Science

Integrated Science Standards

Description:  The theme for Integrated Science is structure and change.  Students will begin to relate the structure of matter to the properties of materials.  The benchmarks emphasize structure as an organizing concept to understand matter.  Structure is used to classify plants, animals, rocks, stars, and other things.  Classification is taught as a way to give a unique description to all things.  Change is an organizing concept to understand matter and energy.  Students will understand the relationship between energy and changes in matter.  The processes of change that shape and reshape the Earth are discussed.   Change requires energy, and this motion can be described, measured, and predicted.

 Standards

Quarter One Competency Measures:

  • Student accurately draws a representation (including protons, neutrons, and electrons) of any atom from the periodic table.
  • Student describes the difference between an atom and a molecule.
  • Student identifies at least one scientist who has contributed to our understanding of matter and describes an atom as that scientist would have.
  • Student defines matter.
  • Student accurately compares the movement of particles in a solid, liquid, and gas.
  • Student identifies mass, volume, and density of liquids and solids.
  • Student identifies two pieces of evidence for particle motion and describes one real-life phenomenon that results from particle motion.
  • Student identifies the layers of the earth and accurately compares their densities.

Quarter Two Competency Measures:

  • Student can use a microscope to observe and describe cells.
  • Student can identify a cell wall, membrane, nucleus, chloroplast, and cytoplasm.
  • Student can identify differences between plant and animal cells.
  • Student can match a part of an organism to a level of organization: cell, tissue, organ or organism.
  • Student can distinguish between inherited and acquired traits.
  • Student can compare and contrast sexual and asexual reproduction.

Quarter Three Competency Measures:

  • Student classifies organisms or objects and organisms using tools such as a dichotomous key.
  • Student develops a simple classification system.
  • Student arranges organisms according to kingdom.
  • Student identifies the chemical and physical properties of a substance.
  • Student identifies a reaction as either physical or chemical, citing evidence for their assertion.
  • Student investigates and measures the effects of a change in energy on a reaction.
  • Student applies and cites the law of conservation of mass as an important principle of chemistry.

Quarter Four Competency Measures:

  • Student accurately traces the path of energy in ecosystems from the sun, through photosynthesis in a producer, to respiration in a consumer, to some energy output in a consumer and model with a food chain or web.
  • Students accurately identifies and explains at least two ecological relationships (mutualism, parasitism, etc.)
  • Student formulates a hypothesis and carries out an experiment to test how air, water, temperature, or light will affect plant growth.
  • Student researches and reports on how a scientist has researched an ecosystem.
  • Student categorizes a rock as igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary based on physical characteristics.
  • Student diagrams and explains the rock cycle.
  • Student orders the events that lead to fossil formation.
  • Student identifies Newton’s three laws of motion and give a real-life example that illustrates each law.
  • Student distinguishes between mass and weight.
  • Student identifies what factors contribute to the amount of force exerted by gravity on objects.
  • Student defines potential and kinetic energy.
  • Student lists three forms of energy that travel in waves.

Earth Science Standards

Description:  The theme for Earth Science is systems. The benchmarks for instruction emphasize systems as an organizing concept to understand life on Earth, geological change, and the interaction of atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Earth Science provides students with an understanding of how the parts of a system interact. The concept of matter cycling and energy flowing is used to help understand how systems on planet Earth are interrelated.

 Standards

Quarter One Competency Measures:

  • Student traces the evolution of our ideas about the universe through geocentric, heliocentric, to galaxies, to expansion.
  • Student identifies a Red Shift in spectral lines and explains how this relates to the Big Bang theory.
  • Student identifies where matter in the universe originated and identifies nuclear fusion as the process for creation of new matter.
  • Student describes the life cycle of a star and relates this to solar system information.
  • Student identifies one piece of technology that has increased our knowledge of the universe and gives specifics for how it has done so.
  • Student compares the atmosphere, level of solar energy, presence of water on earth to other planets in the solar system and draws conclusions about suitability for life.

Quarter Two Competency Measures:

  • Student can list at least 5 abiotic and biotic factors.
  • Student can predict how changes in abiotic/biotic factors will affect an ecosystem, and can plan an experiment to test this on a small scale.
  • Student can site photosynthesis as the source of energy in ecosystems.
  • Student can explain factors that contribute to extinction of species in the past and currently.
  • Student can compare the diversity of life in various biomes.
  • Student can explain and site evidence for Alfred Wegner’s continental drift hypothesis and the modern theory of plate tectonics.

Quarter Three Competency Measures:

  • Student identifies evidences and technology that have worked to elucidate plate tectonics.
  • Student identifies and describes characteristics of three different plate boundaries.
  • Student identifies heat from the core as the source of energy for plate movement.
  • Student describes how movement within the earth works to move surface plates.
  • Student illustrates the movement of water through the earth system, identifies the source of energy in the cycle, and identifies at least four reservoirs of water and four processes in that cycle.
  • Student defines water quality, gives examples, and explains its relationship to human life.
  • Student identifies the causes of tides, currents, and waves in the ocean.
  • Student relates the chemical nature of water to how it interacts in the earth system.
  • Student analyzes how communities deal with water shortages, distribution and quality.
  • Student identifies how changes in one earth system (ex: lithosphere) can lead to change in other systems (ex: hydrosphere).

