1. Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down. [“Down” is a local description of the direction that points toward the center of the spherical Earth.] [Assessment does not include mathematical representation of gravitational force.]|
|3-LS2-1Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics||3-LS2-1. Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.||4-PS4-2 Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer||4-PS4-2. Develop a model to describe that light reflecting from objects and entering the eye allows objects to be seen. [Assessment does not include k nowledge of specific colors reflected and seen, the cellular mechanisms of vision, or how the retina work s.]||5-PS3-1 Energy||5-PS3-1. Use models to describe that that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun. [Examples of models could include diagrams, and flow charts.]|
|3-LS3-1 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits||3-LS3-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms. [Patterns are the similarities and differences in traits shared between offspring and their parents, or among siblings. Emphasis is on organisms other than humans.] [Assessment does not include genetic mechanisms of inheritance and prediction of traits. Assessment is limited to non-human examples.]||4-PS4-3 Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer||4-PS4-3. Generate and compare multiple solutions that use patterns to transfer information.* [Examples of solutions could include drums sending coded information through sound waves, using a grid of 1’s and 0’s representing black and white to send information about a picture, and using Morse code to send text.]||5-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes||5-LS1-1. Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water. [Emphasis is on the idea that plant matter comes mostly from air and water, not from the soil.]|
|3-LS3-2 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits||3-LS3-2. Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment. [Examples of the environment affecting a trait could include normally tall plants grown with insufficient water are stunted; and, a pet dog that is given too much food and little exercise may become overweight.]||4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes||4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction. [Examples of structures could include thorns, stems, roots, colored petals, heart, stomach, lung, brain, and skin.] [Assessment is limited to macroscopic structures within plant and animal systems.]||5-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics||5-LS2-1. Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment. [Clarifcation Statement: Emphasis is on the idea that matter that is not food (air, water, decomposed materials in soil) is changed by plants into matter that is food. Examples of systems could include organisms, ecosystems, and the Earth.] [Assessment does not include molecular explanations.]|
|3-LS4-1 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity||3-LS4-1. Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago. [Examples of data could include type, size, and distributions of fossil organisms. Examples of fossils and environments could include marine fossils found on dry land, tropical plant fossils found in Arctic areas, and fossils of extinct organisms.] [Assessment does not include identification of specific fossils or present plants and animals. Assessment is limited to major fossil types and relative ages.]||4-LS1-2 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes||4-LS1-2. Use a model to describe that animals receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways. [Emphasis is on systems of information transfer.] [Assessment does not include the mechanisms by which the brain stores and recalls information or the mechanisms of how sensory receptors function.]||5-ESS1-1 Earth's Place in the Universe||5-ESS1-1. Support an argument that the apparent brightness of the sun and stars is due to their relative distances from the Earth. [Assessment is limited to relative distances, not sizes, of stars. Assessment does not include other factors that affect apparent brightness (such as stellar masses, age, stage).]|
|3-LS4-2 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity||3-LS4-2. Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing. [Examples of cause and effect relationships could be plants that have larger thorns than other plants may be less likely to be eaten by predators; and, animals that have better camouflage coloration than other animals may be more likely to survive and therefore more likely to leave offspring.]||4-ESS1-1 Earth's Place in the Universe||4-ESS1-1. Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers for changes in a landscape over time to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time. [Examples of evidence from patterns could include rock layers with marine shell fossils above rock layers with plant fossils and no shells, indicating a change from land to water over time; and, a canyon with different rock layers in the walls and a river in the bottom, indicating that over time a river cut through the rock.] [Assessment does not include specific k nowledge of the mechanism of rock formation or memorization of specific rock formations and layers. Assessment is limited to relative time.]||5-ESS1-2 Earth's Place in the Universe||5-ESS1-2. Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky. [Examples of patterns could include the position and motion of Earth with respect to the sun and selected stars that are visible only in particular months.] [Assessment does not include causes of seasons.]|
|3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity||3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all. [Examples of evidence could include needs and characteristics of the organisms and habitats involved. The organisms and their habitat make up a system in which the parts depend on each other.]||4-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems||4-ESS2-1. Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation. [Examples of variables to test could include angle of slope in the downhill movement of water, amount of vegetation, speed of wind, relative rate of deposition, cycles of freezing and thawing of water, cycles of heating and cooling, and volume of water flow.] [Assessment is limited to a single form of weathering or erosion.]||5-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems||5-ESS2-1. Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact. [Examples could include the influence of the ocean on ecosystems, landform shape, and climate; the influence of the atmosphere on landforms and ecosystems through weather and climate; and the influence of mountain ranges on winds and clouds in the atmosphere. The geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere are each a system.] [Assessment is limited to the interactions of two systems at a time.]|
|3-LS4-4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity||3-LS4-4. Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change. [Examples of environmental changes could include changes in land characteristics, water distribution, temperature, food, and other organisms.] [Assessment is limited to a single environmental change. Assessment does not include the greenhouse effect or climate change.]||4-ESS2-2 Earth's Systems||4-ESS2-2. Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features. [Maps can include topographic maps of Earth’s land and ocean floor, as well as maps of the locations of mountains, continental boundaries, volcanoes, and earthquakes.]||5-ESS2-2 Earth's Systems||5-ESS2-2. Describe and graph the amounts and percentages of water and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth. [Assessment is limited to oceans, lak es, rivers, glaciers, ground water, and polar ice caps, and does not include the atmosphere.]|
|3-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems||3-ESS2-1. Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season. [Examples of data could include average temperature, precipitation, and wind direction.] [Assessment of graphical displays is limited to pictographs and bar graphs. Assessment does not include climate change.]||4-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity||4-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment. [Examples of renewable energy resources could include wind energy, water behind dams, and sunlight; non-renewable energy resources are fossil fuels and fissile materials. Examples of environmental effects could include loss of habitat due to dams, loss of habitat due to surface mining, and air pollution from burning of fossil fuels.]||5-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity||5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.|
|3-ESS2-2 Earth's Systems||3-ESS2-2. Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.||4-ESS3-2 Earth and Human Activity||4-ESS3-2. Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.* [Examples of solutions could include designing an earthquake resistant building and improving monitoring of volcanic activity.] [Assessment is limited to earthquak es, floods, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.]||3-5-ETS1-1 Engineering Design||3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.|
|3-ESS3-1Earth and Human Activity||3-ESS3-1. Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard. [Examples of design solutions to weather-related hazards could include barriers to prevent flooding, wind resistant roofs, and lighting rods.]||3-5-ETS1-2 Engineering Design||3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.|
|3-5-ETS1-3 Engineering Design||3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.|