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Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the developer, PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE, and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.

To MARS with MER - Educators

National Standards

Science Standard: 1
Understands basic features of the Earth
[Project 2061: Benchmarks for Science Literacy, p. 66 (Explicitly stated)]

Level I: Primary (Grades K-2)

1.1.1 Knows that Earth materials consist of solid rocks, soils, liquid water, and the gases of the atmosphere

1.1.2 Knows that water can be a liquid or a solid and can be made to change from one form to the other, but the amount of water stays the same

1.1.3 Knows that short-term weather conditions (e.g., temperature, rain, snow) can change daily, and weather patterns change over the seasons

Level II: Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)

1.2.1 Knows that water can change from one state to another (solid, liquid, gas) through various processes (e.g., freezing, condensation, precipitation, evaporation)

1.2.3 Knows that clouds and fog are made of tiny droplets of water

1.2.4 Knows that air is a substance that surrounds us, takes up space, and moves around us as wind

1.2.5 Knows that night and day are caused by the Earth's rotation on its axis

1.2.6 Knows that the Sun provides the light and heat necessary to maintain the temperature of the Earth

Level III: Middle School/Jr. High (Grades 6-8)

1.3.1 Knows that the Earth is the only body in our solar system that appears able to support life (UPDATE!)

1.3.2 Knows that the Earth is comprised of layers including a core, mantle, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere

1.3.3 Knows the composition and structure of the Earth's atmosphere (e.g., temperature and pressure in different layers of the atmosphere, circulation of air masses)

1.3.4 Knows ways in which clouds affect weather and climate (e.g., precipitation, reflection of light from the Sun, retention of heat energy emitted from the Earth's surface)

1.3.5 Knows how the tilt of the Earth's axis and the Earth's revolution around the Sun affect seasons and weather patterns (i.e., heat falls more intensely on one part or another of the Earth's surface during its revolution around the Sun)

1.3.6 Knows factors that can impact the Earth's climate (e.g., changes in the composition of the atmosphere; changes in ocean temperature; geological shifts such as meteor impacts, the advance or retreat of glaciers, or a series of volcanic eruptions)

1.3.7 Knows the processes involved in the water cycle (e.g., evaporation, condensation, precipitation, surface run-off, percolation) and their effects on climatic patterns

1.3.8 Knows the properties that make water an essential component of the Earth system (e.g., its ability to act as a solvent, its ability to remain a liquid at most Earth temperatures)

1.3.9 Knows that the Sun is the principle energy source for phenomena on the Earth's surface (e.g., winds, ocean currents, the water cycle, plant growth)

Level IV: High School (Grades 9-12)

1.4.1 Knows the major external and internal sources of energy on Earth (e.g., the Sun is the major external source of energy; the decay of radioactive isotopes and gravitational energy from the Earth's original formation are primary sources of internal energy)

1.4.2 Knows that weather and climate involve the transfer of energy in and out of the atmosphere

1.4.3 Knows how winds and ocean currents are produced on the Earth's surface (e.g., effects of unequal heating of the Earth's land masses, oceans, and air by the Sun; effects of gravitational forces acting on layers of different temperatures and densities in the oceans and air; effects of the rotation of the Earth)

1.4.4 Knows how life is adapted to conditions on the Earth (e.g., force of gravity that enables the planet to retain an adequate atmosphere, intensity of radiation from the Sun that allows water to cycle between liquid and vapor)

Science Standard: 2
Understands basic Earth processes
[Project 2061: Benchmarks for Science Literacy, p. 71 (Explicitly stated)]

Level I: Primary (Grades K-2)

2.1.1 Knows that rocks come in many different shapes and sizes (e.g., boulders, pebbles, sand)

Level II: Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)

2.2.1 Knows that smaller rocks come from the breakage and weathering of bedrock and larger rocks

2.2.2 Knows that rock is composed of different combinations of minerals

2.2.3 Knows the composition and properties of soils (e.g., components of soil such as weathered rock, living organisms, products of plants and animals; properties of soil such as color, texture, capacity to retain water, ability to support plant growth)

2.2.4 Knows how features on the Earth's surface are constantly changed by a combination of slow and rapid processes (e.g., weathering, erosion, and deposition of sediment caused by waves, wind, water, and ice; sudden changes in the landscape caused by landslides, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes)

2.2.5 Knows that fossils provide evidence about the plants and animals that lived long ago and the nature of the environment at that time

Level III: Middle School/Jr. High (Grades 6-8)

2.3.1 Knows components of soil and other factors that influence soil texture, fertility, and resistance to erosion (e.g., plant roots and debris, bacteria, fungi, worms, rodents)

2.3.2 Knows that sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks contain evidence of the minerals, temperatures, and forces that created them

2.3.3 Knows processes involved in the rock cycle (e.g., old rocks at the surface gradually weather and form sediments that are buried, then compacted, heated, and often recrystallized into new rock; this new rock is eventually brought to the surface by the forces that drive plate motions, and the rock cycle continues)

