Explain the implications of the assumption that the rules of the universe are the same everywhere and these rules can be discovered by careful and systematic investigation.
Understand that scientists conduct investigations for a variety of reasons, including: to discover new aspects of the natural world, to explain observed phenomena, to test the conclusions of prior investigations, or to test the predictions of current theories.
Explain how the traditions and norms of science define the bounds of professional scientific practice and reveal instances of scientific error or misconduct.
Explain how societal and scientific ethics impact research practices.
Identify sources of bias and explain how bias might influence the direction of research and the interpretation of data.
Describe how changes in scientific knowledge generally occur in incremental steps that include and build on earlier knowledge.
Explain how scientific and technological innovations -as well as new evidence- can challenge portions of, or entire accepted theories and models including, but not limited to: cell theory, atomic theory, theory of evolution, plate tectonic theory, germ theory of disease, and the big bang theory.
Formulate a testable hypothesis, design and conduct an experiment to test the hypothesis, analyze the data, consider alternative explanations and draw conclusions supported by evidence from the investigation.
Evaluate the explanations proposed by others by examining and comparing evidence, identifying faulty reasoning, pointing out statements that go beyond the scientifically acceptable evidence, and suggesting alternative scientific explanations.
Identify the critical assumptions and logic used in a line of reasoning to judge the validity of a claim.
Use primary sources or scientific writings to identify and explain how different types of questions and their associated methodologies are used by scientists for investigations in different disciplines.
Understand that engineering designs and products are often continually checked and critiqued for alternatives, risks, costs and benefits, so that subsequent designs are refined and improved.
Recognize that risk analysis is used to determine the potential positive and negative consequences of using a new technology or design, including the evaluation of causes and effects of failures.
Explain and give examples of how, in the design of a device, engineers consider how it is to be manufactured, operated, maintained, replaced and disposed of.
Identify a problem and the associated constraints on possible design solutions.
Develop possible solutions to an engineering problem and evaluate them using conceptual, physical and mathematical models to determine the extent to which the solutions meet the design specifications.
Describe a system, including specifications of boundaries and subsystems, relationships to other systems, and identification of inputs and expected outputs.
Identify properties of a system that are different from those of its parts but appear because of the interaction of those parts.
Describe how positive and/or negative feedback occur in systems.
Provide examples of how diverse cultures, including natives from all of the Americas, have contributed scientific and mathematical ideas and technological inventions.
Analyze possible careers in science and engineering in terms of education requirements, working practices and rewards.
Describe how values and constraints affect science and engineering.
Communicate, justify and defend the procedures and results of a scientific inquiry or engineering design project using verbal, graphic, quantitative, virtual or written means.
Describe how scientific investigations and engineering processes require multi-disciplinary contributions and efforts.
Describe how technological problems and advances often create a demand for new scientific knowledge, improved mathematics and new technologies.
Determine and use appropriate safety procedures, tools, computers and measurement instruments in science and engineering contexts.
Select and use appropriate numeric, symbolic, pictorial, or graphical representation to communicate scientific ideas, procedures and experimental results.
Relate the reliability of data to consistency of results, identify sources of error, and suggest ways to improve data collection and analysis.
Demonstrate how unit consistency and dimensional analysis can guide the calculation of quantitative solutions and verification of results.
Analyze the strengths and limitations of physical, conceptual, mathematical and computer models used by scientists and engineers.
Compare and contrast the interaction of tectonic plates at convergent and divergent boundaries.
Use modern earthquake data to explain how seismic activity is evidence for the process of subduction.
Describe how the pattern of magnetic reversals and rock ages on both sides of a mid-ocean ridge provides evidence of sea-floor spreading.
Explain how the rock record provides evidence for plate movement.
Describe how experimental and observational evidence led to the theory of plate tectonics.
Use relative dating techniques to explain how the structures of the Earth and life on Earth have changed over short and long periods of time.
Cite evidence from the rock record for changes in the composition of the global atmosphere as life evolved on Earth.
Compare and contrast the energy sources of the Earth, including the sun, the decay of radioactive isotopes and gravitational energy.
Explain how the outward transfer of Earth's internal heat drives the convection circulation in the mantle to move tectonic plates.
Explain how Earth's rotation, ocean currents, configuration of mountain ranges, and composition of the atmosphere influence the absorption and distribution of energy, which contributes to global climatic patterns.
Explain how evidence from the geologic record, including ice core samples, indicates that climate changes have occurred at varying rates over geologic time and continue to occur today.
Trace the cyclical movement of carbon, oxygen and nitrogen through the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere.
Describe how the solar system formed from a nebular cloud of dust and gas 4.6 billion years ago.
Explain how the Earth evolved into its present habitable form through interactions among the solid earth, the oceans, the atmosphere and organisms.
Compare and contrast the environmental conditions that make life possible on Earth with conditions found on the other planets and moons of our solar system.
Explain how evidence, including the Doppler shift of light from distant stars and cosmic background radiation, is used to understand the composition, early history and expansion of the universe.
Explain how gravitational clumping leads to nuclear fusion, producing energy and the chemical elements of a star.
Analyze the benefits, costs, risks and tradeoffs associated with natural hazards, including the selection of land use and engineering mitigation.
Explain how human activity and natural processes are altering the hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere, including pollution, topography and climate.