Distinguishing between observational, experimental, and research questions (e.g., Observational-How does a cricket chirp? Experimental--Does the amount of light affect how a cricket chirps? Research-Do all crickets chirp? Why do crickets chirp?).
Identifying multiple variables that affect a system and using the variables to generate experimental questions that include cause and effect relationships.
Using logical inferences derived from evidence to predict what may happen or be observed in the future.
Providing an explanation (hypothesis) that is reasonable in terms of available evidence.
A list of materials needed that specifies quantities (e.g., 250 ml water).
A procedure that lists significant steps sequentially and describes which variable will be manipulated or changed and which variables will remain the same ("Fair Test").
An appropriate format for recording data.
A strategy for conducting multiple trials ("Fair Test").
Choosing appropriate measurements for the task and measuring accurately.
Collecting data and recording accurate and complete data from multiple trials.
Selecting an appropriate perspective (e.g., cross section, top view, side view) and recording precise proportions.
Determining an appropriate representation (line graph in addition to prior examples) to represent their findings accurately.
Selecting a scale that is appropriate for range of data to be plotted, labeling units, and presenting data in an objective way.
Including clearly labeled keys and symbols, when necessary.
Using correct scientific terminology to label representations.
Identifying relationships of variables based upon evidence.
Questioning data that might not seem accurate or does not fit into the pattern of other findings.
Explaining data using correct scientific terminology
Using experimental results to support or refute original hypothesis.
Considering all data when developing an explanation/conclusion.
Identifying problems/flaws with the experimental design.
Using additional resources (e.g., books, journals, databases, interview, etc.) to strengthen an explanation.
Preparing a conclusion statement/summary.
Explaining how experimental findings can be generalized to other situations.
Predicting the effect of heating and cooling on the physical state and the mass of a substance.
Energy is required to transform the physical state of a substance from solid to liquid to gas, while conserving mass. Physical changes are reversible.
Investigating variables that change an object's speed, direction, or both, and identifying and describing the forces that cause the change in motion.
A force applied to a moving object will change the object's speed, direction or both.
Friction is a force that often opposes motion.
Gravity and magnetism are examples of long-range forces that do not require direct contact of the interacting objects.
Predicting and explaining the effect of gravitational forces between pairs of objects (i.e., earth and objects' on the surface, earth and moon, earth and sun).
Gravity is the force that holds objects to the earth's surface, keeps planets in orbit around the sun, and governs the rest of the motion in the solar system.
The force of gravity pulls toward the center of mass of an object.
Identifying real world applications where heat energy is transferred , using evidence to explain the direction that the heat energy flows.
Heat energy only flows from high temperature to lower temperature in order to reach equilibrium (same temperature).
Heat can move from one object to another by conduction.
Exploring, describing and explaining the behavior of charged objects (static electricity) in terms of charges and equilibrium.
Unbalanced charges produce a potential for a flow of electricity (Static Electricity).
Unbalanced charges will move toward equilibrium because like charges repel, and opposite charges attract.
Identifying real world objects that demonstrate and utilize a magnetic force field acting over a distance.
Distinguishing between objects affected by magnetic force and objects affected by other non-contact forces, using evidence to explain this principle.
Magnetism is a force field that acts over a distance.
Exploring and explaining devices that demonstrate the magnetic effects of electricity and the electric effects of moving magnets.
Exploring and explaining the relationship between the device and the magnetic or electric effect it produces, citing evidence to support the explanation.
Moving electrical charges [electricity] produce magnetic force [magnetism] (i.e., electromagnet, motor).
Moving magnets produce electricity (e.g., generator).
Designing demonstrations that represent the characteristics of light energy transfer.
Light travels from an energy source (such as the sun) in straight lines.
When light hits an object, it is absorbed, reflected, transmitted or some combination.
Objects can be seen only when light waves are emitted from or reflected off the object and enter into the eye.
Generating a sound and identifying the path of vibration from the source to the ear.
Sound is produced by vibrations in materials that set up wavelike disturbances that spread away from the source.
Developing questions that reflect prior knowledge.
Refining and focusing broad ill-defined questions.
Predicting results (evidence) that support the hypothesis.
Proposing a hypothesis based upon a scientific concept or principle, observation, or experience that identifies the relationship among variables.
A diagram labeled using scientific terminology that supports procedures and illustrates the setup.
A procedure that lists significant steps that identify manipulated (independent) and responding (dependent) variables.
A control for comparing data when appropriate.
Identification of tools and procedures for collecting data and reducing error.
Accurately quantifying observations using appropriate measurement tools.
Using technology to collect, quantify, organize, and store observations (e.g., use of probe).
Recording multiple perspectives to scale (e.g., magnification, cross section, top view, side view, etc.).
Representing independent variable on the "X" axis and dependent variable on the "Y" axis.
Determining a scale for a diagram that is appropriate to the task.
Using technology to enhance a representation.
