Academic standards list

Science - Grade 7 — Science (2009-2018)


Academic standards define the expectations for knowledge and skills that students are to learn in a subject by a certain age or at the end of a school grade level. This page contains a list of standards for a specific content area, grade level, and/or course. The list of standards may be structured using categories and sub-categories.

Embedded Inquiry

Standard INQ — Embedded Inquiry
Science is a relentless quest for understanding how the natural world works. All of science is driven by the premise that the world is capable of being understood. Yet, scientists believe that currently accepted explanations of natural phenomena or events are never perfect or fully complete and are always amenable to revision in light of new scientific evidence. Each scientific discipline uses its distinctive tools and techniques to investigate phenomena associated with the physical, geological, or living worlds. All rely upon theories from which the development of hypotheses emerge, the collection of data, and the interpretation of evidence as the foundation for reaching logical conclusions and making reasoned predictions.Conceptual StrandUnderstandings about scientific inquiry and the ability to conduct inquiry are essential for living in the 21st century.Guiding QuestionWhat tools, skills, knowledge, and dispositions are needed to conduct scientific inquiry?
Grade Level Expectation
Design and conduct openended scientific investigations.
Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, organize, analyze, and interpret data.
Synthesize information to determine cause and effect relationships between evidence and explanations.
Recognize possible sources of bias and error, alternative explanations, and questions for further exploration.
Communicate scientific understanding using descriptions, explanations, and models.
State Performance Indicator
Design a simple experimental procedure with an identified control and appropriate variables.
Select tools and procedures needed to conduct a moderately complex experiment.
Interpret and translate data in a table, graph, or diagram.
Draw a conclusion that establishes a cause and effect relationship supported by evidence.
Identify a faulty interpretation of data that is due to bias or experimental error.

Embedded Technology/Engineering

Standard T/E — Embedded Technology/Engineering
Scientific inquiry is fueled by the desire to understand the natural world; technological design is driven by the need to meet human needs and solve human problems. Technology exerts a more direct effect on society than science because it is focused on solving human problems, helping humans to adapt to changes, and fulfilling goals and aspirations. The engineering design cycle describes the worklives of practicing engineers. The design cycle describes a series of activities that includes a background research, problem identification, feasibility analysis, selection of design criteria, prototype development, planning and design, production and product evaluation. Because there are as many variations of this model, practicing engineers do not adhere to a rigid step-by-step interpretation of this design cycle.Conceptual StrandSociety benefits when engineers apply scientific discoveries to design materials and processes that develop into enabling technologies.Guiding QuestionHow do science concepts, engineering skills, and applications of technology improve the quality of life?
Grade Level Expectation
Explore how technology responds to social, political, and economic needs.
Know that the engineering design process involves an ongoing series of events that incorporate design constraints, model building, testing, evaluating,
Compare the intended benefits with the unintended consequences of a new technology.
Describe and explain adaptive and assistive bioengineered products.
State Performance Indicator
Identify the tools and procedures needed to test the design features of a prototype.
Evaluate a protocol to determine if the engineering design process was successfully applied.
Distinguish between the intended benefits and the unintended consequences of a new technology.
Differentiate between adaptive and assistive bioengineered products (e.g., food, biofuels, medicines, integrated pest management).


Standard 1 — Cells
...I could exceedingly plainly perceive it to be all perforated and porous, much like a honey-comb, but that the pores of it were not regular...these pores, or cells,...were indeed the first microscopical pores I ever saw. With these simple words, Robert Hooke announced his startling finding about cork cells to the world in the mid 17th century. Hooke continued to notice cells in whatever living matter he studied. Today, the fundamental theory that cells are the building blocks of all living things is universally accepted. Increasingly sophisticated experimental procedures and investigatory technologies have enabled scientists to probe deeper and deeper into cells where they continue to make astonishing discoveries about these amazing pieces of living machinery.Conceptual StrandAll living things are made of cells that perform functions necessary for life.Guiding QuestionHow are plant and animals cells organized to carry on the processes of life?
Grade Level Expectation
Make observations and describe the structure and function of organelles found in plant and animal cells.
Summarize how the different levels of organization are integrated within living systems.
Describe the function of different organ systems and how collectively they enable complex multicellular organisms to survive.
Illustrate how cell division occurs in sequential stages to maintain the chromosome number of species.
Observe and explain how materials move through simple diffusion.
State Performance Indicator
Identify and describe the function of the major plant and animal cell organelles.
Interpret a chart to explain the integrated relationships that exist among cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems.
Explain the basic functions of a major organ system.
Sequence a series of diagrams that depict chromosome movement during plant cell division.
Explain how materials move through simple diffusion.