2.3.4 Knows that the Earth's crust is divided into plates that move at extremely slow rates in response to movements in the mantle

2.3.5 Knows how land forms are created through a combination of constructive and destructive forces (e.g., constructive forces such as crustal deformation, volcanic eruptions, and deposition of sediment; destructive forces such as weathering and erosion)

2.3.6 Knows how successive layers of sedimentary rock and the fossils contained within them can be used to confirm the age, history, and changing life forms of the Earth, and how this evidence is affected by the folding, breaking, and uplifting of layers

2.3.7 Knows that fossils provide important evidence of how life and environmental conditions have changed on the Earth over time (e.g., changes in atmospheric composition, movement of lithospheric plates, impact of an asteroid or comet)

Level IV: High School (Grades 9-12)

2.4.1 Knows that elements exist in fixed amounts and move through the solid Earth, oceans, atmosphere, and living things as part of geochemical cycles (e.g., carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle)

2.4.2 Knows that throughout the rock cycle (e.g., formation, weathering, sedimentation, reformation), the total amount of material stays the same as its form changes

2.4.3 Understands the concept of plate tectonics (e.g., the outward transfer of the Earth's internal heat and the action of gravitational forces on regions of different density drive convection circulation in the mantle; these convection currents propel the Earth's crustal plates, which move very slowly, pressing against one another in some places and pulling apart in other places)

2.4.4 Knows effects of the movement of crustal plates (e.g., earthquakes occur along boundaries between colliding plates; sea floor spreading occurs where plates are moving apart; mountain building occurs where plates are moving together; volcanic eruptions release pressure created by molten rock beneath the Earth's surface)

2.4.5 Knows methods used to estimate geologic time (e.g., observing rock sequences and using fossils to correlate the sequences at various locations; using the known decay rates of radioactive isotopes present in rock to measure the time since the rock was formed)

2.4.6 Knows how the evolution of life on Earth has changed the composition of the Earth's atmosphere through time (e.g., one-celled forms of life emerged more than 3.5 billion years ago; evolution of photosynthesizing organisms produced most of the oxygen in the modern atmosphere)

Science Standard: 3
Understands essential ideas about the composition and structure of the universe and the Earth's place in it
[Project 2061: Benchmarks for Science Literacy, p. 61 (Explicitly stated)]

Level I: Primary (Grades K-2)

3.1.1 Knows that the stars are innumerable, unevenly dispersed, and of unequal brightness

3.1.2 Knows basic patterns of the Sun and Moon (e.g., the Sun appears every day, and the Moon appears sometimes at night and sometimes during the day; the Sun and Moon appear to move from east to west across the sky; the Moon appears to change shape over the course of a month)

Level II: Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)

3.2.1 Knows that the Earth is one of several planets that orbit the Sun, and the Moon orbits around the Earth

3.2.3 Knows that planets look like stars, but over time they appear to wander among the constellations

3.2.4 Knows that telescopes magnify distant objects in the sky (e.g., the Moon, planets) and dramatically increase the number of stars we can see

3.2.5 Knows that astronomical objects in space are massive in size and are separated from one another by vast distances (e.g., many stars are more massive than our Sun but so distant they look like points of light)

Level III: Middle School/Jr. High (Grades 6-8)

3.3.1 Knows characteristics of our Sun and its position in the universe (e.g., the Sun is a medium-sized star; it is the closest star to Earth; it is the central and largest body in the Solar System; it is located at the edge of a disk-shaped galaxy)

3.3.2 Knows characteristics and movement patterns of the nine planets in our Solar System (e.g., planets differ in size, composition, and surface features; planets move around the Sun in elliptical orbits; some planets have moons, rings of particles, and other satellites orbiting them)

3.3.3 Knows that the planet Earth and our Solar System appear to be somewhat unique, although similar systems might yet be discovered in the universe

3.3.4 Knows that gravitational force keeps planets in orbit around the Sun and moons in orbit around the planets

3.3.5 Knows characteristics and movement patterns of asteroids, comets, and meteors

3.3.6 Knows how the regular and predictable motions of the Sun and Moon explain phenomena on Earth (e.g., the day, the year, phases of the Moon, eclipses, tides, shadows)

3.3.7 Knows that many billions of galaxies exist in the universe (each containing many billions of stars), and that incomprehensible distances separate these galaxies and stars from one another and from the Earth

Level IV: High School (Grades 9-12)

3.4.4 Knows ways in which technology has increased our understanding of the universe (e.g., visual, radio, and x-ray telescopes collect information about the universe from electromagnetic waves; computers interpret vast amounts of data from space; space probes gather information from distant parts of the Solar System; accelerators allow us to simulate conditions in the stars and in the early history of the universe)

3.4.5 Knows that evidence suggests that our universe is expanding (e.g., the Doppler shift of light from distant galaxies reaching telescopes on Earth suggests that galaxies are moving away from the Earth; the relationship of the red shift to the "big bang" theory of the origin of the universe)

