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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.

New Mexico Science Standards

The New Mexico Science Standards you can cover using "To MARS with MER" are listed below. We hope you will discover additional standards you can use. These are the ones our Instructional Materials Development team felt most directly related to the activities planned for "To MARS with MER".

New Mexico Science Standards

Kindergarten - 4th Grade

Strand I: Scientific Thinking and PracticeStandard I: Understand the processes of scientific investigations and use inquiry and scientific ways of observing, experimenting, predicting, and validating to think critically.

K-4 Benchmark I: Use scientific methods to observe, collect, record, analyze, predict, interpret, and determine reasonableness of data.

Grade Performance Standards
K 1. Use observation and questioning skills in science inquiry (e.g., What happens when something is pushed or pulled?).
2. Ask and answer questions about surroundings and share findings with classmates.
3. Record observations and data with pictures, numbers, and/or symbols.
1 1. Make observations, develop simple questions, and make comparisons of familiar situations (e.g., What does the seed look like when it starts to grow?).
2. Describe relationships between objects (e.g., above, next to, below) and predict the results of changing the relationships (e.g., When that block moves, what will happen to the one next to it?).
2 1. Conduct simple investigations (e.g., measure the sizes of plants of the same kind that are grown in sunlight and in shade).
2. Use tools to provide information not directly available through only the senses (e.g., magnifiers, rulers, thermometers).
3. Make predictions based on observed patterns as opposed to random guessing.
4. Follow simple instructions for a scientific investigation.
3 1. Make new observations when discrepancies exist between two descriptions of the same object or phenomenon to improve accuracy.
2. Recognize the difference between data and opinion.
3. Use numerical data in describing and comparing objects, events, and measurements.
4. Collect data in an investigation and analyze those data.
5. Know that the same scientific laws govern investigations in different times and places (e.g., gravity, growing plants).
4 1. Use instruments to perform investigations (e.g., timers, balances) and communicate findings.
2. Differentiate observation from interpretation and understand that a scientific explanation comes in part from what is observed and in part from how the observation is interpreted.
3. Conduct multiple trials to test a prediction, draw logical conclusions, and construct and interpret graphs from measurements.
4. Collect data in an investigation using multiple techniques, including control groups, and analyze those data to determine what other investigations could be conducted to validate findings.

Strand I: Scientific Thinking and PracticeStandard I: Understand the processes of scientific investigations and use inquiry and scientific ways of observing, experimenting, predicting, and validating to think critically.

K-4 Benchmark II: Use scientific thinking and knowledge and communicate findings.

Grade Performance Standards
K 1. Communicate observations and answer questions about surroundings.
1 1. Know that simple investigations do not always turn out as planned.
2 1. Understand that in doing science it is often helpful to work with a team and share findings.
2. Make accurate observations and communicate findings about investigations.
3 1. Use a variety of methods to display data and present findings.
2. Understand that predictions are based on observations, measurements, and cause-and-effect relationships.
4 1. Communicate ideas and present findings about scientific investigations that are open to critique from others.
2. Describe how scientific investigations may differ from one another (e.g., observations of nature, measurements of things changing over time).
3. Understand how data are used to explain how a simple system functions (e.g., a thermometer to measure heat loss as water cools).

Strand I: Scientific Thinking and PracticeStandard I: Understand the processes of scientific investigations and use inquiry and scientific ways of observing, experimenting, predicting, and validating to think critically.

K-4 Benchmark III: Use mathematical skills and vocabulary to analyze data, understand patterns and relationships, and communicate findings.

Grade Performance Standards
K 1. Observe and describe the relative sizes and characteristics of objects (e.g., bigger, brighter, louder, smellier).
1 1. Use numbers and mathematical language (e.g., "addition" instead of "add to," "subtraction" instead of "take away") to describe phenomena.
2 1. Record observations on simple charts or diagrams.
2. Measure length, weight, and temperature with appropriate tools and express those measurements in accurate mathematical language.
3 1. Use numerical data in describing and comparing objects, events, and measurements.
2. Pose a question of interest and present observations and measurements with accuracy.
3. Use various methods to display data and present findings and communicate results in accurate mathematical language.
4 1. Conduct multiple trials using simple mathematical techniques to make and test predictions.
2. Use mathematical equations to formulate and justify predictions based on cause-and-effect relationships.
3. Identify simple mathematical relationships in a scientific investigation (e.g., the relationship of the density of materials that will or will not float in water to the density of water).