Flow of Matter and Energy

Standard 3 — Flow of Matter and Energy
Matter and energy move freely between and among living things and the physical environment in which they live. Life ultimately depends on the suns energy that is transformed by plants into energy-bearing food through the process of photosynthesis. Energy flows among living things through the food web and is used by all living things for energy, growth, and repair. Molecules of the substances found in living things are continually recycled between organisms themselves and the natural world. In the earth system, the total amount of matter and energy remains constant, even though their forms, availability, and where they are found in any moment are continually changing.Conceptual StrandMatter and energy flow through the biosphere.Guiding QuestionWhat scientific information explains how matter and energy flow through the biosphere?
Grade Level Expectation
Distinguish between the basic features of photosynthesis and respiration.
Investigate the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between living things and the environment.
State Performance Indicator
Compare the chemical compounds that make up the reactants and products of photosynthesis and respiration.
Interpret a diagram to explain how oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged between living things and the environment.


Standard 4 — Heredity
Offspring are similar to, but somewhat different than their parents. Gregor Mendel noticed this phenomenon and through a series of experiments with pea plants discovered the general principles by which traits are transmitted between generations. The laws of probability govern how instructions for development are passed from parents to offspring in thousands of discrete genes, each of which is a segment of a molecule of DNA. The discovery of the structure of DNA was one of the crowning achievements of molecular biology and set the stage for a dramatic reconceptualization of Medelian inheritance.Conceptual StrandPlants and animals reproduce and transmit hereditary information between generations.Guiding QuestionWhat are the principal mechanisms by which living things reproduce and transmit information between parents and offspring?
Grade Level Expectation
Compare and contrast the fundamental features of sexual and asexual reproduction.
Demonstrate an understanding of sexual reproduction in flowering plants.
Explain the relationship among genes, chromosomes, and inherited traits.
Predict the probable appearance of offspring based on the genetic characteristics of the parents.
State Performance Indicator
Classify methods of reproduction as sexual or asexual.
Match flower parts with their reproductive functions.
Describe the relationship among genes, chromosomes, and inherited traits.
Interpret a Punnett square to predict possible genetic combinations passed from parents to offspring during sexual reproduction.

The Earth

Standard 7 — The Earth
The Earths crust, including its continents and ocean basins, consists of large crustal plates that overlie a hot, almost molten layer. The interior of the earth, under great pressure from the weight of overlying layers, is hot and dense. In areas where moving plates collide, earthquakes and mountains are common. New sea floor forms where the plates pull apart. Waves, wind, water, and ice carve the earth's surface into distinctive landforms. Much of the landscape of todays Northern Hemisphere was shaped by the regular advance and retreat of huge continental glaciers. Wind and water erode loose surface materials and deposit them elsewhere. Conceptual StrandMajor geologic events that occur over eons or brief moments in time continually shape and reshape the surface of the Earth, resulting in continuous global change.Guiding QuestionHow is the earth affected by long-term and short term geological cycles and the influence of man?
Grade Level Expectation
Describe the physical properties of minerals.
Summarize the basic events that occur during the rock cycle.
Analyze the characteristics of the earths layers and the location of the major plates.
Explain how earthquakes, mountain building, volcanoes, and sea floor spreading are associated with movements of the earths major plates.
Differentiate between renewable and nonrenewable resources in terms of their use by man.
Evaluate how human activities affect the earths land, oceans, and atmosphere.
State Performance Indicator
Use a table of physical properties to classify minerals.
Label a diagram that depicts the three different rock types.
Identify the major processes that drive the rock cycle.
Differentiate among the characteristics of the earths three layers.
Recognize that lithospheric plates on the scale of continents and oceans continually move at rates of centimeters per year.
Describe the relationship between plate movements and earthquakes, mountain building, volcanoes, and sea floor spreading.
Analyze and evaluate the impact of mans use of earths land, water, and atmospheric resources.


Standard 11 — Motion
Motion is one part of what physicists call mechanics. Everything in the universe displays some type of movement. In physics, motion is defined as a change in position of an object with respect to time. Scientists have discovered the major laws that explain the motion of objects. Unless they are living, objects do not change position on their own. Forces need to act upon an object to get it moving, or to change its direction or speed. The mass of the object and the magnitude and direction of the force are what ultimately determines how the object responds to an external force.Conceptual StrandObjects move in ways that can be observed, described, predicted, and measured.Guiding QuestionWhat causes objects to move differently under different circumstances?
Grade Level Expectation
Identify six types of simple machines.
Apply the equation for work in experiments with simple machines to determine the amount of force needed to do work.
Distinguish between speed and velocity.
Investigate how Newtons Laws of Motion explain an objects movement.
Compare and contrast the basic parts of a wave.
Investigate the types and fundamental properties of waves.
State Performance Indicator
Differentiate between the six simple machines.
Determine the amount of force needed to do work using different simple machines.
Apply proper equations to solve basic problems pertaining to distance, time, speed, and velocity.
Identify and explain how Newtons laws of motion relate to the movement of objects.
Compare and contrast the different parts of a wave.
Differentiate between transverse and longitudinal waves in terms of how they are produced and transmitted.
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