Science Standard: 4
Knows about the diversity and unity that characterize life
[Project 2061: Benchmarks for Science Literacy, p. 101 (Explicitly stated)]

Level I: Primary (Grades K-2)

4.1.1 Knows that plants and animals have features that help them live in different environments

Level II: Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)

4.2.1 Knows different ways in which living things can be grouped (e.g., plants/animals; pets/non-pets; edible plants/non-edible plants) and purposes of different groupings

4.2.2 Knows that plants and animals progress through life cycles of birth, growth and development, reproduction, and death; the details of these life cycles are different for different organisms

Level III: Middle School/Jr. High (Grades 6-8)

4.3.1 Knows ways in which living things can be classified (e.g., taxonomic groups of plants, animals, and fungi; groups based on the details of organisms' internal and external features; groups based on functions served within an ecosystem such as producers, consumers, and decomposers)

4.3.4 Knows evidence that supports the idea that there is unity among organisms despite the fact that some species look very different(e.g., similarity of internal structures in different organisms, similarity of chemical processes in different organisms, evidence of common ancestry)

Science Standard: 6
Knows the general structure and functions of cells in organisms
[Project 2061: Benchmarks for Science Literacy, p. 110 (Explicitly stated)]

Level I: Primary (Grades K-2)

6.1.1 Knows that animals require air, water, food, and shelter; plants require air, water, nutrients, and light

Level II: Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)

6.2.1 Knows that each plant or animal has different structures which serve different functions in growth, survival, and reproduction (e.g., humans have distinct structures of the body for walking, holding, seeing, and talking)

Science Standard: 7
Understands how species depend on one another and on the environment for survival
[Project 2061: Benchmarks for Science Literacy, p. 115 (Explicitly stated]

Level I: Primary (Grades K-2)

7.1.1 Knows that living things are found almost everywhere in the world and that distinct environments support the life of different types of plants and animals

Level II: Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)

7.2.2 Knows that an organism's patterns of behavior are related to the nature of that organism's environment (e.g., kinds and numbers of other organisms present, availability of food and resources, physical characteristics of the environment)

7.2.3 Knows that changes in the environment can have different effects on different organisms (e.g., some organisms move in, others move out; some organisms survive and reproduce, others die)

Level III: Middle School/Jr. High (Grades 6-8)

7.3.1 Knows how an organism's ability to regulate its internal environment enables the organism to obtain and use resources, grow, reproduce, and maintain stable internal conditions while living in a constantly changing external environment

7.3.2 Knows that organisms can react to internal and environmental stimuli through behavioral response (e.g., plants have tissues and organs that react to light, water, and other stimuli; animals have nervous systems that process and store information from the environment), which may be determined by heredity or from past experience

7.3.3 Knows ways in which species interact and depend on one another in an ecosystem (e.g., producer/consumer, predator/prey, parasite/host, relationships that are mutually beneficial or competitive)

7.3.4 Knows that all individuals of a species that occur together at a given place and time make up a population, and all populations living together and the physical factors with which they interact compose an ecosystem

7.3.5 Knows factors that affect the number and types of organisms an ecosystem can support (e.g., available resources; abiotic factors such as quantity of light and water, range of temperatures, and soil composition; disease; competition from other organisms within the ecosystem; predation)

7.3.6 Knows relationships that exist among organisms in food chains and food webs

Science Standard: 8
Understands the cycling of matter and flow of energy through the living environment
[Project 2061: Benchmarks for Science Literacy, p. 118 (Explicitly stated)]

Level I: Primary (Grades K-2)

8.1.1 Knows that plants and animals need certain resources for energy and growth (e.g., food, water, light, air)

Level II: Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)

8.2.1 Knows that the transfer of energy (e.g., through the consumption of food) is essential to all living organisms

8.2.2 Knows the organization of simple food chains and food webs (e.g., green plants make their own food with sunlight, water, and air; some animals eat the plants; some animals eat the animals that eat the plants)

Level III: Middle School/Jr. High (Grades 6-8)

8.3.1 Knows how energy is transferred through food webs in an ecosystem (e.g., energy enters ecosystems as sunlight, and green plants transfer this energy into chemical energy through photosynthesis; this chemical energy is passed from organism to organism; animals get energy from oxidizing their food, releasing some of this energy as heat)

8.3.2 Knows how matter is recycled within ecosystems (e.g., matter is transferred from one organism to another repeatedly, and between organisms and their physical environment; the total amount of matter remains constant, even though its form and location change)

Level IV: High School (Grades 9-12)

8.4.1 Knows that as matter and energy flow through different levels of organization in living systems and between living systems and the physical environment, chemical elements (e.g., carbon, nitrogen) are recombined in different ways

8.4.2 Knows that because all matter tends toward more disorganized states, living systems require a continuous input of energy to maintain their chemical and physical organizations

8.4.3 Understands how the processes of photosynthesis and respiration in plants transfer energy from the Sun to living systems (e.g., chloroplasts in plant cells use energy from sunlight to combine molecules of carbon dioxide and water into complex, energy-rich organic compounds, and release oxygen to the environment)

