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Science - Secondary Curriculum
Science - 8th Grade
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Core Standards of the Course

Science Benchmark
Chemical change is a primary way that matter on earth changes from one form to another. Energy is involved in chemical and physical change. When chemical or physical changes occur, the total amount of matter and energy remains the same; this is the law of conservation of matter and energy.

Matter can change state through physical change. In a physical change the identity of the atoms does not change.

In a chemical change the identity of the atoms does not change, but the atoms are recombined into a new substance. Evidence for a chemical reaction may include color change, gas given off, and heat or light given off or absorbed. Changing the amount of energy in a chemical system alters the reaction rate. Changing the surface area and/or concentration of reactants changes the rate of chemical reaction.

Standard 1
Students will understand the nature of changes in matter.

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Objective 1
Describe the chemical and physical properties of various substances.

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  1. Differentiate between chemical and physical properties.
  2. Classify substances based on their chemical and physical properties (e.g., reacts with water, does not react with water, flammable or nonflammable, hard or soft, flexible or nonflexible, evaporates or melts at room temperature).
  3. Investigate and report on the chemical and physical properties of a particular substance.

Objective 2
Observe and evaluate evidence of chemical and physical change.

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  1. Identify observable evidence of a physical change (e.g., change in shape, size, phase).
  2. Identify observable evidence of a chemical change (e.g., color change, heat or light given off, change in odor, gas given off).
  3. Observe and describe chemical reactions involving atmospheric oxygen (e.g., rust, fire, respiration, photosynthesis).
  4. Investigate the effects of chemical change on physical properties of substances (e.g., cooking a raw egg, iron rusting, polymerization of a resin).

Objective 3
Investigate and measure the effects of increasing or decreasing the amount of energy in a physical or chemical change, and relate the kind of energy added to the motion of the particles.

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  1. Identify the kinds of energy (e.g., heat, light, sound) given off or taken in when a substance undergoes a chemical or physical change.
  2. Relate the amount of energy added or taken away from a substance to the motion of molecules in the substance.
  3. Measure and graph the relationship between the states of water and changes in its temperature.
  4. Cite evidence showing that heat may be given off or taken in during a chemical change (e.g., striking a match, mixing vinegar and antacid, mixing ammonium chloride and water).
  5. Plan and conduct an experiment, and report the effect of adding or removing energy on the chemical and physical changes.

Objective 4
Identify the observable features of chemical reactions.

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  1. Identify the reactants and products in a given chemical change and describe the presence of the same atoms in both the reactants and products.
  2. Cite examples of common significant chemical reactions (e.g., photosynthesis, respiration, combustion, rusting) in daily life.
  3. Demonstrate that mass is conserved in a chemical reaction (e.g., mix two solutions that result in a color change or formation of a precipitate and weigh the solutions before and after mixing).
  4. Experiment with variables affecting the relative rates of chemical changes (e.g., heating, cooling, stirring, crushing, concentration).
  5. Research and report on how scientists or engineers have applied principles of chemistry to an application encountered in daily life (e.g., heat-resistant plastic handles on pans, rust-resistant paints on highway bridges).

Science Benchmark
The sun is the source for essentially all biological energy. Plants store captured light energy as chemical energy in sugars. Animals eat plants to obtain the energy and matter that they need. The energy from food is used for mechanical and heat energy. The matter is used to build the cells of the organism.

Food chains and food webs are models used to show the transfer of energy and matter among organisms. These models can be used to show relationships among organisms. Organisms, including humans, influence the ability of other organisms to live in a specific environment.

Standard 2
Students will understand that energy from sunlight is changed to chemical energy in plants, transfers between living organisms, and that changing the environment may alter the amount of energy provided to living organisms.

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Objective 1
Compare ways that plants and animals obtain and use energy.

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  1. Recognize the importance of photosynthesis in using light energy as part of the chemical process that builds plant materials.
  2. Explain how respiration in animals is a process that converts food energy into mechanical and heat energy.
  3. Trace the path of energy from the sun to mechanical energy in an organism (e.g., sunlight - light energy to plants by photosynthesis to sugars - stored chemical energy to respiration in muscle cell - usable chemical energy to muscle contraction- mechanical energy).

Objective 2
Generalize the dependent relationships between organisms.

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  1. Categorize the relationships between organisms (i.e., producer/consumer/decomposer, predator/prey, mutualism/parasitism) and provide examples of each.
  2. Use models to trace the flow of energy in food chains and food webs.
  3. Formulate and test a hypothesis on the effects of air, temperature, water, or light on plants (e.g., seed germination, growth rates, seasonal adaptations).
  4. Research multiple ways that different scientists have investigated the same ecosystem.

Objective 3
Analyze human influence on the capacity of an environment to sustain living things.

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  1. Describe specific examples of how humans have changed the capacity of an environment to support specific life forms (e.g., people create wetlands and nesting boxes that increase the number and range of wood ducks, acid rain damages amphibian eggs and reduces population of frogs, clear cutting forests affects squirrel populations, suburban sprawl reduces mule deer winter range thus decreasing numbers of deer).
  2. Distinguish between inference and evidence in a newspaper or magazine article relating to the effect of humans on the environment.
  3. Infer the potential effects of humans on a specific food web.
  4. Evaluate and present arguments for and against allowing a specific species of plant or animal to become extinct, and relate the argument to the of flow energy in an ecosystem.

