If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. ~Albert Einstein


Eighth Grade Physical Science Performance Standards

Co-Requisite – Characteristics of Science

Habits of Mind

S8CS1. Students will explore the importance of curiosity, honesty, openness, and skepticism in science and will exhibit these traits in their own efforts to understand how the world works.
a. Understand the importance of—and keep—honest, clear, and accurate records in science.
b. Understand that hypotheses can be valuable even if they turn out not to be completely accurate.
(See more on Why Curiosity Matters here!)

S8CS2. Students will use standard safety practices for all classroom laboratory and field investigations.
a. Follow correct procedures for use of scientific apparatus.
b. Demonstrate appropriate techniques in all laboratory situations.
c. Follow correct protocol for identifying and reporting safety problems and violations.

S8CS3. Students will have the computation and estimation skills necessary for analyzing data and following scientific explanations.
a. Analyze scientific data by using, interpreting, and comparing numbers in several equivalent forms, such as integers, fractions, decimals, and percents.
b. Find the mean, median, and mode and use them to analyze a set of scientific data.
c. Apply the metric system to scientific investigations that include metric to metric conversions (i.e., centimeters to meters).
d. Decide what degree of precision is adequate, and round off appropriately.
e. Address the relationship between accuracy and precision.
f. Use ratios and proportions, including constant rates, in appropriate problems.

S8CS4. Students will use tools and instruments for observing, measuring, and manipulating equipment and materials in scientific activities utilizing safe laboratory procedures.
a. Use appropriate technology to store and retrieve scientific information in topical, alphabetical, numerical, and keyword files, and create simple files.
b. Use appropriate tools and units for measuring objects and/or substances.
c. Learn and use standard safety practices when conducting scientific investigations.

S8CS5. Students will use the ideas of system, model, change, and scale in exploring scientific and technological matters.
a. Observe and explain how parts can be related to other parts in a system such as the role of simple machines in complex machines.
b. Understand that different models (such as physical replicas, pictures, and analogies) can be used to represent the same thing.

a. Write clear, step-by-step instructions for conducting scientific investigations, operating a piece of equipment, or following a procedure.
b. Write for scientific purposes incorporating information from a circle, bar, or line graph, data tables, diagrams, and symbols.
c. Organize scientific information in appropriate tables, charts, and graphs, and identify relationships they reveal.

S8CS7. Students will question scientific claims and arguments effectively.
a. Question claims based on vague attributions (such as “Leading doctors say...”) or on statements made by people outside the area of their particular expertise.
b. Identify the flaws of reasoning in arguments that are based on poorly designed research (e.g., facts intermingled with opinion, conclusions based on insufficient evidence).
c. Question the value of arguments based on small samples of data, biased samples, or samples for which there was no control.
d. Recognize that there may be more than one way to interpret a given set of findings.

The Nature of Science

S8CS8. Students will be familiar with the characteristics of scientific knowledge and how it is achieved.
Students will apply the following to scientific concepts:
a. When similar investigations give different results, the scientific challenge is to judge whether the differences are trivial or significant, which often requires further study. Even with similar results, scientists may wait until an investigation has been repeated many times before accepting the results as meaningful.
b. When new experimental results are inconsistent with an existing, well-established theory, scientists may pursue further experimentation to determine whether the results are flawed or the theory requires modification.
c. As prevailing theories are challenged by new information, scientific knowledge may change.

S8CS9. Students will understand the features of the process of scientific inquiry.
Students will apply the following to inquiry learning practices:
a. Investigations are conducted for different reasons, which include exploring new phenomena, confirming previous results, testing how well a theory predicts, and comparing different theories. Scientific investigations usually involve collecting evidence, reasoning, devising hypotheses, and formulating explanations to make sense of collected evidence.
b. Scientific investigations usually involve collecting evidence, reasoning, devising hypotheses, and formulating explanations to make sense of collected evidence.
c. Scientific experiments investigate the effect of one variable on another. All other variables are kept constant.
d. Scientists often collaborate to design research. To prevent this bias, scientists conduct independent studies of the same questions.
e. Accurate record keeping, data sharing, and replication of results are essential for maintaining an investigator’s credibility with other scientists and society.
f. Scientists use technology and mathematics to enhance the process of scientific inquiry.
g. The ethics of science require that special care must be taken and used for human subjects and animals in scientific research. Scientists must adhere to the appropriate rules and guidelines when conducting research.

