National Research Council (1996). National Science Education Standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. (Also available on the WWW at http://www.nap.edu/nap/online/nses/).
Content Standards: K-4
Content Standard C: Organisms and Their Environment
- Humans depend on their natural and constructed environments. Humans change environments in ways that can be either beneficial or detrimental for themselves and other organisms.
Content Standard D :Changes in the Earth and Sky
- Weather changes from day to day and over the seasons. Weather can be described by measurable quantities, such as temperature, wind direction and speed, and precipitation.
Content Standards Grades 5-8
Content Standard D: Structure of the Earth System
- The atmosphere is a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and trace gases that include water vapor. The atmosphere has different properties at different elevations.
- Clouds, formed by the condensation of water vapor, affect weather and climate. *Global patterns of atmospheric movement influence local weather. Oceans have a major effect on climate, because water in the oceans holds a large amount of heat.
- Living organisms have played many roles in the earth system, including affecting the composition of the atmosphere, producing some types of rocks, and contributing to the weathering of rocks.
Content Standards 9-12: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Content Standard F: Environmental Quality
- Natural ecosystems provide an array of basic processes that affect humans. Those processes include maintenance of the quality of the atmosphere, generation of soils, control of the hydrologic cycle, disposal of wastes, and recycling of nutrients. Humans are changing many of these basic processes, and the changes may be detrimental to humans.
- Materials from human societies affect both physical and chemical cycles of the earth.
American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1990). Science for All Americans. New York: Oxford University Press.
American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1993). Benchmarks for Science Literacy. New York: Oxford University Press. (Also available on disk).
Chapter 4 The Physical Setting
4b The Earth
Grades 3 through 5
- Air is a substance that surrounds us, takes up space, and whose movement we feel as wind. Grades 6-8
- The benefits of the earth's resources-such as fresh water, air, soil, and trees-can be reduced by using them wastefully or by deliberately or inadvertently destroying them. The atmosphere and the oceans have a limited capacity to absorb wastes and recycle materials naturally. Cleaning up polluted air, water, or soil or restoring depleted soil, forests, or fishing grounds can be very difficult and costly.
- Recognize that we live on a relatively small planet with an increasing world population, that climatic changes are due to natural occurring events and phenomena, that sudden climatic changes can occur suddenly from eruptions from an active volcano, that air, like any natural resource can be reduce or diminished by wasteful use and practices.
- Weather (in the short run) and climate (in the long run) involve the transfer of energy in and out of the atmosphere. Solar radiation heats the land masses, oceans, and air. Transfer of heat energy at the boundaries between the atmosphere, the land masses, and the oceans results in layers of different temperatures and densities in both the ocean and atmosphere. The action of gravitational force on regions of different densities causes them to rise or fall-and such circulation, influenced by the rotation of the earth, produces winds and ocean currents.
4c Processes that Shape the Earth
- Human activities, such as reducing the amount of forest cover, increasing the amount and variety of chemicals released into the atmosphere, and intensive farming, have changed the earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere. Some of these changes have decreased the capacity of the environment to support some life forms.
5d The Living Environment
- Recognition that the well being of any organism is dependent upon the surrounding physical environment.
- Recognition that human beings are the primary participants in the earth's ecosystem, that human beings alter the equilibrium and status quo of the ecosystem in which all people live by their inadvertent and sometime deliberate actions.
6e The Human Organism
- Recognition that the environment contains dangerous levels of substances which are harmful to all human beings, that good health for everyone requires the environment to be in good condition--paying particular attention to condition of the air, water and soils around us.
- Recognition that normal bodily functioning can become impaired due to poor or dangerous environmental conditions, that natural bodily functions that sustain and maintain our lives is dependent upon ourselves to avoid "excessive exposure to substances" that injure or harm us, that much of what we ingest and consume is controlled by our own actions, that collective and collaborative efforts can control smog, use of pesticides and other dangerous chemicals.
8f The Designed World
- Recognition that technology and science can measure substances in our bodies, make predictions/diagnosis and can monitor results or effects of treatment.
- Recognition that technology and science can be maintain records and statistical profile of diseases.
Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction. (1996). Essential Academic Learning Requirements for the State of Washington. (Also available on the WWW at http://www.ospi.wednet.edu/index.html).
Essential Learning 1: The Student Understands and Uses Scientific Concepts
Component: Recognize the components, structure, and organization of systems and the interconnections within and among them.
Benchmark 1: Observe and measure weather phenomena
Benchmark 2: Correlate measurements of atmospheric properties, location, and geographic features to observe weather
Component: Understand that Interactions within and Among Systems Cause Changes in Matter and Energy
Benchmark 1: Recognize all organisms, including humans, cause changes in the environment.
Benchmark 2: Explain how physical, chemical, biological and human-related factors affect conditions in the environment.
Essential Learning 2: The Student Conducts Scientific Investigations
Component: Conduct Scientific Investigation
Benchmark 1: All apply
- Record and summarize experimental data
- Use logical reasoning to develop descriptions, explanations, predictions and models using evidence.
- Identify a problem related to the physical world based on observation/personal experiences, and reduce it to a clear statement capable of being tested.
Component: Think logically, analytically, and creatively
- Examine data to verify a conclusion in a simple investigation
- Compare, order, and categorize scientific information
- Explain how a conclusion was derived in a science investigation
- Evaluate the relationship between evidence and explanations
- Draw inferences and recognize relationships using scientific knowledge
- Describe the thought processes used while carrying out a scientific investigation.
Essential Learning 3: The Student Uses Effective Communication Skills
and tools to Build and Demonstrate Understanding of Science.
Component: Use Listening, Observing, and Reading Skills to Obtain Scientific Information.
Benchmarks 1 and 2: All Component: Use Writing and Speaking Skills to Organize and Express Science Ideas
Benchmarks 1 and 2: All Component: Use Effective Communication Strategies and Tools to Prepare and Present Science Information
Benchmarks 1 and 2: All Component: Use Effective Communication Benchmarks 1 and 2:
All Essential Learning 4: The Student Understands How Science Knowledge
and Skills are Connected to Other Subject Areas and Real-Life Situations.
Components: Describe the Connection Between Science and Society.
Benchmark 2: Describe how changes in the environment result from both natural and human actions.