Science Grade 8

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Science Areas of Focus: Grade 8 (Reflects knowledge and skill expectations for Grades 5-8) Mission: Scientific literacy encompasses the understanding of key concepts and principles of science; familiarity with the natural world for both its diversity and unity; and use of scientific knowledge and scientific ways of thinking for individual and social purposes (American Association for the Advancement of Science). Standard 5.1 Scientific Processes All students will develop problem-solving, decision-making and inquiry skills, reflected by formulating usable questions and hypotheses, planning experiments, conducting systematic observations, interpreting and analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and communicating results. Big Idea: Science is a way of thinking about and investigating the world in which we all live. 5.1.8 A. Habits of Mind Essential Questions What constitutes evidence? When do you know you have enough and the right kind of evidence? How can this result be best justified and explained to others?

Enduring Understandings
Scientific inquiry involves asking scientifically-oriented questions, collecting evidence, forming explanations, connecting explanations to scientific knowledge and theory, and communicating and justifying explanations.

Areas of Focus
1. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of data, claims, and arguments. Communicate experimental findings to others. Recognize that the results of scientific investigations are seldom exactly the same and that replication is often necessary. Recognize that curiosity, skepticism, openmindedness, and honesty are attributes of scientists.

Comments and Examples
As a skill standard, habits of mind are assessed in the context of standards 5.5 – 5.10, rather than as stand-alone items. Sample Test Item: Cheng wants to know which brand of paper towel absorbs more water, Brand X or Brand Y. He uses squares of each brand and measures how much water is absorbed from cups of water after 30 seconds of submersion. His data from the five trials are shown below. Describe and explain three ways that Cheng could improve his experimental design. Water Absorption Paper Towel Brand Amount of Water (mL) Absorbed (5 trials) Brand X 30, 31, 32, 34, 34 Brand Y 40, 43, 44, 45, 45

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Essential Questions
What makes a question scientific?

5.1.8 B. Inquiry and Problem Solving Enduring Understandings Scientific inquiry involves asking scientifically-oriented questions, collecting evidence, forming explanations, connecting explanations to scientific knowledge and theory, and communicating and justifying explanations.

Areas of Focus
1. Identify questions and make predictions that can be addressed by conducting investigations.

Comments and Examples
Sample Test Items: 1. Explain how you can determine the volume of a solid object, such as a small rock, using only water and either a measuring cup or a graduated cylinder.

2.

Design and conduct investigations incorporating the use of a control.

Focal Points at this Grade Level are BOLDED *Correct answer to a multiple-choice item

Grade 8

Science Areas of Focus Page 1 of 19

3.

Collect, organize, and interpret the data that result from experiments.

Use the picture below to answer the question.

2.

Predict what will most likely happen (sink or float) to the amber when it is placed in each liquid? Explain the reasons for your hypothesis.

3.

A student made this hypothesis.

“If most plants did not carry out photosynthesis, then many organisms would die.” Which statement best supports his hypothesis? A. The environment has a limited water supply. B. * C. D. The environment has a limited mineral supply. The environment has a limited oxygen supply. The environment has a limited carbon dioxide supply.

5.1.8 C. Safety Essential Questions
What does Safety First demand of us in each setting? What rules are general and what are situationspecific? Safety first!

Enduring Understandings...
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