S8CS10. Students will enhance reading in all curriculum areas by:
a. Reading in All Curriculum Areas
• Read a minimum of 25 grade-level appropriate books per year from a variety of subject disciplines and participate in discussions related to curricular learning in all areas.
• Read both informational and fictional texts in a variety of genres and modes of discourse.
• Read technical texts related to various subject areas.
b. Discussing books
• Discuss messages and themes from books in all subject areas.
• Respond to a variety of texts in multiple modes of discourse.
• Relate messages and themes from one subject area to messages and themes in another area.
• Evaluate the merit of texts in every subject discipline.
• Examine author’s purpose in writing.
• Recognize the features of disciplinary texts.
c. Building vocabulary knowledge
• Demonstrate an understanding of contextual vocabulary in various subjects.
• Use content vocabulary in writing and speaking.
• Explore understanding of new words found in subject area texts.
d. Establishing context
• Explore life experiences related to subject area content.
• Discuss in both writing and speaking how certain words are subject area related.
• Determine strategies for finding content and contextual meaning for unknown words.
Co-Requisite – Content

S8P1. Students will examine the scientific view of the nature of matter.
a. Distinguish between atoms and molecules. [notes]
b. Describe the difference between pure substances (elements and compounds) and mixtures.[notes]
c. Describe the movement of particles in solids, liquids, gases, and plasmas states. [notes]
d. Distinguish between physical and chemical properties of matter as physical (i.e., density, melting point, boiling point) or chemical (i.e., reactivity, combustibility). [notes] [workbk #1]
e. Distinguish between changes in matter as physical (i.e., physical change) or chemical (development of a gas, formation of precipitate, and change in color). [notes]
f. Recognize that there are more than 100 elements and some have similar properties as shown on the Periodic Table of Elements. [notes] [notes] [notes]
g. Identify and demonstrate the Law of Conservation of Matter. [notes]

S8P2. Students will be familiar with the forms and transformations of energy. [notes]
a. Explain energy transformation in terms of the Law of Conservation of Energy. [video]
b. Explain the relationship between potential and kinetic energy. [video]
c. Compare and contrast the different forms of energy (heat, light, electricity, mechanical motion, sound) and their characteristics. [video]
d. Describe how heat can be transferred through matter by the collisions of atoms (conduction) or through space (radiation). In a liquid or gas, currents will facilitate the transfer of heat (convection). [video]

S8P3. Students will investigate relationship between force, mass, and the motion of objects.
a. Determine the relationship between velocity and acceleration.
b. Demonstrate the effect of balanced and unbalanced forces on an object in terms of gravity, inertia, and friction.
c. Demonstrate the effect of simple machines (lever, inclined plane, pulley, wedge, screw, and wheel and axle) on work.

S8P4. Students will explore the wave nature of sound and electromagnetic radiation.
a. Identify the characteristics of electromagnetic and mechanical waves.
b. Describe how the behavior of light waves is manipulated causing reflection, refraction diffraction, and absorption.
c. Explain how the human eye sees objects and colors in terms of wavelengths.
d. Describe how the behavior of waves is affected by medium (such as air, water, solids).
e. Relate the properties of sound to everyday experiences. [notes]
f. Diagram the parts of the wave and explain how the parts are affected by changes in amplitude and pitch. [infographic]

S8P5. Students will recognize characteristics of gravity, electricity, and magnetism as major kinds of forces acting in nature.
a. Recognize that every object exerts gravitational force on every other object and that the force exerted depends on how much mass the objects have and how far apart they are.
b. Demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of series and parallel circuits and how they transfer energy.
c. Investigate and explain that electric currents and magnets can exert force on each other.

8th Grade Literacy in Science (ELACCGPS)

Key Ideas and Details
8RST1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
8RST2: Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
8RST3: Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

Craft and Structure
8RST4: Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.
8RST5: Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to an understanding of the topic.
8RST6: Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
8RST7: Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
8RST8: Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.
8RST9: Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
8RST10: By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.