Using color, texture, symbols and other graphic strategies to clarify trends/patterns within a representation.
Identifying, considering and addressing experimental errors (e.g., errors in experimental design, errors in data collection procedures).
Identifying limitations and/or sources of error within the experimental design.
Using scientific concepts, models, and terminology to report results, discuss relationships, and propose new explanations.
Generating alternative explanations.
Documenting and explaining changes in experimental design.
Sharing conclusion/summary with appropriate audience beyond the research group.
Using mathematical analysis as an integral component of the conclusion.
Identifying additional data that would strengthen an investigation.
Explaining limitations for generalizing findings.
Explaining relevance of findings (e.g., So what?) to the local environment (community, school, classroom).
Devising recommendations for further investigation and making decisions based on evidence for experimental results.
Constructing their own models that represent the states of matter at the molecular level and explaining the effect of increased and decreased heat energy on the motion and arrangement of molecules.
Observing the physical processes of evaporation and condensation, and accounting for the disappearance and appearance of liquid water in terms of molecular motion and conservation of mass.
Increased temperature of substances causes increased motion of the atoms and molecules in the substance.
As the temperature and motion of molecules in a substance increase, the space between molecules in the substance increases possibly causing a change in state.
Designing investigations that illustrate the effect of a change in mass or velocity on an object's momentum.
Describing and explaining how the acceleration of an object is proportional to the force on the object and inversely proportional to the mass of the object.
Velocity indicates the speed and the direction of a moving object.
Momentum is the characteristic of an object in motion that depends on the object's mass and velocity. Momentum provides the ability for a moving object to stay in motion without an additional force.
Acceleration is a relationship between the force applied to a moving object and the mass of the object (Newton's Second Law).
Diagramming or describing, after observing a moving object, the forces acting on the object before and after it is put into motion (Students include in their diagram or description, the effect of these forces on the motion of the object.)
An object that is not subjected to a force will continue to move at a constant speed and in a straight line.
If more than one force acts on an object along a straight line, then the forces will reinforce or cancel one another,depending on their direction and magnitude.
Unbalanced forces will cause changes in speed or direction of an object's motion.
Describing and explaining the effects of gravitational force on objects in the Solar System, and identifying evidence that the force of gravity is relative to the mass of objects and their distance apart.
The force of gravity depends on the amount of mass objects have and how far apart they may be.
The force of gravity is hard to detect unless at least one of the objects has considerable mass.
Diagramming, labeling and explaining the process of the water cycle (precipitation, evaporation, condensation, runoff, ground water, transpiration).
The cycling of water in and out of the atmosphere plays an important role in determining climatic patterns. Water evaporates from the surface of the earth, rises and cools, condenses into rain or snow, and falls again to the surface. Global patterns of atmospheric movement influence local weather. Oceans have a major effect on climate because water in the oceans holds a large amount of heat.
Investigating natural resources in the community and monitoring/managing them for responsible use.
Identifying a human activity in a local environment and determining the impact of that activity on a specific (local) natural resource.
Researching the impact of different human activities on the earth's land, waterways and atmosphere, and describing possible effects on the living organisms in those environments.
Human activities have impacts on natural resources, such as increasing wildlife habitats, reducing/managing the amount of forest cover, increasing the amount and variety of chemicals released into the atmosphere and farming intensively. Some of these changes have decreased the capacity of the environment to support life forms. Others have enhanced the environment to support greater availability of resources.
Fresh water, limited in supply, is essential for life and also for most industrial processes. Rivers, lakes, and groundwater can be depleted or polluted, becoming unavailable or unsuitable for life.
Framing testable questions showing evidence of observations and prior knowledge to illustrate cause and effect.
Developing a testable question appropriate to the scientific domain being investigated.
Developing a testable/guiding hypothesis and predictions based upon evidence of scientific principles.
Predicting results (evidence) that support the hypothesis.
Clearly distinguishing cause and effect within a testable/guiding hypothesis.
Procedures that incorporate appropriate protection (e.g., no food in lab area).
Appropriate tools, units of measurement and degree of accuracy.
Components that reflect current scientific knowledge and available technology.
Use of scientific terminology that supports the identified procedures
Collecting significant data by completing multiple trials;
Evaluating and revising procedures as investigation progresses.
Representing data quantitatively to the appropriate level of precision through the use of mathematical calculations.
Developing the skill of drawing a "best fit" curve from data.
Recording accurate data, free of bias.
Explaining importance of avoiding plagiarism/fabrication of other recorded research data.
Accounting for identified experimental errors.
Analyzing significance of experimental data.
Critically examining and explaining the relationship of evidence to the findings of others (e.g., classmates or scientists in the field).
Proposing, synthesizing, and evaluating alternative explanations for experimental results.
Citing experimental evidence within an explanation.
Including logically consistent position to explain observed phenomena.
Comparing an experimental conclusion to other proposed explanations by peer review (e.g., students, scientists or local interest groups).
