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Science - Secondary Curriculum SEEd - Grade 7 (2017)
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Core Standards of the Course

The seventh grade SEEd standards look for relationships of cause and effect which enable students to pinpoint mechanisms of nature and allow them to make predictions. Students will explore how forces can cause changes in motion and are responsible for the transfer of energy and the cycling of matter. This takes place within and between a wide variety of systems, from simple, short-term forces on individual objects to the deep, long-term forces that shape our planet. In turn, Earth's environments provide the conditions for life as we know it. Organisms survive and reproduce only to the extent that their own mechanisms and adaptations allow. Evidence for the evolutionary histories of life on Earth is provided through the fossil record, similarities in the various structures among species, organism development, and genetic similarities across all organisms. Additionally, mechanisms shaping Earth are understood as forces affecting the cycling of Earth's materials. Questions about cause and effect and the ongoing search for evidence in science, or science’s ongoing search for evidence, drive this storyline.

Strand 7.1: Forces interact with matter
Forces are push or pull interactions between two objects. Changes in motion, balance and stability, and transfers of energy are all facilitated by forces on matter. Forces, including electric, magnetic, and gravitational forces, can act on objects that are not in contact with each other. Scientists use data from many sources to examine the cause and effect relationships determined by different forces.

Carry out an investigation which provides evidence that a change in an object's motion is dependent on the mass of the object and the sum of the forces acting on it. Various experimental designs should be evaluated to determine how well the investigation measures an object's motion. Emphasize conceptual understanding of Newton's First and Second Laws. Calculations will only focus along one-dimensional movement; the use of vectors will be introduced in high school.

Apply Newton's Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects in a system. Examples could include collisions between two moving objects or between a moving object and a stationary object.

Construct a model using observational evidence to describe the nature of fields that exist between objects that exert forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact. Emphasize the cause and effect relationship between properties of objects (such as magnets or electrically-charged objects) and the forces they exert.

Collect and analyze data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces. Examples could include electromagnets, electric motors, or generators. Examples of data could include the effect of the number of turns of wire on the strength of an electromagnet, or of increasing the number or strength of magnets on the speed of an electric motor.

Engage in argument from evidence to support the claim that gravitational interactions within a system are attractive and dependent upon the masses of interacting objects. Examples of evidence for arguments could include mathematical data generated from various simulations.

Strand 7.2: Changes to Earth over time
Earth's processes are dynamic and interactive, and are the result of energy flowing and matter cycling within and among Earth’s systems. Energy from the sun and Earth's internal heat are the main sources driving these processes. Plate tectonics is a unifying theory that explains crustal movements of Earth’s surface, how and where different rocks form, the occurrence of earthquakes and volcanoes, and the distribution of fossil plants and animals.

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Develop a model of the rock cycle to describe the relationship between energy flow and matter cycling that create igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Emphasize the processes of melting, crystallization, weathering, deposition, sedimentation, and deformation, which act together to form minerals and rocks.

Construct an explanation based on evidence for how processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales. Examples of processes that occur at varying time scales could include slow plate motions or rapid landslides. Examples of processes that occur at varying spatial scales could include uplift of a mountain range or deposition of fine sediments.

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Ask questions to identify constraints of specific geologic hazards and evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining the stability of human-engineered structures such as homes, roads and bridges. Examples of geologic hazards could include earthquakes, landslides, or floods.

Develop and use a scale model of the matter in Earth’s interior to demonstrate how differences in density and chemical composition (silicon, oxygen, iron, and magnesium) cause the formation of the crust, mantle, and core.

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Ask questions and analyze and interpret data about the patterns between plate tectonics and: 1) The occurrence of earthquakes and volcanoes. 2) Continental and ocean floor features. 3) The distribution of rocks and fossils. Examples could include identifying patterns on maps of earthquakes and volcanoes relative to plate boundaries, the shapes of the continents, the locations of ocean structures (including mountains, volcanoes, faults, and trenches), and similarities of rock and fossil types on different continents.

Make an argument from evidence for how the geologic time scale shows the age and history of Earth. Emphasize scientific evidence from rock strata, the fossil record, and the principles of relative dating such as superposition, uniformitarianism and recognizing unconformities.

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Strand 7.3: Structure and Function of Life
Living things are made of smaller structures, which function to meet the needs of survival. The basic structural unit of all living things is the cell. Parts of a cell work together to function as a system. Cells work together and form tissues, organs, and organ systems. Organ systems interact to meet the needs of the organism.

Plan and carry out an investigation that provides evidence that the basic structures of living things are cells. Emphasize that cells can form single-celled or multicellular organisms and that multicellular organisms are made of different types of cells.

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Develop and use a model to describe the function of a cell in living systems and the way parts of cells contribute to cell function. Emphasize the cell as a system, including the interrelating roles of the nucleus, chloroplasts, mitochondria, cell membrane, and cell wall.

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Construct an explanation using evidence to explain how body systems have various levels of organization. Emphasize understanding that cells form tissues, tissues form organs, and organs form systems specialized for particular body functions. Examples could include relationships between the circulatory, excretory, digestive, respiratory, muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems. Specific organ functions will be taught at the high school level.

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Strand 7.4: Reproduction and Inheritance
The great diversity of species on Earth is a result of genetic variation. Genetic traits are passed from parent to offspring. These traits affect the structure and behavior of organisms, which affect the organism's ability to survive and reproduce. Mutations can cause changes in traits that may affect an organism. As technology has developed, humans have been able to change the inherited traits in organisms which may impact society.

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Develop and use a model to explain the effect that different types of reproduction have on genetic variation, including asexual and sexual reproduction.

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Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about specific animal and plant adaptations and structures that affect the probability of successful reproduction. Examples of adaptations could include nest building to protect young from the cold, herding of animals to protect young from predators, vocalization of animals and colorful plumage to attract mates for breeding, bright flowers attracting butterflies that transfer pollen, flower nectar and odors that attract insects that transfer pollen, and hard shells on nuts that squirrels bury.

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Develop and use a model to describe why genetic mutations may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function of the organism. Emphasize the conceptual idea that changes to traits can conceptual idea that changes to traits can happen because of genetic mutations. Specific changes of genes at the molecular level, mechanisms for protein synthesis, and specific types of mutations will be introduced at the high school level.

Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the technologies that have changed the way humans affect the inheritance of desired traits in organisms. Analyze data from tests or simulations to determine the best solution to achieve success in cultivating selected desired traits in organisms. Examples could include artificial selection, genetic modification, animal husbandry, and gene therapy.

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Strand 7.5: Changes in Species Over Time
Genetic variation and the proportion of traits within a population can change over time. These changes can result in evolution through natural selection. Additional evidence of change over time can be found in the fossil record, anatomical similarities and differences between modern and ancient organisms, and embryological development.

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Construct an explanation that describes how the genetic variation of traits in a population can affect some individuals' probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment. Over time, specific traits may increase or decrease in populations. Emphasize the use of proportional reasoning to support explanations of trends in changes to populations over time. Examples could include camouflage, variation of body shape, speed and agility, or drought tolerance.

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Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth, under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.

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Construct explanations that describe the patterns of body structure similarities and differences between modern organisms, and between ancient and modern organisms, to infer possible evolutionary relationships.

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Analyze data to compare patterns in the embryological development across multiple species to identify similarities and differences not evident in the fully formed anatomy.

UEN logo - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Richard Scott and see the Science - Secondary website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - DIANA SUDDRETH .  

These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Board of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Board of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.