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Skills available for Connecticut fourth-grade science standards

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4.1 The position and motion of objects can be changed by pushing or pulling.

  • 1 Demonstrate that a force can cause an object to start moving, stop, or change speed or direction.

  • 2 Use measurement tools and standard units to compare and contrast the motion of common objects such as toy cars, balls, model rockets or planes in terms of change in position, speed and direction.

  • 3 Design and conduct experiments to determine how the motion of an object is related to the mass of the object and the strength of the force applied.

  • 4 Describe how friction forces caused by air resistance or interactions between surface materials affect the motion of objects.

  • 5 Predict the effect of an object's mass on its motion.

4.2 All organisms depend on the living and nonliving features of the environment for survival.

  • 1 Give examples of ways that living and nonliving things are interdependent within an ecosystem.

  • 2 Draw diagrams showing how the sun's energy enters and is transferred from producers to consumers in a local land or aquatic food chain.

  • 3 Design and conduct simple investigations to record interactions among producers, consumers, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores and decomposers in an ecosystem.

  • 4 Analyze food webs to describe how energy is transferred from plants to various animals in an ecosystem.

  • 5 Distinguish between naturally occurring changes in ecosystems and those caused by human activity.

  • 6 Predict the effect an environmental change, such as drought or forest destruction, might have on the community of living things.

4.3 Water has a major role in shaping the earth's surface.

  • 1 Describe the role of heat energy (i.e., heating and cooling) in the continuous cycling of water between the earth and the atmosphere through evaporation, condensation and precipitation.

  • 2 Use models to demonstrate that topography causes precipitation landing on Earth to move in streams and rivers from higher to lower elevations.

  • 3 Design and conduct simple investigations to determine how moving water (flowing downhill or in ocean waves) causes changes to the land, the coastline or the course of a stream or river.

  • 4 Pose testable questions and employ simple equipment and measuring tools to collect data about factors that affect erosion (e.g., type of earth material in an area, volume of moving water, slope of land, vegetation coverage).

  • 5 Present evidence to support a scientific claim about the relationship between the amount and speed of moving water and the size of earth materials moved (e.g., sand, silt, pebbles, boulders).

4.4 Electrical and magnetic energy can be transferred and transformed.

  • 1 Construct complete (closed) and incomplete (open) series circuits in which electrical energy is transformed into heat, light, sound and/or motion energy.

  • 2 Draw labeled diagrams of complete and incomplete circuits, explain necessary components and how components can be arranged to make a complete circuit.

  • 3 Predict whether diagrammed circuit configurations will light a bulb.

  • 4 Develop a method for testing conductivity and analyze data to generalize that metals are generally good electrical conductors and nonmetals are not.

  • 5 Observe magnetic effects associated with electricity and investigate factors that affect the strength of an electromagnet.

  • 6 Describe materials that are attracted by magnets.

  • 7 Design procedures to move objects and separate mixtures of solids using magnets.

  • 8 Investigate how magnets react with other magnets and analyze findings to identify patterns in the interactions between north and south poles of magnets.

  • 9 Give examples of uses of magnets (e.g., motors, generators, household devices).

4.1 The position and motion of objects can be changed by pushing or pulling.

4.2 All organisms depend on the living and nonliving features of the environment for survival.

  • 4.2.a When the environment changes, some organisms survive and reproduce, and others die or move to new locations.

    • 1 Living and nonliving things interact in land and water environments called ecosystems. Every ecosystem has certain conditions ("abiotic factors") and a variety of living things ("organisms") that are adapted for survival in those conditions. Abiotic factors include the quality and amount of air, sunlight, water and soil, as well as the terrain and climate.

    • 2 Organisms depend on other organisms and on the nonliving things in an ecosystem to meet their basic needs for food, water and protection.

    • 3 Plants use energy from the sun to produce their own food from air and water. The type of soil, amount of water and temperature range in an area determine the plants that grow there.

    • 4 Animals that live in an area get their energy and nutrients either directly or indirectly from plants that grow there: herbivores consume only plants, carnivores consume animals, and omnivores consume both animals and plants. Decomposers consume plant and animal waste and remains, returning nutrients to the soil where they are used again by plants.

    • 5 Some of the sun's energy is transferred from one organism to another when a plant or animal is consumed by another animal. A food chain is a simple model that illustrates the passage of energy from one organism to another. Food webs are more realistic models that show the varied energy-passing relationships among plants and animals in an ecosystem.

    • 6 Environments are always changing. Some changes occur naturally (examples include droughts, disease outbreaks, or forest fires sparked by lightning). Other changes are caused by human activity (examples include establishing conservation areas, passing laws to control pollution, clearing forests for agriculture or construction, applying chemicals to lawns and crops, burning fossil fuels, etc.).

    • 7 Changes in an environment are sometimes beneficial to organisms and sometimes harmful. For example, a newly created beaver pond provides habitat that attracts frogs and raccoons to an area; but trees, earthworms and moles are no longer able to survive in the area.

