Academic Standard

Embedded Inquiry
Tennessee State Standards
Science (2009-2018)
Grade range: 
9 to 12
Subject = Science
Science is a relentless quest for understanding how the natural world works. All of science is driven by the premise that the world is capable of being understood. Yet, scientists believe that currently accepted explanations of natural phenomena or events are never perfect or fully complete and are always amenable to revision in light of new scientific evidence. Each scientific discipline uses its distinctive tools and techniques to investigate phenomena associated with the physical, geological, or living worlds. All rely upon theories from which the development of hypotheses emerge, the collection of data, and the interpretation of evidence as the foundation for reaching logical conclusions and making reasoned predictions.Conceptual StrandUnderstandings about scientific inquiry and the ability to conduct inquiry are essential for living in the 21st century.Guiding QuestionWhat tools, skills, knowledge, and dispositions are needed to conduct scientific inquiry?
Elements within this Standard
Course Level Expectation
Recognize that science is a progressive endeavor that reevaluates and extends what is already accepted.
Design and conduct scientific investigations to explore new phenomena, verify previous results, test how well a theory predicts, and compare opposing theories.
Use appropriate tools and technology to collect precise and accurate data.
Apply qualitative and quantitative measures to analyze data and draw conclusions that are free of bias.
Compare experimental evidence and conclusions with those drawn by others about the same testable question.
Communicate and defend scientific findings.
Check For Understanding
Trace the historical development of a scientific principle or theory.
Identify an answerable question and formulate a hypothesis to guide a scientific investigation.
Select appropriate tools and technology to collect precise and accurate quantitative and qualitative data.
Correctly read a thermometer, balance, metric ruler, graduated cylinder, pipette, and burette.
Record observations and/or data using correct scientific units and significant figures.
Export data into the appropriate form of data presentation (e.g., equation, table, graph, or diagram).
Translate data into the correct units and dimension using conversion factors and scientific notation.
Analyze information in a table, graph or diagram (e.g., compute the mean of a series of values or determine the slope of a line).
If accepted values are known, calculate the percent error for an experiment.
Determine the accuracy and precision of experimental results.
Analyze experimental results and identify possible sources of bias or experimental error.
Recognize, analyze, and evaluate alternative explanations for the same set of observations.
Design a model based on the correct hypothesis that can be used for further investigation.
State Performance Indicator
Select a description or scenario that reevaluates and/or extends a scientific finding.
Analyze the components of a properly designed scientific investigation.
Determine appropriate tools to gather precise and accurate data.
Evaluate the accuracy and precision of data.
Defend a conclusion based on scientific evidence.
Determine why a conclusion is free of bias.
Compare conclusions that offer different, but acceptable explanations for the same set of experimental data.