8.4.4 Knows that the complexity and organization of organisms accommodates the need for obtaining, transforming, transporting, releasing, and eliminating the matter and energy used to sustain the organism

8.4.5 Knows how the amount of life an environment can support is limited by the availability of matter and energy and the ability of the ecosystem to recycle materials

Science Standard: 9
Understands the basic concepts of the evolution of species
[Project 2061: Benchmarks for Science Literacy, p. 122 (Explicitly stated)]

Level I: Primary (Grades K-2)

9.1.1 Knows that some kinds of organisms that once lived on Earth have completely disappeared (e.g., dinosaurs, trilobites, mammoths, giant tree ferns, horsetail trees)

Level II: Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)

9.1.2 Knows that fossils of past life can be compared to one another and to living organisms to observe their similarities and differences

Level III: Middle School/Jr. High (Grades 6-8)

9.3.1 Knows that the fossil record, through geologic evidence, documents the appearance, diversification, and extinction of many life forms

9.3.2 Knows basic ideas related to biological evolution (e.g., diversity of species is developed through gradual processes over many generations; biological adaptations, such as changes in structure, behavior, or physiology, allow some species to enhance their reproductive success and survival in a particular environment)

9.3.3 Understands the concept of extinction and its importance in biological evolution (e.g., when the environment changes, the adaptive characteristics of some species are insufficient to allow their survival; extinction is common; most of the species that have lived on the Earth no longer exist)

Level IV: High School (Grades 9-12)

9.4.2 Knows that natural selection leads to organisms that are well suited for survival in particular environments, so that when an environment changes, some inherited characteristics become more or less advantageous or neutral, and chance alone can result in characteristics having no survival or reproductive value

9.4.3 Knows how natural selection and its evolutionary consequences provide a scientific explanation for the diversity and unity of past and present life forms on Earth (e.g., recurring patterns of relationship exist throughout the fossil record; molecular similarities exist among the diverse species of living organisms; the millions of different species living today appear to be related by descent from common ancestors)

9.4.4 Knows that the basic idea of evolution is that the Earth's present-day life forms have evolved from earlier, distinctly different species as a consequence of the interactions of (1) the potential for a species to increase its numbers, (2) the genetic variability of offspring due to mutation and recombination of genes, (3) a finite supply of the resources required for life, and (4) the ensuing selection by the environment of those offspring better able to survive and leave offspring

9.4.5 Knows the history of the origin and evolution of life on Earth (e.g., life on Earth is thought to have begun 3.5 4 billion years ago as simple, one-celled organisms; during the first two billion years, only micro-organisms existed; after cells with nuclei developed about a billion years ago, increasingly complex multi-cellular organisms evolved)

Science Standard: 10
Understands basic concepts about the structure and properties of matter
[Project 2061: Benchmarks for Science Literacy, p. 75 (Explicitly stated)]

Level I: Primary (Grades K-2)

10.1.1 Knows that different objects are made up of many different types of materials (e.g., cloth, paper, wood, metal) and have many different observable properties (e.g., color, size, shape, weight)

Level II: Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)

10.2.1 Knows that objects can be classified according to their properties (e.g., magnetism, conductivity, density, solubility)

10.2.2 Knows that materials may be composed of parts that are too small to be seen without magnification

10.2.3 Knows that properties such as length, weight, temperature, and volume can be measured using appropriate tools (e.g., rulers, balances, thermometers, graduated cylinders)

10.2.4 Knows that materials have different states (solid, liquid, gas), and some common materials such as water can be changed from one state to another by heating or cooling

10.2.5 Knows that the mass of a material remains constant whether it is together, in parts, or in a different state

Level III: Middle School/Jr. High (Grades 6-8)

10.3.1 Knows that matter is made up of tiny particles called atoms, and different arrangements of atoms into groups compose all substances

10.3.2 Knows that atoms often combine to form a molecule (or crystal), the smallest particle of a substance that retains its properties

10.3.3 Knows that atoms are in constant, random motion (atoms in solids are close together and don't move about easily; atoms in liquids are close together and stick to each other, but move about easily; atoms in gas are quite far apart and move about freely)

10.3.4 Knows that substances that contain only one kind of atom are pure elements, and over 100 different kinds of elements exist; elements do not break down by normal laboratory reactions (e.g., heating, exposure to electric current, reaction with acids)

10.3.5 Knows that many elements can be grouped according to similar properties (e.g., highly reactive metals, less-reactive metals, highly reactive nonmetals, almost completely non-reactive gases)

10.3.6 Knows that substances react chemically in characteristic ways with other substances to form new substances (compounds) with different characteristic properties

10.3.8 Knows methods used to separate mixtures into their component parts (boiling, filtering, chromatography, screening)

10.3.9 Knows factors that influence reaction rates (e.g., types of substances involved, temperature, concentration, surface area)