    • 8 When environments change, some organisms can accommodate the change by eating different foods or finding different shelters (for example, hawks nest on city buildings and consume pigeons and rats). Those organisms that can no longer meet their basic needs die or move to new locations.

4.3 Water has a major role in shaping the earth's surface.

  • 4.3.a Water circulates through the earth's crust, oceans and atmosphere.

    • 1 Water is continuously moving between Earth's surface and the atmosphere in a process called the water cycle. Heat energy from the sun causes water on Earth to change to a gas and rise into the atmosphere, where it cools, condenses into tiny droplets in clouds, and eventually falls to Earth as precipitation.

    • 2 Most precipitation that falls to Earth goes directly into oceans. Some precipitation falls on land and gravity causes it to flow downhill in streams.

    • 3 Rain or snowmelt in high elevations flows downhill in many streams which collect in lower elevations to form a river that flows downhill to an ocean, a lake or a sea.

    • 4 Water moving across the earth pushes along soil particles (sediment) and wears away pieces of rock in a process called erosion. Streams and rivers carry away rock and sediment from some areas and deposit them in other areas, creating new landforms or changing the course of a stream or river.

    • 5 The amount of erosion in an area, and the type of earth material that is moved, are affected by the amount of moving water, the speed of the moving water, and by how much vegetation covers the area.

    • 6 The speed of a river's flow depends on the slope of the land, the amount of sediment it carries, and the shape of its channel (straight or meandering).

    • 7 The speed of a river's flow affects the amount of earth material that is pushed along or left behind in floodplains and deltas. Rivers flow through and reshape valleys as they move between mountains or hills.

    • 8 Water moving in ocean waves carries sand, shells and debris away from some coastal areas and deposits them in new areas, changing the shape of the coastline.

    • 9 Erosion is constantly reshaping the earth's land surface. Sometimes the effects of erosion are immediate (for example, a flash flood or a hurricane) and sometimes the effects of erosion take a long time (for example, the changing course of a river or the carving of the Grand Canyon).

4.4 Electrical and magnetic energy can be transferred and transformed.

  • 4.4.a Electricity in circuits can be transformed into light, heat, sound and magnetic effects.

    • 1 Electric current flows (is transferred) from an energy source (battery) through a continuous loop (circuit) and back to the source. A complete circuit (also called a closed circuit) forms a closed loop that allows electric current to flow; an incomplete circuit (also called an open circuit) has a break in the loop that prevents the flow of electric current.

    • 2 Complete circuits can be made by connecting wires, batteries and bulbs in certain sequences. Circuits are completed only when certain parts of a battery, a bulb or a wire are touching (making contact). Circuit diagrams show the relative positions of batteries, bulbs and wires in complete circuits.

    • 3 Conductors are materials that allow electric current to flow through them in an electric circuit. An open circuit can be completed by inserting a conductive material. If a bulb stays lit when an object is added to an electric circuit, the material is a conductor.

    • 4 Insulators are materials that do not allow electric current to flow through them in an electric circuit. If a bulb does not stay lit when an object is added to an electric circuit, the material is an insulator.

    • 5 Conductors can be tested to compare how easily they allow electricity to flow through them.

    • 6 Electrical energy is changed (transformed) into light and heat energy as it passes through a bulb in a circuit. Electrical energy can be transformed into sound energy as it passes through a bell or a radio in a circuit.

    • 7 Adding batteries or bulbs to a circuit can produce observable changes.

    • 8 Electricity flowing through an electrical circuit produces magnetic effects in the wires. The electromagnet can be turned on and off, and its strength can be varied and measured.

  • 4.4.b Magnets can make objects move without direct contact between the object and the magnet.

    • 1 Magnets pull on ("attract") objects made of iron or that have iron in them. Materials can be identified using magnets, and mixtures of materials can be separated using magnets.

    • 2 Some areas of a magnet have stronger magnetic attraction than other areas.

    • 3 Magnets can pull (attract) or push (repel) other magnets.

    • 4 The ends of a magnet are called "poles." A magnet's poles are often referred to as "north" and "south." When the north pole of one magnet is placed near the north pole of another magnet, they repel each other; when the south pole of one magnet is placed near the south pole of another magnet, they repel each other; when the north pole of one magnet is placed near the south pole of another magnet, they attract each other.

    • 5 A magnet's push or pull can cause a magnetic object or another magnet to move without direct contact. The strength of a magnet's attractive force can be measured by recording the number or mass of the objects it attracts or the distance across which it attracts objects.

    • 6 When a magnet, or a magnetized object such as a compass needle, is allowed to swing freely, its ends will point toward the earth's magnetic north and south poles.

    • 7 Magnets and electromagnets have many uses in everyday life. Examples may include paper clip containers, refrigerator door seals, shower curtain weights, or a compass.