Academic standards list

Earth Science — Science (2009-2018)


Academic standards define the expectations for knowledge and skills that students are to learn in a subject by a certain age or at the end of a school grade level. This page contains a list of standards for a specific content area, grade level, and/or course. The list of standards may be structured using categories and sub-categories.

Embedded Inquiry

Standard INQ — Embedded Inquiry
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?
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.

Embedded Technology/Engineering

Standard T/E — Embedded Technology/Engineering
Scientific inquiry is fueled by the desire to understand the natural world; technological design is driven by the need to meet human needs and solve human problems. Technology exerts a more direct effect on society than science because it is focused on solving human problems, helping humans to adapt to changes, and fulfilling goals and aspirations. The engineering design cycle describes the worklives of practicing engineers. The design cycle describes a series of activities that includes a background research, problem identification, feasibility analysis, selection of design criteria, prototype development, planning and design, production and product evaluation. Because there are as many variations of this model, practicing engineers do not adhere to a rigid step-by-step interpretation of this design cycle.Conceptual StrandSociety benefits when engineers apply scientific discoveries to design materials and processes that develop into enabling technologies.Guiding QuestionHow do science concepts, engineering skills, and applications of technology improve the quality of life?
Course Level Expectation
Explore the impact of technology on social, political, and economic systems.
Differentiate among elements of the engineering design cycle: design constraints, model building, testing, evaluating, modifying, and retesting.
Explain the relationship between the properties of a material and the use of the material in the application of a technology.
Describe the dynamic interplay among science, technology, and engineering within living, earth-space, and physical systems.

The Universe

Standard 1 — The Universe
Conceptual StrandThe cosmos is vast and explored well enough to know its basic structure and operational principles.Guiding QuestionWhat big ideas guide human understanding about the origin and structure of the universe, Earths place in the cosmos, and observable motions and patterns in the sky?
Course Level Expectation
Explore theories for the origin and evolution of the universe.
Examine the components of the solar system.
Explore the sun, earth, and moon relationships and their gravitational effects.
Investigate the history of space exploration.

Energy in the Earth System

Standard 2 — Energy in the Earth System
Conceptual StrandEnergy cycles drive the earth system.Guiding QuestionWhat are the scientific explanations for how energy cycles through the earth system?
Course Level Expectation
Investigate the principal sources of energy.
Explore pathways of energy transfer.
Evaluate alternative energy sources.

Cycles in the Earth System

Standard 3 — Cycles in the Earth System
Conceptual StrandThe earth system consists of interrelated subcycles that act over extended periods of geologic time.Guiding QuestionWhat are the subcycles of the earth system and how do they interact?
Course Level Expectation
Explain the components of the tectonic cycle.
Investigate the rock cycle.
Analyze the hydrologic cycle.
Interpret data related to the atmospheric cycle.
Differentiate among the geochemical cycles.
Evaluate the impact of living organisms on earth system cycles.
Investigate how maps can be used to interpret changes in the earth system.
Relate earth system cycles to past and current patterns of global change.

Geologic History

Standard 4 — Geologic History
Conceptual StrandThe earth has changed over a long period and global change is a continuation of this evolutionary process.Guiding QuestionWhat is the scientific evidence for the evolution of earth and life on earth?
Course Level Expectation
Interpret the nature of geologic time.
Investigate the evolution of the earth.
Interpret the fossil record for evidence of biological evolution.
Demonstrate the impact of environmental change on the origin and extinction of plant and animal species.
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