Strand II: Content of ScienceStandard I (Physical Science): Understand the structure and properties of matter, the characteristics of energy, and the interactions between matter and energy.

K-4 Benchmark I: Recognize that matter has different forms and properties.

Grade Performance Standards
K 1. Observe that objects are made of different types of materials (e.g., metal, plastic, cloth, wood).
2. Observe that different materials have different properties (e.g., color, odor).
1 2. Describe simple properties of matter (e.g., hardness, flexibility, transparency).

Strand II: Content of ScienceStandard I (Physical Science): Understand the structure and properties of matter, the characteristics of energy, and the interactions between matter and energy.

K-4 Benchmark III: Identify forces and describe the motion of objects.

Grade Performance Standards
K 1. Observe that things move in many different ways (e.g., straight line, vibration, circular).
2. Know that the position and motion of an object (direction or speed) are changed by pushing or pulling it.
1 1. Describe ways to make things move, what causes them to stop, and what causes a change of speed, or change of direction.
2. Observe that gravity makes things fall to the ground unless something holds them up.
2 1. Describe how the strength of a push or pull affects the change in an object's motion (e.g., how a big or small push affects how high a swing rises).
3 3. Observe that some forces produce motion without objects touching (e.g., magnetic force on nails).
4. Describe motion on different time scales (e.g., the slow motion of a plant toward light, the fast motion of a tuning fork).
4 2. Describe the motion of an object by measuring its change of position over a period of time.
3. Describe that gravity exerts more force on objects with greater mass (e.g., it takes more force to hold up a heavy object than a lighter one).
4. Describe how some forces act on contact and other forces act at a distance (e.g., a person pushing a rock versus gravity acting on a rock).

Strand II: Content of ScienceStandard III (Earth and Space Science): Understand the structure of Earth, the solar system, and the universe, the interconnections among them, and the processes and interactions of Earth's systems.

K-4 Benchmark I: Know the structure of the solar system and the objects in the universe.

Grade Performance Standards
K 1. Observe that there are many objects in the night sky and that some are brighter than others.
2. Describe the location and movements of objects in the sky (e.g., stars, sun, moon).
1 3. Recognize that the sun, moon, and stars all appear to move slowly across the sky.
2 1. Observe that the phase of the moon appears a little different every day but looks the same again after about four weeks.
2. Observe that some objects in the night sky are brighter than others.
3 1. Describe the objects in the solar system (e.g., sun, Earth and other planets, moon) and their features (e.g., size, temperature).
2. Describe the relationships among the objects in the solar system (e.g., relative distances, orbital motions).
5. Know that telescopes enhance the appearance of some distant objects in the sky (e.g., the moon, planets).
4 2. Know that there are various types of telescopes that use different forms of light to observe distant objects in the sky.

Strand II: Content of ScienceStandard III (Earth and Space Science): Understand the structure of Earth, the solar system, and the universe, the interconnections among them, and the processes and interactions of Earth's systems.

K-4 Benchmark II: Know the structure and formation of Earth and its atmosphere and the processes that shape them.

Grade Performance Standards
2 1. Know that rocks have different shapes and sizes (e.g., boulders, pebbles, sand) and that smaller rocks result from the breaking and weathering of larger rocks.
2. Understand that rocks are made of materials with distinct properties.
3. Know that soil is made up of weathered rock and organic materials, and that soils differ in their capacity to support the growth of plants.

5th - 8th Grade

Strand I: Scientific Thinking and PracticeStandard I: Understand the processes of scientific investigations and use inquiry and scientific ways of observing, experimenting, predicting, and validating to think critically.

5-8 Benchmark I: Use scientific methods to develop questions, design and conduct experiments using appropriate technologies, analyze and evaluate results, make predictions, and communicate findings.

Grade Performance Standards
5 1. Plan and conduct investigations, including formulating testable questions, making systematic observations, developing logical conclusions, and communicating findings.
2. Use appropriate technologies (e.g., calculators, computers, balances, spring scales, microscopes) to perform scientific tests and to collect and display data.
3. Use graphic representations (e.g., charts, graphs, tables, labeled diagrams) to present data and produce explanations for investigations.
4. Describe how credible scientific investigations use reproducible elements including single variables, controls, and appropriate sample sizes to produce valid scientific results.
5. Communicate the steps and results of a scientific investigation.
6 1. Construct appropriate graphs from data and develop qualitative and quantitative statements about the relationships between variables being investigated.
2. Examine the reasonableness of data supporting a proposed scientific explanation.
3. Justify predictions and conclusions based on data.
7 1. Use a variety of print and web resources to collect information, inform investigations, and answer a scientific question or hypothesis.
2. Use models to explain the relationships between variables being investigated.
8 1. Evaluate the accuracy and reproducibility of data and observations.
2. Use a variety of technologies to gather, analyze and interpret scientific data.
3. Know how to recognize and explain anomalous data.