10.3.10 Knows that oxidation involves the combining of oxygen with another substance (e.g., burning, rusting)

Level IV: High School (Grades 9-12)

10.4.1 Understands how elements are arranged in the periodic table, and how this arrangement shows repeating patterns among elements with similar properties (e.g., numbers of protons, neutrons, and electrons; relation between atomic number and atomic mass)

10.4.2 Knows how the electron configuration of atoms governs the chemical properties of an element as atoms interact with one another by transferring or sharing electrons that are furthest from the nucleus

10.4.3 Knows that atoms may be bonded together into molecules or crystalline solids, and compounds are formed from chemical bonds between two or more different kinds of atoms

10.4.4 Knows that the physical properties of a compound are determined by its molecular structure (e.g., constituent atoms, distances and angles between them) and the interactions among these molecules

10.4.5 Knows the structure of an atom (e.g., negative electrons occupy most of the space in the atom; neutrons and positive protons make up the nucleus of the atom; protons and neutrons are almost two thousand times heavier than an electron; the electric force between the nucleus and electrons holds the atom together)

10.4.6 Knows that the number of electrons in an atom determines whether the atom is electrically neutral or an ion (i.e., electrically neutral atoms contain equal numbers of protons and electrons; a positively charged atom has lost one or more electrons; a negatively charged atom has gained one or more electrons)

10.4.7 Knows that most elements have two or more isotopes (i.e., atoms that differ in the number of neutrons in the nucleus); although the number of neutrons has little effect on how the atom interacts with others, it does affect the mass and stability of the nucleus

10.4.8 Knows how radioactive isotopes can be used to estimate the age of materials that contain them because radioactive isotopes undergo spontaneous nuclear reactions and emit particles and/or wavelike radiation; the decay of any one nucleus cannot be predicted, but a large group of identical nuclei decay at a predictable rate, which can be used to estimate the material's age

10.4.9 Knows that electrons, neutrons, and protons are made up of even smaller constituents

10.4.12 Knows that chemical reactions can be accelerated by catalysts (e.g., some chemical reactions may be catalyzed by metal surfaces; chemical reactions in living systems are often catalyzed by protein molecules called enzymes)

10.4.13 Knows the variety of structures that may be formed from the bonding of carbon atoms (e.g., synthetic polymers, oils, the large molecules essential to life) and their roles in various chemical reactions, including those required for life processes

10.4.12 Knows that a large number of important reactions involve the transfer of either electrons (oxidation/reduction reactions) or hydrogen ions (acid/base reactions) between reacting ions, molecules, or atoms

10.4.13 Understands radical reactions and their role in natural and human processes (e.g., ozone and green house gases in the atmosphere; burning and processing of fossil fuels; formation of polymers; explosions)

Science Standard: 11
Understands energy types, sources, and conversions, and their relationship to heat and temperature
[Project 2061: Benchmarks for Science Literacy, p. 81 (Implied)]

Level I: Primary (Grades K-2)

11.1.1 Knows that the Sun supplies heat and light to Earth

11.1.2 Knows that heat can be produced in many ways (e.g., burning, rubbing, mixing substances together)

11.1.3 Knows that electricity in circuits can produce light, heat, sound, and magnetic effects

Level II: Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)

11.2.1 Knows that heat is often produced as a by-product when one form of energy is converted to another form (e.g., heat is produced by mechanical and electrical machines)

11.2.2 Knows that heat can move from one object to another by conduction and that some materials conduct heat better than others

11.2.3 Knows the organization of a simple electrical circuit (e.g., battery or generator, wire, a complete loop through which the electrical current can pass)

Level III: Middle School/Jr. High (Grades 6-8)

11.3.1 Knows that energy is a property of many substances (e.g., heat energy is in the disorderly motion of molecules and in radiation; chemical energy is in the arrangement of atoms; mechanical energy is in moving bodies or in elastically distorted shapes; electrical energy is in the attraction or repulsion between charges)

11.3.2 Understands that energy cannot be created or destroyed but only changed from one form to another

11.3.3 Knows how the Sun acts as a major source of energy for changes on the Earth's surface (i.e., the Sun loses energy by emitting light; some of this light is transferred to the Earth in a range of wavelengths including visible light, infrared radiation, and ultraviolet radiation)

11.3.4 Knows that heat can be transferred through conduction, convection, and radiation; heat flows from warmer objects to cooler ones until both objects reach the same temperature

11.3.5 Knows that electrical circuits provide a means of transferring electrical energy to produce heat, light, sound, and chemical changes

11.3.6 Knows that most chemical and nuclear reactions involve a transfer of energy (e.g., heat, light, mechanical motion, electricity)

Level IV: High School (Grades 9-12)

11.4.1 Knows that although the total energy of the universe remains constant, matter tends to become steadily less ordered as various energy transfers occur (e.g., by collisions in chemical and nuclear reactions, by light waves and other radiations), and the energy tends to spread out uniformly