Conducting objective scientific analysis and evaluating potential bias in the interpretation of evidence.
Identifying and evaluating uncontrolled variables inherent in experimental model.
Using technology to communicate results effectively and appropriately to others (e.g., power point, web site, posters, etc.).
Predicting/recommending how scientific conclusions can be applied to civic, economic or social issues.
Proposing and evaluating new questions, predictions, procedures and technology for further investigations.
Experimenting, graphing, and explaining the effect of heat energy on the phase changes of water from a solid state to a liquid state to a gaseous state, comparing that data to other substances, and using evidence to draw conclusions based upon these data.
Different compounds require different amounts of energy for phase change due to their unique molecular structure.
Predicting the path of an object in different reference planes and explaining how and why this occurs.
Using modeling and illustrating, to explain how distance and velocity change over time for a free falling object.
Modeling, illustrating, and explaining the path of an object which has horizontal and free fall motion (i.e., football, bullet).
Motion is relative. The motion of an object is observed and measured relative to a given frame of reference (point of view) (e.g. trees flashing by when sitting in a moving vehicle).
Acceleration occurs when an object undergoes a change in velocity over time (speed up, slow down, change direction).
Motion is predictable; a falling object increases speed in a predictable pattern as it falls.
Motion is predictable; projectile motion combines a uniform horizontal motion and free-fall motion simultaneously
Explaining how inertia affects the outcome in each of a series of situations (i.e., kicking a sand-filled football, moving a bowl of soup quickly across the table).
An object at rest or moving uniformly (in a straight line) will remain so unless acted upon by an external unbalanced (net) force (Newton's First Law, The Law of Inertia). (e.g., We wear seatbelts because our body has a tendency to keep moving when the vehicle stops.)
Investigating (predict, model, illustrate, explain) whether the acceleration is greater or less as either the mass of the system or the force accelerating the mass is changed and using data to support your conclusion (e.g., cart with variable weights on horizontal table attached to a string with weights).
Demonstrating action force/reaction force in one of three different ways--describing in words, demonstrating physically, and modeling the occurrence of opposing actions.
Investigating quantitatively the acceleration as either the mass of the system or the force accelerating the mass is changed (e.g., cart with variable weights on horizontal table attached to a string with weights.)
Every body continues in its state of rest or in a straight line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it (Newton's First Law).
If an unbalanced force acts on an object it will accelerate; the acceleration is proportional to the net force and inversely proportional to the mass of the object (Newton's Second Law F=ma). (e.g. A vehicle accelerates more slowly when it's full of passengers.)
Whenever one object exerts a force on a second object, a force equal in magnitude but opposite in direction is exerted on the first object. Forces always arise in pairs (Newton's Third Law). (e.g., When you lean against a wall, the wall pushes back at you.)
Predicting in a variety of situations how gravitational force changes when mass changes or when distance changes.
The force of gravity is a universal force of attraction between ANY two objects and is proportional to the masses of those two objects and weakens rapidly with the distance between the objects (e.g., More mass produces more force; less distance produces more force, such as bodies in the solar system).
Explaining the processes by which elements (e.g., carbon, nitrogen, oxygen atoms) move through the earth's reservoirs (soil, atmosphere, bodies of water, organisms).
Interactions among solid earth, atmosphere, oceans and organisms have resulted in ongoing change of earth's systems (e.g., effects of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and glacial activity).
Comparing the availability of natural resources and the impact of different management plans (e.g., management of forests depends upon use, lumber production, sugarbush, deer habitat, mining, recreation) within the management area (forest, farmland, rivers, streams).
Choosing a Vermont ecosystem and tracing its succession before and after a damaging event, showing how the ecosystem has been restored through the maintenance of atmosphere quality, generation of soils, control of the water cycle, disposal of wastes and recycling of nutrients (e.g., flooding, former mining sites, glacial impact, deforestation, recovery of rivers from sewage/ chemical dumping, burning of fossil fuels).
Explaining a natural chemical cycle that has been disrupted by human activity and predict what the long term effect will be on organisms (e.g., acid precipitation, global warming, ozone depletion, pollution of water by phosphates, mercury, PCBs,etc.).
Tracing the processes that are necessary to produce a common, everyday object from the original raw materials to its final destination after human use, considering alternate routes-including extraction of raw material, production and transportation, energy use and waste disposal throughout, packaging and recycling and/or disposal (e.g., aluminum can, steel).
Human activities can enhance potential for accelerating rates of natural change.
Natural ecosystems provide many basic processes that affect humans- maintenance of atmospheric quality, generation of soils, control of the water cycle, disposal of wastes and recycling of nutrients, etc.
Materials and habits from human societies affect both physical and chemical cycles on earth, and human alteration of these cycles can be detrimental to all organisms.
Natural ecosystems provide the raw materials for the development of many products for human use (e.g. steel, glass, fertilizers).