Strand I: Scientific Thinking and PracticeStandard I: Understand the processes of scientific investigations and use inquiry and scientific ways of observing, experimenting, predicting, and validating to think critically.

5-8 Benchmark II: Understand the processes of scientific investigation and how scientific inquiry results in scientific knowledge.

Grade Performance Standards
5 1. Understand that different kinds of investigations are used to answer different kinds of questions (e.g., observations, data collection, controlled experiments).
2. Understand that scientific conclusions are subject to peer and public review.
6 1. Understand that scientific knowledge is continually reviewed, critiqued, and revised as new data become available.
2. Understand that scientific investigations use common processes that include the collection of relevant data and observations, accurate measurements, the identification and control of variables, and logical reasoning to formulate hypotheses and explanations.
3. Understand that not all investigations result in defensible scientific explanations.
7 1. Describe how bias can affect scientific investigation and conclusions.
2. Critique procedures used to investigate a hypothesis.
3. Analyze and evaluate scientific explanations.
8 1. Examine alternative explanations for observations.
2. Describe ways in which science differs from other ways of knowing and from other bodies of knowledge (e.g., experimentation, logical arguments, skepticism).
3. Know that scientific knowledge is built on questions posed as testable hypotheses, which are tested until the results are accepted by peers.

Strand I: Scientific Thinking and PracticeStandard I: Understand the processes of scientific investigations and use inquiry and scientific ways of observing, experimenting, predicting, and validating to think critically.

5-8 Benchmark III: Use mathematical ideas, tools, and techniques to understand scientific knowledge.

Grade Performance Standards
5 1. Use appropriate units to make precise and varied measurements.
2. Use mathematical skills to analyze data.
3. Make predictions based on analyses of data, observations, and explanations.
4. Understand the attributes to be measured in a scientific investigation and describe the units, systems, and processes for making the measurement.
6 1. Evaluate the usefulness and relevance of data to an investigation.
2. Use probabilities, patterns, and relationships to explain data and observations.
7 1. Understand that the number of data (sample size) influences the reliability of a prediction.
2. Use mathematical expressions to represent data and observations collected in scientific investigations.
3. Select and use an appropriate model to examine a phenomenon.
8 1. Use mathematical expressions and techniques to explain data and observations and to communicate findings (e.g., formulas and equations, significant figures, graphing, sampling, estimation, mean).
2. Create models to describe phenomena.

Strand II: Content of ScienceStandard I (Physical Science): Understand the structure and properties of matter, the characteristics of energy, and the interactions between matter and energy.

5-8 Benchmark II: Explain the physical processes involved in the transfer, change, and conservation of energy.

Grade Performance Standards
5 1. Know that heat is transferred from hotter to cooler materials or regions until both reach the same temperature.
2. Know that heat is often produced as a by-product when one form of energy is converted to another form (e.g., when machines or organisms convert stored energy into motion).
6 1. Identify various types of energy (e.g., heat, light, mechanical, electrical, chemical, nuclear).
2. Understand that heat energy can be transferred through conduction, radiation and convection.

Strand II: Content of ScienceStandard I (Physical Science): Understand the structure and properties of matter, the characteristics of energy, and the interactions between matter and energy.

5-8 Benchmark III: Describe and explain forces that produce motion in objects.