11.4.2 Knows that all energy can be considered to be either kinetic energy (energy of motion), potential energy (depends on relative position), or energy contained by a field (electromagnetic waves)

11.4.3 Understands the relationship between heat and temperature (heat energy consists of the random motion and vibrations of atoms, molecules, and ions; the higher the temperature, the greater the atomic or molecular motion)

11.4.4 Understands that chemical reactions either release or consume energy (i.e., some changes of atomic or molecular configuration require an input of energy; others release energy)

11.4.5 Knows how the energy associated with individual atoms and molecules can be used to identify the substances they comprise; each kind of atom or molecule can gain or lose energy only in particular discrete amounts, and thus can absorb and emit light only at wavelengths corresponding to these amounts

11.4.6 Knows that nuclear reactions convert a fraction of the mass of interacting particles into energy (fission involves the splitting of a large nucleus into smaller pieces; fusion is the joining of two nuclei at extremely high temperature and pressure) and release much greater amounts of energy than atomic interactions

Science Standard: 12
Understands motion and the principles that explain it
[Project 2061: Benchmarks for Science Literacy, p. 87 (Explicitly stated)]

Level I: Primary (Grades K-2)

12.1.1 Knows that vibrating objects produce sound

12.1.2 Knows that light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object

12.1.3 Knows that the position of an object can be described by locating it relative to another object or the background

12.1.4 Knows that things move in many different ways (e.g., straight line, zigzag, vibration, circular motion)

12.1.5 Knows that the position and motion of an object can be changed by pushing or pulling

Level II: Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)

12.2.1 Knows that the pitch of a sound depends on the frequency of the vibration producing it

12.2.2 Knows that light can be reflected, refracted, or absorbed

12.2.3 Knows that an object's motion can be described by tracing and measuring its position over time

12.2.4 Knows that when a force is applied to an object, the object either speeds up, slows down, or goes in a different direction

12.2.5 Knows the relationship between the strength of a force and its effect on an object (e.g., the greater the force, the greater the change in motion; the more massive the object, the smaller the effect of a given force)

Level III: Middle School/Jr. High (Grades 6-8)

12.3.1 Knows that vibrations (e.g., sounds, earthquakes) move at different speeds in different materials, have different wavelengths, and set up wave-like disturbances that spread away from the source

12.3.2 Knows ways in which light interacts with matter (e.g., transmission, including refraction; absorption; scattering, including reflection)

12.3.3 Knows that only a narrow range of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation can be seen by the human eye; differences of wavelength within that range of visible light are perceived as differences in color

12.3.4 Knows that an object's motion can be described and represented graphically according to its position, direction of motion, and speed

12.3.5 Understands effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on an object's motion (e.g., if more than one force acts on an object along a straight line, then the forces will reinforce or cancel one another, depending on their direction and magnitude; unbalanced forces such as friction will cause changes in the speed or direction on an object's motion)

12.3.6 Knows that an object that is not being subjected to a force will continue to move at a constant speed and in a straight line

Level IV: High School (Grades 9-12)

12.4.1 Knows that waves (e.g., sound, seismic, water, light) have energy and can transfer energy when they interact with matter

12.4.2 Knows the range of the electromagnetic spectrum (e.g., radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, x-rays, gamma rays); electromagnetic waves result when a charged object is accelerated or decelerated, and the energy of electromagnetic waves is carried in packets whose magnitude is inversely proportional to the wavelength

12.4.3 Knows that apparent changes in wavelength can provide information about changes in motion because the observed wavelength of a wave depends upon the relative motion of the source and the observer; if either the source or observer is moving toward the other, the observed wavelength is shorter; if either is moving away, the wavelength is longer

12.4.5 Knows that laws of motion can be used to determine the effects of forces on the motion of objects (e.g., objects change their motion only when a net force is applied; whenever one object exerts force on another, a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction is exerted on the first object; the magnitude of the change in motion can be calculated using the relationship F=ma, which is independent of the nature of the force)

Science Standard: 13
Knows the kinds of forces that exist between objects and within atoms
[Project 2061: Benchmarks for Science Literacy, p. 93 (Explicitly stated)]

Level I: Primary (Grades K-2)

13.1.1 Knows that magnets can be used to make some things move without being touched

13.1 2 Knows that things near the Earth fall to the ground unless something holds them up

Level II: Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)

13.2.1 Knows that electrically charged material pulls on all other materials and can attract or repel other charged materials

13.2.2 Knows that magnets attract and repel each other and attract certain kinds of other materials (e.g., iron, steel)

13.2.3 Knows that the Earth's gravity pulls any object toward it without touching it

Level III: Middle School/Jr. High (Grades 6-8)

13.3.1 Knows that just as electric currents can produce magnetic forces, magnets can cause electric currents

13.3.2 Understands general concepts related to gravitational force (e.g., every object exerts gravitational force on every other object; this force depends on the mass of the objects and their distance from one another; gravitational force is hard to detect unless at least one of the objects, such as the Earth, has a lot of mass)