Science Benchmark
Earth is a dynamic planet. Processes that change Earth's surface operated in the past much as they do today. Evidence of past surface and climatic changes are indicated in the rock and fossil records. Rocks are composed of minerals. Rocks and minerals cycle through processes that change their form.

Several processes contribute to changing Earth’s surface. Earth’s surface is changed by heat flowing from Earth's hot interior toward the cooler surface and by atmospheric processes. Earth’s surface can change abruptly through volcanoes and earthquakes. Earth’s surface can change gradually through mountain building, weathering, erosion, and deposition. Small changes that repeatedly occur over very long time periods can add up to major changes in Earth’s surface.

Standard 3
Students will understand the processes of rock and fossil formation.

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Objective 1
Compare rocks and minerals and describe how they are related.

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  1. Recognize that most rocks are composed of minerals.
  2. Observe and describe the minerals found in rocks (e.g., shape, color, luster, texture, hardness).
  3. Categorize rock samples as sedimentary, metamorphic, or igneous.

Objective 2
Describe the nature of the changes that rocks undergo over long periods of time.

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  1. Diagram and explain the rock cycle.
  2. Describe the role of energy in the processes that change rock materials over time.
  3. Use a model to demonstrate how erosion changes the surface of Earth.
  4. Relate gravity to changes in Earth’s surface.
  5. Identify the role of weathering of rocks in soil formation.
  6. Describe and model the processes of fossil formation.

Objective 3
Describe how rock and fossil evidence is used to infer Earth’s history.

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  1. Describe how the deposition of rock materials produces layering of sedimentary rocks over time.
  2. Identify the assumptions scientists make to determine relative ages of rock layers.
  3. Explain why some sedimentary rock layers may not always appear with youngest rock on top and older rocks below (i.e., folding, faulting).
  4. Research how fossils show evidence of the changing surface of the Earth.
  5. Propose why more recently deposited rock layers are more likely to contain fossils resembling existing species than older rock layers.

Objective 4
Compare rapid and gradual changes to Earth’s surface.

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  1. Describe how energy from the Earth's interior causes changes to Earth’s surface (i.e., earthquakes, volcanoes).
  2. Describe how earthquakes and volcanoes transfer energy from Earth's interior to the surface (e.g., seismic waves transfer mechanical energy, flowing magma transfers heat and mechanical energy).
  3. Model the process of energy buildup and release in earthquakes.
  4. Investigate and report possible reasons why the best engineering or ecological practices are not always followed in making decisions about building roads, dams, and other structures.
  5. Model how small changes over time add up to major changes to Earth’s surface.

Science Benchmark
Movement involves one form of energy being transformed into another form. Energy has the potential to exert a force over a distance. Waves transfer energy such as sound, heat, light, and earthquakes through different mediums. Sound and light waves allow organisms to "hear" and "see" the world around them. Energy is classified as either kinetic or potential energy.

Every object exerts a gravitational force on every other object. The distance between objects and mass of the objects determine the force of gravity between them. This force is difficult to measure unless one of the objects has a very large mass. Unbalanced forces cause change in the motion of objects, while balanced forces do not.

Standard 4
Students will understand the relationships among energy, force, and motion.

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Objective 1
Investigate the transfer of energy through various materials.

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  1. Relate the energy of a wave to wavelength.
  2. Compare the transfer of energy (i.e., sound, light, earthquake waves, heat) through various mediums.
  3. Describe the spread of energy away from an energy-producing source.
  4. Compare the transfer of heat by conduction, convection, and radiation and provide examples of each.
  5. Demonstrate how white light can be separated into the visible color spectrum.

Objective 2
Examine the force exerted on objects by gravity.

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  1. Distinguish between mass and weight.
  2. Cite examples of how Earth’s gravitational force on an object depends upon the mass of the object.
  3. Describe how Earth’s gravitational force on an object depends upon the distance of the object from Earth.
  4. Design and build structures to support a load.
  5. Engineer (design and build) a machine that uses gravity to accomplish a task.

Objective 3
Investigate the application of forces that act on objects, and the resulting motion.

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  1. Calculate the mechanical advantage created by a lever.
  2. Engineer a device that uses levers or inclined planes to create a mechanical advantage.
  3. Engineer a device that uses friction to control the motion of an object.
  4. Design and build a complex machine capable of doing a specified task.
  5. Investigate the principles used to engineer changes in forces and motion.

Objective 4
Analyze various forms of energy and how living organisms sense and respond to energy.

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  1. Analyze the cyclic nature of potential and kinetic energy (e.g., a bouncing ball, a pendulum).
  2. Trace the conversion of energy from one form of energy to another (e.g., light to chemical to mechanical).
  3. Cite examples of how organisms sense various types of energy.
  4. Investigate and report the response of various organisms to changes in energy (e.g., plant response to light, human response to motion, sound, light, insects’ response to changes in light intensity).
  5. Investigate and describe how engineers have developed devices to help us sense various types of energy (e.g., seismographs, eyeglasses, telescopes, hearing aids).

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