Grade Performance Standards
5 1. Understand how the rate of change of position is the velocity of an object in motion.
2. Recognize that acceleration is the change in velocity with time.
3. Identify forces in nature (e.g., gravity, magnetism, electricity, friction).
4. Understand that when a force (e.g., gravity, friction) acts on an object, the object speeds up, slows down, or goes in a different direction.
6 1. Know that every object exerts gravitational force on every other object dependent on the masses and distance of separation (e.g., motions of celestial objects, tides).
2. Know that gravitational force is hard to detect unless one of the objects (e.g., Earth) has a lot of mass.
8
Forces
1. Know that there are fundamental forces in nature (e.g., gravity, electromagnetic forces, nuclear forces).
2. Know that a force has both magnitude and direction.
3. Analyze the separate forces acting on an object at rest or in motion (e.g., gravity, elastic forces, friction), including how multiple forces reinforce or cancel one another to result in a net force that acts on an object.
Motion
7. Know that an object's motion is always described relative to some other object or point (i.e., frame of reference).
8. Understand and apply Newton's Laws of Motion:
Objects in motion will continue in motion and objects at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force (inertia).
If a greater force is applied to an object a proportionally greater acceleration will occur.
If an object has more mass the effect of an applied force is proportionally less.

Strand II: Content of ScienceStandard III (Earth and Space Science): Understand the structure of Earth, the solar system, and the universe, the interconnections among them, and the processes and interactions of Earth's systems.

5-8 Benchmark I: Describe how the concepts of energy, matter, and force can be used to explain the observed behavior of the solar system, the universe, and their structures.

Grade Performance Standards
5 1. Know that many objects in the universe are huge and are separated from one another by vast distances (e.g., many stars are larger than the sun but so distant that they look like points of light).
2. Understand that Earth is part of a larger solar system, which is part of an even larger galaxy (Milky Way), which is one of many galaxies.
3. Know that there have been manned and unmanned journeys to space and to the moon.
6
Solar System
2. Locate the solar system in the Milky Way galaxy.
3. Identify the components of the solar system, and describe their defining characteristics and motions in space, including:
nine planets, their moons, asteroids.
8 3. Understand how gravitational force acts on objects in the solar system and the universe, including:
similar action on masses on Earth and on other objects in the solar system
explanation of the orbits of the planets around the sun.

9th - 12th Grade

Strand I: Scientific Thinking and PracticeStandard I: Understand the processes of scientific investigations and use inquiry and scientific ways of observing, experimenting, predicting, and validating to think critically.

9-12 Benchmark I: Use accepted scientific methods to collect, analyze, and interpret data and observations and to design and conduct scientific investigations and communicate results.

Grade Performance Standards
9-12 1. Describe the essential components of an investigation, including appropriate methodologies, proper equipment, and safety precautions.
2. Design and conduct scientific investigations that include:
testable hypotheses
controls and variables
methods to collect, analyze, and interpret data
results that address hypotheses being investigated
predictions based on results
re-evaluation of hypotheses and additional experimentation as necessary
error analysis.
3. Use appropriate technologies to collect, analyze, and communicate scientific data (e.g., computers, calculators, balances, microscopes).
4. Convey results of investigations using scientific concepts, methodologies, and expressions, including:
scientific language and symbols
diagrams, charts, and other data displays
mathematical expressions and processes (e.g., mean, median, slope, proportionality)
clear, logical, and concise communication
reasoned arguments.
5. Understand how scientific theories are used to explain and predict natural phenomena (e.g., plate tectonics, ocean currents, structure of atom).

Strand I: Scientific Thinking and Practice Standard I: Understand the processes of scientific investigations and use inquiry and scientific ways of observing, experimenting, predicting, and validating to think critically.

9-12 Benchmark II: Understand that scientific processes produce scientific knowledge that is continually evaluated, validated, revised, or rejected.

Grade Performance Standards
9-12 1. Understand how scientific processes produce valid, reliable results, including:
consistency of explanations with data and observations
openness to peer review
full disclosure and examination of assumptions
testability of hypotheses
repeatability of experiments and reproducibility of results.
2. Use scientific reasoning and valid logic to recognize:
faulty logic
cause and effect
the difference between observation and unsubstantiated inferences and conclusions
potential bias.
3. Understand how new data and observations can result in new scientific knowledge.
4. Critically analyze an accepted explanation by reviewing current scientific knowledge.
5. Examine investigations of current interest in science (e.g., superconductivity, molecular machines, age of the universe).
6. Examine the scientific processes and logic used in investigations of past events (e.g., using data from crime scenes, fossils), investigations that can be planned in advance but are only done once (e.g., expensive or time-consuming experiments such as medical clinical trials), and investigations of phenomena that can be repeated easily and frequently.

Strand I: Scientific Thinking and PracticeStandard I: Understand the processes of scientific investigations and use inquiry and scientific ways of observing, experimenting, predicting, and validating to think critically.