Quarter Four Competency Measures:

  • Student accurately identifies the cause and effect of two physical dynamics of the ocean (waves, currents, tides, etc.)
  • Student constructs an ocean food chain or web that accurately traces the flow of energy in that ecosystem.
  • Student describes (based on their own research) how ocean levels have changed over time, and infer how similar changes may affect living things in the future.
  • Student traces flow of carbon through the carbon cycle.
  • Student traces flow of nitrogen through the nitrogen cycle.
  • Student accurately illustrates and describes how solar energy is absorbed and reflected by different materials on earth.
  • Student constructs a model to illustrate the green house effect and can explain it.
  • Student researches and reports on data regarding the earth’s temperature and CO2 levels.
  • Student distinguishes between climate and weather and describe technology used to monitor changes in each.
  • Student accurately describes two examples of how events in one “sphere”- lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, or atmosphere affect what happens in another of these spheres.
  • Student describes how the combined energy from the sun, motion and topography of the earth, and resulting dynamics of air and water affect climate and weather.

Biology Standards

Description:  The Biology curriculum has two primary goals:  students will value and use science as a process of obtaining knowledge based on observable evidence, and students’ curiosity will be sustained as they develop and refine the abilities associated with scientific inquiry.  The Biology class has three major concepts for the focus of instruction: (1) the structures in all living things occur as a result of necessary functions. (2) Interactions of organisms in an environment are determined by the biotic and abiotic components of the environment. (3) Evolution of species occurs over time and is related to the environment in which the species live.

Standards

Quarter One Competency Measures:

  • Student depicts a food chain and a food web in an ecosystem of their choice.
  • Student diagrams a trophic pyramid, accurately illustrating amount of energy lost.
  • Student accurately identifies a biological relationship as a symbiosis (mutualism, parasitism, or commensalism), predator/prey, etc. when given an example.
  • Student accurately analyzes data graphically and verbally when given data that represents an interaction between abiotic and biotic factors. Student traces the passage and transformation of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and water through ecosystems.
  • Student matches a logical limiting factor to an ecosystem.
  • Student identifies one personal choice they can make to reduce negative impact on a matter cycle.
  • Student identifies evidence, inference, and sources of bias in a news article.

Quarter Two Competency Measures:

  • Student can list the major chemical elements in cells.
  • Student can identify the basic structure and function of the 4 major molecules.
  • Student can illustrate the cycling of matter and energy in cells through photosynthesis and respiration.
  • Student can distinguish between an autotrophic and heterotrophic organism/cell.
  • Student can explain how cells divide from existing cells.
  • Student can describe how cell theory was developed and relate this to the nature of science.
  • Student can identify important organelles and relate that to cell functioning.

Quarter Three Competency Measures:

  • Student compares and contrasts asexual and sexual reproduction, including advantages and disadvantages.
  • Student compares and contrasts processes in mitosis and meiosis.
  • Student specifies processes that occur in sexual and asexual reproduction.
  • Student explains the laws of segregation and independent assortment.
  • Student predicts and interprets patterns of inheritance, using tools such as punnett squares.
  • Student identifies causes and symptoms of a chromosomal disorder.
  • Student models the basic structure of a DNA molecule.
  • Student identifies DNA as the genetic material.

Quarter Four Competency Measures:

  • Student creates an accurate model of a DNA molecule.
  • Student explains the purpose and the process of DNA replication.
  • Student traces the transfer of a gene to a protein through translation and transcription.
  • Student describes how mutations affect genetic expression and can list at least two known mutagens.
  • Student ties the nature of science to DNA discoveries and development of the theory of evolution.
  • Student uses appropriate logic and reasoning to debate the issues surrounding genetic technologies.
  • Student accurately traces the process of evolution and describe factors that must be in place for natural selection to occur: variability (recombination & mutation), overproduction, environmental pressure, etc.
  • Student compares and contrasts natural selection breeding by humans.
  • Student cites at least four evidences for evolution.
  • Student classifies organisms based on evolutionary relationships, hierarchy, and other appropriate characteristics.

Zoology Standards

Description:  This course is offered for a semester at Alpine Academy to expose students to animal anatomy, physiology, development, histology, ecology, behavior, and evolution.  The focus of the course includes the recognition and classification of key features of the major body plans that have evolved in animals and to help students see the connections uniting particular animal groups.  An understanding of form and function allows students to study how animals have evolved over time and to relate animals to their particular role in an ecosystem.

Standards

Quarter One Competency Measures:

  • Student draws, labels, and describes the functions of a cell and its nucleus, cytoplasm, cell membrane, ribosomes, mitochondria, and one other organelle.
  • Student classifies a common insect from domain to order (i.e. domain to kingdom to phylum to class to order).
  • Student formulates a testable hypothesis and design and experiment to test it.
  • Student accurately conducts an experiment then record and analyze the data gathered with at least one graph.
  • Student places an animal in the appropriate phylum.
  • Student identifies characteristics of organisms belonging to 6 kingdoms.

Quarter Two Competency Measures:

  • Student can list the nine major phyla in kingdom Animalia.
  • Student can classify an organism based on important phylogenetic characteristics.
  • Student can distinguish between acoelomate, pseudocoelomate, and coelomate phyla.
  • Student can find and identify, through dissection, anatomical structures that distinguish animal classes and phyla.
  • Student can list classes that belong to at least three different phyla.

Physics Standards

Description:   Physics is a laboratory science course that examines the relationship between matter and energy and how they interact.  The study of physics includes mechanics, sound, light, electricity, and nuclear energy.  Physics provides an understanding of many of the scientific principles we meet in our daily lives and helps to develop reasoning power by exposing the student to problem-solving laboratory situations.  During their investigations which help prepare them for college-level science classes, students use mathematical equations, graphs, observations and experimentation.

Standards

Coming soon…