3 The student uses critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem solving to make informed decisions and knows the contributions of relevant scientists.
A in all fields of science, analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student;
4 The student knows how to use a variety of tools and safety equipment to conduct science inquiry.
A use appropriate tools to collect, record, and analyze information, including life science models, hand lens, stereoscopes, microscopes, beakers, Petri dishes, microscope slides, graduated cylinders, test tubes, meter sticks, metric rulers, metric tape measures, timing devices, hot plates, balances, thermometers, calculators, water test kits, computers, temperature and pH probes, collecting nets, insect traps, globes, digital cameras, journals/notebooks, and other equipment as needed to teach the curriculum; and
B use preventative safety equipment, including chemical splash goggles, aprons, and gloves, and be prepared to use emergency safety equipment, including an eye/face wash, a fire blanket, and a fire extinguisher.
5 The student knows that interactions occur between matter and energy.
A recognize that radiant energy from the Sun is transformed into chemical energy through the process of photosynthesis;
B demonstrate and explain the cycling of matter within living systems such as in the decay of biomass in a compost bin; and
C diagram the flow of energy through living systems, including food chains, food webs, and energy pyramids.
7 The student knows that there is a relationship among force, motion, and energy.
A contrast situations where work is done with different amounts of force to situations where no work is done such as moving a box with a ramp and without a ramp, or standing still;
B illustrate the transformation of energy within an organism such as the transfer from chemical energy to heat and thermal energy in digestion; and
C demonstrate and illustrate forces that affect motion in everyday life such as emergence of seedlings, turgor pressure, and geotropism.
8 The student knows that natural events and human activity can impact Earth systems.
A predict and describe how different types of catastrophic events impact ecosystems such as floods, hurricanes, or tornadoes;
B analyze the effects of weathering, erosion, and deposition on the environment in ecoregions of Texas; and
C model the effects of human activity on groundwater and surface water in a watershed.
9 The student knows components of our solar system.
A analyze the characteristics of objects in our solar system that allow life to exist such as the proximity of the Sun, presence of water, and composition of the atmosphere; and
B identify the accommodations, considering the characteristics of our solar system, that enabled manned space exploration.
10 The student knows that there is a relationship between organisms and the environment.
A observe and describe how different environments, including microhabitats in schoolyards and biomes, support different varieties of organisms;
B describe how biodiversity contributes to the sustainability of an ecosystem; and
C observe, record, and describe the role of ecological succession such as in a microhabitat of a garden with weeds.
11 The student knows that populations and species demonstrate variation and inherit many of their unique traits through gradual processes over many generations.
A examine organisms or their structures such as insects or leaves and use dichotomous keys for identification;
B explain variation within a population or species by comparing external features, behaviors, or physiology of organisms that enhance their survival such as migration, hibernation, or storage of food in a bulb; and
C identify some changes in genetic traits that have occurred over several generations through natural selection and selective breeding such as the Galapagos Medium Ground Finch (Geospiza fortis) or domestic animals.
B identify the main functions of the systems of the human organism, including the circulatory, respiratory, skeletal, muscular, digestive, excretory, reproductive, integumentary, nervous, and endocrine systems;
C recognize levels of organization in plants and animals, including cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and organisms;