Level IV: High School (Grades 9-12)

13.4.1 Knows how different kinds of materials respond to electric forces (e.g., as insulators, semiconductors, conductors, superconductors)

13.4.2 Knows that materials that contain equal proportions of positive and negative charges are electrically neutral, but a very small excess or deficit of negative charges in a material produces noticeable electric forces

13.4.3 Knows that magnetic forces are very closely related to electric forces and can be thought of as different aspects of a single electromagnetic force (moving electric charges produce magnetic forces and moving magnets produce electric forces); the interplay of these forces is the basis for electric motors, generators, radio, television, and many other modern technologies

13.4.4 Knows that electromagnetic forces exist within and between atoms (e.g., electric forces between oppositely charged electrons and protons hold atoms and molecules together, and are involved in all chemical reactions; electric forces hold solid and liquid materials together and act between objects when they are in contact)

13.4.5 Knows that nuclear forces are much stronger than electromagnetic forces, which are vastly stronger than gravitational forces; the strength of nuclear forces explains why great amounts of energy are released from the nuclear reactions in atomic or hydrogen bombs, and in the Sun and other stars

13.4.6 Knows that the strength of the gravitational force between two masses is proportional to the masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them

13.4.7 Knows that the strength of the electric force between two charged objects is proportional to the charges (opposite charges attract whereas like charges repel), and, as with gravitation, inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them

Science Standard: 14
Understands the nature of scientific knowledge
Project 2061: Benchmarks for Science Literacy, p. 5 (Explicitly stated)

Level II: Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)

14.2.1 Knows that although the same scientific investigation may give slightly different results when it is carried out by different persons, or at different times or places, the general evidence collected from the investigation should be replicable by others

Level III: Middle School/Jr. High (Grades 6-8)

14.3.2 Knows that all scientific ideas are tentative and subject to change and improvement in principle, but for most core ideas in science, there is much experimental and observational confirmation

14.3.3 Understands that questioning, response to criticism, and open communication are integral to the process of science (e.g., scientists often differ with one another about the interpretation of evidence or theory in areas where there is not a great deal of understanding; scientists acknowledge conflicting interpretations and work towards finding evidence that will resolve the disagreement)

Level IV: High School (Grades 9-12)

14.4.1 Knows ways in which science distinguishes itself from other ways of knowing and from other bodies of knowledge (e.g., use of empirical standards, logical arguments, skepticism)

14.4.2 Knows that scientific explanations must meet certain criteria to be considered valid (e.g., they must be consistent with experimental and observational evidence about nature, make accurate predictions about systems being studied, be logical, respect the rules of evidence, be open to criticism, report methods and procedures, make a commitment to making knowledge public)

14.4.3 Understands how scientific knowledge changes and accumulates over time (e.g., all scientific knowledge is subject to change as new evidence becomes available; some scientific ideas are incomplete and opportunity exists in these areas for new advances; theories are continually tested, revised, and occasionally discarded)

14.4.4 Knows that from time to time, major shifts occur in the scientific view of how the world works, but usually the changes that take place in the body of scientific knowledge are small modifications of prior knowledge

Science Standard: 15
Understands the nature of scientific inquiry
Project 2061: Benchmarks for Science Literacy, p. 9 (Explicitly stated)

Level I: Primary (Grades K-2)

15.1.2 Knows that tools (e.g., thermometers, magnifiers, rulers, balances) can be used to gather information and extend the senses

Level II: Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)

15.2.1 Knows that scientific investigations involve asking and answering a question and comparing the answer to what scientists already know about the world

15.2.2 Knows that scientists use different kinds of investigations (e.g., naturalistic observation of things or events, data collection, controlled experiments), depending on the questions they are trying to answer

15.2.3 Plans and conducts simple investigations (e.g., makes systematic observations, conducts simple experiments to answer questions)

15.2.4 Uses simple equipment and tools to gather scientific data and extend the senses (e.g., rulers, thermometers, magnifiers, microscopes, calculators)

15.2.5 Knows that good scientific explanations are based on evidence (observations) and scientific knowledge

15.2.6 Knows that scientists make the results of their investigations public; they describe the investigations in ways that enable others to repeat the investigations

15.2.7 Knows that scientists review and ask questions about the results of other scientists' work

15.2.8 Knows that different people may interpret the same set of observations differently

Level III: Middle School/Jr. High (Grades 6-8)

15.3.1 Knows that there is no fixed procedure called "the scientific method," but that investigations involve systematic observations, carefully collected, relevant evidence, logical reasoning, and some imagination in developing hypotheses and explanations

15.3.2 Designs and conducts a scientific investigation (e.g., formulates questions, designs and executes investigations, interprets data, synthesizes evidence into explanations, proposes alternative explanations for observations, critiques explanations and procedures)

15.3.3 Knows that observations can be affected by bias (e.g., strong beliefs about what should happen in particular circumstances can prevent the detection of other results)

15.3.4 Uses appropriate tools (including computer hardware and software) and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret scientific data

