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Skills available for Minnesota eighth-grade science standards

Standards are in black and IXL science skills are in dark green. Hold your mouse over the name of a skill to view a sample question. Click on the name of a skill to practice that skill.

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1 The Nature of Science and Engineering

  • 1 The Practice of Science

  • 3 Interactions Among Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Society

    • 2 Men and women throughout the history of all cultures, including Minnesota American Indian tribes and communities, have been involved in engineering design and scientific inquiry.

    • 3 Science and engineering operate in the context of society and both influence and are influenced by this context.

      • Explain how scientific laws and engineering principles, as well as economic, political, social, and ethical expectations, must be taken into account in designing engineering solutions or conducting scientific investigations.

      • Understand that scientific knowledge is always changing as new technologies and information enhance observations and analysis of data.

      • Provide examples of how advances in technology have impacted the ways in which people live, work and interact.

    • 4 Current and emerging technologies have enabled humans to develop and use models to understand and communicate how natural and designed systems work and interact.

      • Use maps, satellite images and other data sets to describe patterns and make predictions about local and global systems in Earth science contexts.

      • Determine and use appropriate safety procedures, tools, measurements, graphs and mathematical analyses to describe and investigate natural and designed systems in Earth and physical science contexts.

2 Physical Science

  • 1 Matter

    • 1 Pure substances can be identified by properties which are independent of the sample of the substance and the properties can be explained by a model of matter that is composed of small particles.

      • Distinguish between a mixture and a pure substance and use physical properties including color, solubility, density, melting point and boiling point to separate mixtures and identify pure substances.

      • Use physical properties to distinguish between metals and non-metals.

    • 2 Substances can undergo physical and chemical changes which may change the properties of the substance but do not change the total mass in a closed system.

      • Identify evidence of chemical changes, including color change, generation of a gas, solid formation and temperature change.

      • Distinguish between chemical and physical changes in matter.

      • Use the particle model of matter to explain how mass is conserved during physical and chemical changes in a closed system.

      • Recognize that acids are compounds whose properties include a sour taste, characteristic color changes with litmus and other acid/base indicators, and the tendency to react with bases to produce a salt and water.

  • 3 Energy

    • 1 Waves involve the transfer of energy without the transfer of matter.

      • Explain how seismic waves transfer energy through the layers of the Earth and across its surface.

3 Earth and Space Science

  • 1 Earth Structure and Processes

    • 1 The movement of tectonic plates results from interactions among the lithosphere, mantle and core.

      • Recognize that the Earth is composed of layers, and describe the properties of the layers, including the lithosphere, mantle and core.

      • Correlate the distribution of ocean trenches, mid-ocean ridges and mountain ranges to volcanic and seismic activity.

      • Recognize that major geological events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and mountain building, result from the slow movement of tectonic plates.

    • 2 Landforms are the result of the combination of constructive and destructive processes.

      • Explain how landforms result from the processes of crustal deformation, volcanic eruptions, weathering, erosion and deposition of sediment.

      • Explain the role of weathering, erosion and glacial activity in shaping Minnesota's current landscape.

    • 3 Rocks and rock formations indicate evidence of the materials and conditions that produced them.

      • Interpret successive layers of sedimentary rocks and their fossils to infer relative ages of rock sequences, past geologic events, changes in environmental conditions, and the appearance and extinction of life forms.

      • Classify and identify rocks and minerals using characteristics including, but not limited to, density, hardness and streak for minerals; and texture and composition for rocks.

      • Relate rock composition and texture to physical conditions at the time of formation of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock.

  • 2 Interdependence Within the Earth System

    • 1 The sun is the principal external energy source for the Earth.

      • Explain how the combination of the Earth's tilted axis and revolution around the sun causes the progression of seasons.

      • Recognize that oceans have a major effect on global climate because water in the oceans holds a large amount of heat.

      • Explain how heating of the Earth's surface and atmosphere by the sun drives convection within the atmosphere and hydrosphere producing winds, ocean currents and the water cycle, as well as influencing global climate.

    • 2 Patterns of atmospheric movement influence global climate and local weather.

      • Describe how the composition and structure of the Earth's atmosphere affects energy absorption, climate, and the distribution of particulates and gases.

      • Analyze changes in wind direction, temperature, humidity and air pressure and relate them to fronts and pressure systems.

      • Relate global weather patterns to patterns in regional and local weather.

    • 3 Water, which covers the majority of the Earth's surface, circulates through the crust, oceans and atmosphere in what is known as the water cycle.

      • Describe the location, composition and use of major water reservoirs on the Earth, and the transfer of water among them.

      • Describe how the water cycle distributes materials and purifies water.

  • 3 The Universe

    • 1 The Earth is the third planet from the sun in a system that includes the moon, the sun, seven other planets and their moons, and smaller objects.

      • Recognize that the sun is a medium-sized star, one of billions of stars in the Milky Way galaxy, and the closest star to Earth.

      • Describe how gravity and inertia keep most objects in the solar system in regular and predictable motion.

      • Recognize that gravitational force exists between any two objects and describe how the masses of the objects and distance between them affect the force.

      • Compare and contrast the sizes, locations, and compositions of the planets and moons in our solar system.

      • Use the predictable motions of the Earth around its own axis and around the sun, and of the moon around the Earth, to explain day length, the phases of the moon, and eclipses.

  • 4 Human Interactions with Earth Systems

    • 1 In order to maintain and improve their existence, humans interact with and influence Earth systems.

      • Describe how mineral and fossil fuel resources have formed over millions of years, and explain why these resources are finite and non-renewable over human time frames.

      • Recognize that land and water use practices affect natural processes and that natural processes interfere and interact with human systems.