9-12 Benchmark III: Use mathematical concepts, principles, and expressions to analyze data, develop models, understand patterns and relationships, evaluate findings, and draw conclusions.

Grade Performance Standards
9-12 1. Create multiple displays of data to analyze and explain the relationships in scientific investigations.
2. Use mathematical models to describe, explain, and predict natural phenomena.
3. Use technologies to quantify relationships in scientific hypotheses (e.g., calculators, computer spreadsheets and databases, graphing software, simulations, modeling).
4. Identify and apply measurement techniques and consider possible effects of measurement errors.
5. Use mathematics to express and establish scientific relationships (e.g., scientific notation, vectors, dimensional analysis).

Strand II: The Content of ScienceStandard I: (Physical Science): Understand the structure and properties of matter, the characteristics of energy, and the interactions between matter and energy.

9-12 Benchmark III: Understand the motion of objects and waves, and the forces that cause them.

Grade Performance Standards
9-12
Forces
1. Know that there are four fundamental forces in nature: gravitation, electromagnetism, weak nuclear force, and strong nuclear force.
2. Know that every object exerts gravitational force on every other object, and how this force depends on the masses of the objects and the distance between them.
3. Know that materials containing equal amounts of positive and negative charges are electrically neutral, but that a small excess or deficit of negative charges produces significant electrical forces.
7. Know that when one object exerts a force on a second object, the second object exerts a force of equal magnitude and in the opposite direction on the first object (i.e., Newton's Third Law).
Motion
8. Apply Newton's Laws to describe and analyze the behavior of moving objects, including:
displacement, velocity, and acceleration of a moving object
Newton's Second Law, F = ma (e.g., momentum and its conservation, the motion of an object falling under gravity, the independence of a falling object's motion on mass)
circular motion and centripetal force.
9. Describe relative motion using frames of reference.

Strand III: Science and SocietyStandard I: Understand how scientific discoveries, inventions, practices, and knowledge influence, and are influenced by, individuals and societies.

9-12 Benchmark I: Examine and analyze how scientific discoveries and their applications affect the world, and explain how societies influence scientific investigations and applications.

Grade Performance Standards
9-12
Science and Technology
1. Know how science enables technology but also constrains it, and recognize the difference between real technology and science fiction (e.g., rockets vs. antigravity machines; nuclear reactors vs. perpetual-motion machines; medical X-rays vs. Star-Trek tricorders).
2. Understand how advances in technology enable further advances in science (e.g., microscopes and cellular structure; telescopes and understanding of the universe).
3. Evaluate the influences of technology on society (e.g., communications, petroleum, transportation, nuclear energy, computers, medicine, genetic engineering) including both desired and undesired effects, and including some historical examples (e.g., the wheel, the plow, the printing press, the lightning rod).
4. Understand the scientific foundations of common technologies (e.g., kitchen appliances, radio, television, aircraft, rockets, computers, medical X-rays, selective breeding, fertilizers and pesticides, agricultural equipment).
6. Analyze the impact of digital technologies on the availability, creation, and dissemination of information.

Science and Society
9. Describe how scientific knowledge helps decision makers with local, national, and global challenges (e.g., Waste Isolation Pilot Project [WIPP], mining, drought, population growth, alternative energy, climate change).
10. Describe major historical changes in scientific perspectives (e.g., atomic theory, germs, cosmology, relativity, plate tectonics, evolution) and the experimental observations that triggered them.
11. Know that societal factors can promote or constrain scientific discovery (e.g., government funding, laws and regulations about human cloning and genetically modified organisms, gender and ethnic bias, AIDS research, alternative-energy research).

Science and Individuals
15. Identify how science has produced knowledge that is relevant to individual health and material prosperity.
16. Understand that reasonable people may disagree about some issues that are of interest to both science and religion (e.g., the origin of life on Earth, the cause of the Big Bang, the future of Earth).
17. Identify important questions that science cannot answer (e.g., questions that are beyond today's science, decisions that science can only help to make, questions that are inherently outside of the realm of science).
18. Understand that scientists have characteristics in common with other individuals (e.g., employment and career needs, curiosity, desire to perform public service, greed, preconceptions and biases, temptation to be unethical, core values including honesty and openness).
19. Know that science plays a role in many different kinds of careers and activities (e.g., public service, volunteers, public office holders, researchers, teachers, doctors, nurses, technicians, farmers, ranchers).