15.3.5 Establishes relationships based on evidence and logical argument (e.g., provides causes for effects)

15.3.6 Understands the nature of scientific explanations (e.g., emphasis on evidence; use of logically consistent arguments; use of scientific principles, models, and theories; acceptance or displacement based on new scientific evidence)

15.3.7 Knows that scientific inquiry includes evaluating results of scientific investigations, experiments, observations, theoretical and mathematical models, and explanations proposed by other scientists (e.g., reviewing experimental procedures, examining evidence, identifying faulty reasoning, identifying statements that go beyond the evidence, suggesting alternative explanations)

15.3.8 Knows possible outcomes of scientific investigations (e.g., some may result in new ideas and phenomena for study; some may generate new methods or procedures for an investigation; some may result in the development of new technologies to improve the collection of data; some may lead to new investigations)

Level IV: High School (Grades 9-12)

15.4.1 Understands the use of hypotheses in science (e.g., selecting and narrowing the focus of data, determining additional data to be gathered; guiding the interpretation of data)

15.4.2 Designs and conducts scientific investigations by formulating testable hypotheses, identifying and clarifying the method, controls, and variables; organizing and displaying data; revising methods and explanations; presenting the results; and receiving critical response from others

15.4.3 Knows that a wide range of natural occurrences may be observed to discern patterns when conditions of an investigation cannot be controlled

15.4.4 Uses technology (e.g., hand tools, measuring instruments, calculators, computers) and mathematics (e.g., measurement, formulas, charts, graphs) to perform accurate scientific investigations and communications

15.4.5 Knows that conceptual principles and knowledge guide scientific inquiries; historical and current scientific knowledge influence the design and interpretation of investigations and the evaluation of proposed explanations made by other scientists

15.4.6 Knows that scientists conduct investigations for a variety of reasons (e.g., to discover new aspects of the natural world, to explain recently observed phenomena, to test the conclusions of prior investigations, to test the predictions of current theories)

15.4.7 Knows that investigations and public communication among scientists must meet certain criteria in order to result in new knowledge and methods (e.g., arguments must be logical and demonstrate connections between natural phenomena, investigations, and the historical body of scientific knowledge; the methods and procedures used to obtain evidence must be clearly reported to enhance opportunities for further investigation)

Science Standard: 16
Understands the scientific enterprise
Project 2061: Benchmarks for Science Literacy, p. 14 (Explicitly stated)

Level I: Primary (Grades K-2)

16.1.1 Knows that in science it is helpful to work with a team and share findings with others

Level II: Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)

16.2.1 Knows that people of all ages, backgrounds, and groups have made contributions to science and technology throughout history

16.2.2 Knows that although people using scientific inquiry have learned much about the objects, events, and phenomena in nature, science is an ongoing process and will never be finished

16.2.3 Knows that scientists and engineers often work in teams to accomplish a task

Level III: Middle School/Jr. High (Grades 6-8)

16.3.1 Knows that people of all backgrounds and with diverse interests, talents, qualities, and motivations engage in fields of science and engineering; some of these people work in teams and others work alone, but all communicate extensively with others

16.3.2 Knows that the work of science requires a variety of human abilities, qualities, and habits of mind (e.g., reasoning, insight, energy, skill, creativity, intellectual honesty, tolerance of ambiguity, skepticism, openness to new ideas)

16.3.3 Knows various settings in which scientists and engineers may work (e.g., colleges and universities, businesses and industries, research institutes, government agencies)

16.3.5 Knows that throughout history, many scientific innovators have had difficulty breaking through accepted ideas of their time to reach conclusions that are now considered to be common knowledge

16.3.6 Knows ways in which science and society influence one another (e.g., scientific knowledge and the procedures used by scientists influence the way many individuals in society think about themselves, others, and the environment; societal challenges often inspire questions for scientific research; social priorities often influence research priorities through the availability of funding for research)

Level IV: High School (Grades 9-12)

16.4.1 Knows that throughout history, diverse cultures have developed scientific ideas and solved human problems through technology

16.4.2 Understands that individuals and teams contribute to science and engineering at different levels of complexity (e.g., an individual may conduct basic field studies; hundreds of people may work together on a major scientific question or technological problem)

16.4.3 Understands the ethical traditions associated with the scientific enterprise (e.g., commitment to peer review, truthful reporting about the methods and outcomes of investigations, publication of the results of work) and that scientists who violate these traditions are censored by their peers

16.4.4 Knows that science and technology are essential social enterprises, but alone they can only indicate what can happen, not what should happen

16.4.5 Understands that science involves different types of work in many different disciplines (e.g., scientists in different disciplines ask different questions, use different methods of investigation, and accept different types of evidence to support their explanations; many scientific investigations require the contributions of individuals from different disciplines; new disciplines of science, such as geophysics and biochemistry, often emerge at the interface of older disciplines)

16.4.6 Knows that creativity, imagination, and a good knowledge base are all required in the work of science and engineering