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SCIENCE STANDARDS

     Science instruction should involve students actively using scientific processes to understand course content and make connections to real life and related areas of study. The goal in the development of the standard was to assure that the six strands and five unifying concepts are interwoven into a fabric of science that represents the true nature of science. Students have the opportunity to develop both the skills and content knowledge necessary to be scientifically literate members of the community. 

     Strands 1, 2, and 3 (Inquiry Process, History and Nature of Science, and Science in Personal and Social Perspective) contain the processes and connections desired of all students and must, therefore, be reflected in all science courses. These strands are designed to be explicitly taught and embedded within each of the content subjects – physics, chemistry and biology - and are not intended to be taught in isolation. The processes, skills, and content of the first three strands are designed to “umbrella” and complement the content of physics, chemistry and biology. 



STRAND 1

Inquiry Process Inquiry Process establishes the basis for students’ learning in science. Students use scientific processes: questioning, planning and conducting investigations, using appropriate tools and techniques to gather data, thinking critically and logically about relationships between evidence and explanations, and communicating results. 


Concept 1: Observations, Questions, and Hypotheses 

Formulate predictions, questions, or hypotheses based on observations. Evaluate appropriate resources. 


PO 1. Evaluate scientific information for relevance to a given problem. 


PO 2. Develop questions from observations that transition into testable hypotheses. 


PO 3. Formulate a testable hypothesis. 


PO 4. Predict the outcome of an investigation based on prior evidence, probability, and/or modeling (not guessing or inferring). 

Concept 2: Scientific Testing (Investigating and Modeling) 

Design and conduct controlled investigations. 


PO 1. Demonstrate safe and ethical procedures (e.g., use and care of technology, materials, organisms) and behavior in all science inquiry. 


PO 2. Identify the resources needed to conduct an investigation. 


PO 3. Design an appropriate protocol (written plan of action) for testing a hypothesis: 

     • Identify dependent and independent variables in a controlled investigation. 

     • Determine an appropriate method for data collection (e.g., using balances, thermometers, microscopes, spectrophotometer, using qualitative changes). 

     • Determine an appropriate method for recording data (e.g., notes, sketches, photographs, videos, journals (logs),

        charts, computers/calculators). 


PO 4. Conduct a scientific investigation that is based on a research design. 


PO 5. Record observations, notes, sketches, questions, and ideas using tools such as journals, charts, graphs, and computers.



Concept 3: Analysis, Conclusions, and Refinements 

Evaluate experimental design, analyze data to explain results and propose further investigations. Design models. 


PO 1. Interpret data that show a variety of possible relationships between variables, including: 

     • positive relationship 

     • negative relationship 

     • no relationship 


PO 2. Evaluate whether investigational data support or do not support the proposed hypothesis. 


PO 3. Critique reports of scientific studies (e.g., published papers, student reports). 


PO 4. Evaluate the design of an investigation to identify possible sources of procedural error, including: 

     • sample size 

     • trials 

     • controls 

     • analyses 


PO 5. Design models (conceptual or physical) of the following to represent "real world" scenarios: 

     • carbon cycle 

     • water cycle 

     • phase change 

     • collisions 


PO 6. Use descriptive statistics to analyze data, including: 

     • mean 

     • frequency 

     • range (See MHS-S2C1-10) 


PO 7. Propose further investigations based on the findings of a conducted investigation. 


Concept 4: Communication 

Communicate results of investigations.

 

PO 1. For a specific investigation, choose an appropriate method for communicating the results. 

 

PO 2. Produce graphs that communicate data.  


PO 3. Communicate results clearly and logically. 


PO 4. Support conclusions with logical scientific arguments.


STRAND 2: History and Nature of Science


Scientific investigation grows from the contributions of many people. History and Nature of Science

emphasizes the importance of the inclusion of historical perspectives and the advances that each new

development brings to technology and human knowledge. This strand focuses on the human aspects of

science and the role that scientists play in the development of various cultures.


Concept 1: History of Science as a Human Endeavor

Identify individual, cultural, and technological contributions to scientific knowledge.


PO 1. Describe how human curiosity and needs have influenced science, impacting the quality of life worldwide.


PO 2. Describe how diverse people and/or cultures, past and present, have made important contributions to

scientific innovations.


PO 3. Analyze how specific changes in science have affected society.


PO 4. Analyze how specific cultural and/or societal issues promote or hinder scientific advancements.


Concept 2: Nature of Scientific Knowledge

Understand how science is a process for generating knowledge.


PO 1. Specify the requirements of a valid, scientific explanation (theory), including that it be:

     • logical

     • subject to peer review

     • public

     • respectful of rules of evidence


PO 2. Explain the process by which accepted ideas are challenged or extended by scientific innovation.


PO 3. Distinguish between pure and applied science.


PO 4. Describe how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of theories.




STRAND 3: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives


Science in Personal and Social Perspectives emphasizes developing the ability to design a solution to a

problem, to understand the relationship between science and technology, and the ways people are

involved in both. Students understand the impact of science and technology on human activity and the

environment. This strand affords students the opportunity to understand their place in the world – as living

creatures, consumers, decision makers, problem solvers, managers, and planners.


Concept 1: Changes in Environments

Describe the interactions between human populations, natural hazards, and the environment.


PO 1. Evaluate how the processes of natural ecosystems affect, and are affected by, humans.


PO 2. Describe the environmental effects of the following natural and/or human-caused hazards:

     • flooding

     • drought

     • earthquakes

     • fires

     • pollution

     • extreme weather


PO 3. Assess how human activities (e.g., clear cutting, water management, tree thinning) can affect the potential for

hazards.


PO 4. Evaluate the following factors that affect the quality of the environment:

     • urban development

     • smoke

     • volcanic dust


PO 5. Evaluate the effectiveness of conservation practices and preservation techniques on environmental quality and

biodiversity.



Concept 2: Science and Technology in Society

Develop viable solutions to a need or problem.


PO 1. Analyze the costs, benefits, and risks of various ways of dealing with the following needs or problems:

     • various forms of alternative energy

     • storage of nuclear waste

     • abandoned mines

     • greenhouse gases

     • hazardous wastes


PO 2. Recognize the importance of basing arguments on a thorough understanding of the core concepts and

principles of science and technology.


PO 3. Support a position on a science or technology issue.


PO 4. Analyze the use of renewable and nonrenewable resources in Arizona:

     • water

     • land

     • soil

     • minerals

     • air


PO 5. Evaluate methods used to manage natural resources (e.g., reintroduction of wildlife, fire ecology).


Concept 3: Human Population Characteristics

Analyze factors that affect human populations.


PO 1. Analyze social factors that limit the growth of a human population, including:

     • affluence

     • education

     • access to health care

     • cultural influences


PO 2. Describe biotic (living) and abiotic (nonliving) factors that affect human populations.


PO 3. Predict the effect of a change in a specific factor on a human population.