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Science - Elementary Curriculum SEEd - Grade 3
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Core Standards of the Course

Weather is a minute-by-minute, day-by-day variation of the atmosphere’s condition on a local scale. Scientists record patterns of weather across different times and areas so that they can make weather forecasts. Climate describes a range of an area’s typical weather conditions and the extent to which those conditions vary over a long period of time. A variety of weatherrelated hazards result from natural processes. While humans cannot eliminate natural hazards, they can take steps to reduce their impact.

Standard 3.1.1
Analyze and interpret data to reveal patterns that indicate typical weather conditions expected during a particular season. Emphasize students gathering data in a variety of ways and representing data in tables and graphs. Examples of data could include temperature, precipitation, or wind speed. (ESS2.D)

Standard 3.1.2
Obtain and communicate information to describe climate patterns in different regions of the world. Emphasize how climate patterns can be used to predict typical weather conditions. Examples of climate patterns could be average seasonal temperature and average seasonal precipitation. (ESS2.D)

Standard 3.1.3
Design a solution that reduces the effects of a weather-related hazard. Define the problem, identify criteria and constraints, develop possible solutions, analyze data from testing solutions, and propose modifications for optimizing a solution. Examples could include barriers to prevent flooding or wind-resistant roofs. (ESS3.B, ETS1.A, ETS1.B, ETS1.C)

Organisms (plants and animals, including humans) have unique and diverse life cycles, but they all follow a pattern of birth, growth, reproduction, and death. Different organisms vary in how they look and function because they have different inherited traits. An organism’s traits are inherited from its parents and can be influenced by the environment. Variations in traits between individuals in a population may provide advantages in surviving and reproducing in particular environments. When the environment changes, some organisms have traits that allow them to survive, some move to new locations, and some do not survive. Humans can design solutions to reduce the impact of environmental changes on organisms.

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Standard 3.2.1
Develop and use models to describe changes that organisms go through during their life cycles. Emphasize that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but follow a pattern of birth, growth, reproduction, and death. Examples of changes in life cycles could include how some plants and animals look different at different stages of life or how other plants and animals only appear to change size in their life. (LS1.B)

Standard 3.2.2
Analyze and interpret data to identify patterns of traits that plants and animals have inherited from parents. Emphasize the similarities and differences in traits between parent organisms and offspring and variation of traits in groups of similar organisms. (LS3.A, LS3.B)

Standard 3.2.3
Construct an explanation that the environment can affect the traits of an organism. Examples could include that the growth of normally tall plants is stunted with insufficient water or that pets given too much food and little exercise may become overweight. (LS3.B)

Standard 3.2.4
Construct an explanation showing how variations in traits and behaviors can affect the ability of an individual to survive and reproduce. Examples of traits could include large thorns protecting a plant from being eaten or strong smelling flowers to attracting certain pollinators. Examples of behaviors could include animals living in groups for protection or migrating to find more food. (LS2.D, LS4.B)

Standard 3.2.5
Engage in argument from evidence that in a particular habitat (system) some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all. Emphasize that organisms and habitats form systems in which the parts depend upon each other. Examples of evidence could include needs and characteristics of the organisms and habitats involved such as cacti growing in dry, sandy soil but not surviving in wet, saturated soil. (LS4.C)

Standard 3.2.6
Design a solution to a problem caused by a change in the environment that impacts the types of plants and animals living in that environment. Define the problem, identify criteria and constraints, and develop possible solutions. Examples of environmental changes could include changes in land use, water availability, temperature, food, or changes caused by other organisms. (LS2.C, LS4.D, ETS1.A, ETS1.B, ETS1.C)

Forces act on objects and have both a strength and a direction. An object at rest typically has multiple forces acting on it, but they are balanced, resulting in a zero net force on the object. Forces that are unbalanced can cause changes in an object’s speed or direction of motion. The patterns of an object’s motion in various situations can be observed, measured, and used to predict future motion. Forces are exerted when objects come in contact with each other; however, some forces can act on objects that are not in contact. The gravitational force of Earth, acting on an object near Earth’s surface, pulls that object toward the planet’s center. Electric and magnetic forces between a pair of objects can act at a distance. The strength of these non-contact forces depends on the properties of the objects and the distance between the objects.

Standard 3.3.1
Plan and carry out investigations that provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. Emphasize investigations where only one variable is tested at a time. Examples could include an unbalanced force on one side of a ball causing it to move and balanced forces pushing on a box from both sides producing no movement. (PS2.A, PS2.B)

Standard 3.3.2
Analyze and interpret data from observations and measurements of an object’s motion to identify patterns in its motion that can be used to predict future motion. Examples of motion with a predictable pattern could include a child swinging on a swing or a ball rolling down a ramp. (PS2.A, PS2.C)

Standard 3.3.3
Construct an explanation that the gravitational force exerted by Earth causes objects to be directed downward, toward the center of the spherical Earth. Emphasize that "downward" is a local description depending on one’s position on Earth. (PS2.B)

Standard 3.3.4
Ask questions to plan and carry out an investigation to determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other. Emphasize how static electricity and magnets can cause objects to move without touching. Examples could include the force an electrically charged balloon has on hair, how magnet orientation affects the direction of a force, or how distance between objects affects the strength of a force. Electrical charges and magnetic fields will be taught in Grades 6 through 8. (PS2.B)

Standard 3.3.5
Design a solution to a problem in which a device functions by using scientific ideas about magnets. Define the problem, identify criteria and constraints, develop possible solutions using models, analyze data from testing solutions, and propose modifications for optimizing a solution. Examples could include a latch or lock used to keep a door shut or a device to keep two moving objects from touching each other. (PS2.B, ETS1.A, ETS1.B, ETS1.C)

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 - Jennifer Throndsen and see the Science - Elementary website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - Jennifer Throndsen .

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.