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Maine Standards for Eighth Grade Science

ME.A. Unifying Themes: Students apply the principles of systems, models, constancy and change, and scale in science and technology.

A.1. Systems: Students describe and apply principles of systems in man-made things, natural things, and processes.

A.1.a. Explain how individual parts working together in a system (including organisms, Earth systems, solar systems, or man-made structures) can do more than each part individually.
A.1.b. Explain how the output of one part of a system, including waste products from manufacturing or organisms, can become the input of another part of a system.
A.1.c. Describe how systems are nested and that systems may be thought of as containing subsystems (as well as being a subsystem of a larger system) and apply the understanding to analyze systems.

A.2. Models: Students use models to examine a variety of real-world phenomena from the physical setting, the living environment, and the technological world and compare advantages and disadvantages of various models.

A.2.a. Compare different types of models that can be used to represent the same thing (including models of chemical reactions, motion, or cells) in order to match the purpose and complexity of a model to its use.
A.2.b. Propose changes to models and explain how those changes may better reflect the real thing.

A.3. Constancy and Change: Students describe how patterns of change vary in physical, biological, and technological systems.

A.3.a. Describe systems that are changing including ecosystems, Earth systems, and technologies.
A.3.b. Give examples of systems including ecosystems, Earth systems, and technologies that appear to be unchanging (even though things may be changing within the system) and identify any feedback mechanisms that may be modifying the changes.
A.3.c. Describe rates of change and cyclic patterns using appropriate grade-level mathematics.

A.4. Scale: Students use scale to describe objects, phenomena, or processes related to Earth, space, matter, and mechanical and living systems.

A.4.a. Describe how some things change or work differently at different scales.
A.4.b. Use proportions, averages, and ranges to describe small and large extremes of scale.

ME.B. The Skills and Traits of Scientific Inquiry and Technological Design: Students plan, conduct, analyze data from and communicate results of in-depth scientific investigations; and they use a systematic process, tools, equipment, and a variety of materials to create a technological design and produce a solution or product to meet a specified need.

B.1. Skills and Traits of Scientific Inquiry: Students plan, conduct, analyze data from, and communicate results of investigations, including simple experiments.

B.1.b. Design and safely conduct scientific investigations including experiments with controlled variables.
B.1.c. Use appropriate tools, metric units, and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data.
B.1.d. Use mathematics to gather, organize, and present data and structure convincing explanations.
B.1.e. Use logic, critical reasoning and evidence to develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models.
B.1.f. Communicate, critique, and analyze their own scientific work and the work of other students.

ME.C. The Scientific and Technological Enterprise: Students understand the history and nature of scientific knowledge and technology, the processes of inquiry and technological design, and the impacts science and technology have on society and the environment.

C.1. Understandings of Inquiry: Students describe how scientists use varied and systematic approaches to investigations that may lead to further investigations.

C.1.b. Explain why it is important to identify and control variables and replicate trials in experiments.

C.3. Science, Technology, and Society: Students identify and describe the role of science and technology in addressing personal and societal challenges.

C.3.a. Describe how science and technology can help address societal challenges related to population, natural hazards, sustainability, personal health and safety, and environmental quality.
C.3.b. Identify personal choices that can either positively or negatively impact society including population, ecosystem sustainability, personal health, and environmental quality.
C.3.c. Identify factors that influence the development and use of science and technology.

C.4. History and Nature of Science: Students describe historical examples that illustrate how science advances knowledge through the scientists involved and through the ways scientists think about their work and the work of others.

C.4.b. Describe a breakthrough from the history of science that contributes to our current understanding of science.

ME.CC.RST.6-8. Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects

Craft and Structure

RST.6-8.4. 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.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

RST.6-8.7. 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).
RST.6-8.9. Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.

ME.CC.WHST.6-8. Writing Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

WHST.6-8.7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

Text Types and Purposes

WHST.6-8.1. Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
WHST.6-8.1(e) Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
WHST.6-8.2. Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
WHST.6-8.2(f) Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.

ME.D. The Physical Setting: Students understand the universal nature of matter, energy, force, and motion and identify how these relationships are exhibited in Earth Systems, in the solar system, and throughout the universe.

D.1. Universe and Solar System: Students explain the movements and describe the location, composition, and characteristics of our solar system and universe, including planets, the sun, and galaxies.

D.1.a. Describe the different kinds of objects in the solar system including planets, sun, moons, asteroids, and comets.
D.1.b. Explain the motions that cause days, years, phases of the moon, and eclipses.
D.1.c. Describe the location of our solar system in its galaxy and explain that other galaxies exist and that they include stars and planets.

D.2. Earth: Students describe the various cycles, physical and biological forces and processes, position in space, energy transformations, and human actions that affect the short- term and long-term changes to the Earth.

D.2.a. Explain how the tilt of Earth's rotational axis relative to the plane of its yearly orbit around the sun affects the day length and sunlight intensity to cause seasons.
D.2.b. Describe Earth Systems - biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere - and cycles and interactions within them (including water moving among and between them, rocks forming and transforming, and weather formation).
D.2.c. Give several reasons why the climate is different in different regions of the Earth.
D.2.d. Describe significant Earth resources and how their limited supply affects how they are used.
D.2.f. Give examples of abrupt changes and slow changes in Earth Systems.

D.3. Matter and Energy: Students describe physical and chemical properties of matter, interactions and changes in matter, and transfer of energy through matter.

D.3.a. Describe that all matter is made up of atoms and distinguish between/among elements, atoms, and molecules.
D.3.b. Describe how physical characteristics of elements and types of reactions they undergo have been used to create the Periodic Table.
D.3.c. Describe the difference between physical and chemical change.
D.3.d. Explain the relationship of the motion of atoms and molecules to the states of matter for gases, liquids, and solids.
D.3.e. Explain how atoms are packed together in arrangements that compose all substances including elements, compounds, mixtures, and solutions.
D.3.f. Explain and apply the understanding that substances have characteristic properties, including density, boiling point, and solubility and these properties are not dependent on the amount of matter present.
D.3.h. Describe several different types of energy forms including heat energy, chemical energy, and mechanical energy.
D.3.i. Use examples of energy transformations from one form to another to explain that energy cannot be created or destroyed.
D.3.j. Describe how heat is transferred from one object to another by conduction, convection, and/or radiation.
D.3.k. Describe the properties of solar radiation and its interaction with objects on Earth.

D.4. Force and Motion: Students describe the force of gravity, the motion of objects, the properties of waves, and the wavelike property of energy in light waves.

D.4.a. Describe the similarities and differences in the motion of sound vibrations, earthquakes, and light waves.
D.4.b. Explain the relationship among visible light, the electromagnetic spectrum, and sight.
D.4.d. Describe and apply an understanding of how electric currents and magnets can exert force on each other.
D.4.e. Describe and apply an understanding of the effects of multiple forces on an object, and how unbalanced forces will cause changes in the speed or direction.

ME.E. The Living Environment: Students understand that cells are the basic unit of life, that all life as we know it has evolved through genetic transfer and natural selection to create a great diversity of organisms, and that these organisms create interdependent webs through which matter and energy flow. Students understand similarities and differences between humans and other organisms and the interconnections of these interdependent webs.

E.1. Biodiversity: Students differentiate among organisms based on biological characteristics and identify patterns of similarity.

E.1.a. Compare physical characteristics that differentiate organisms into groups (including plants that use sunlight to make their own food, animals that consume energy-rich food, and organisms that cannot easily be classified as either).
E.1.b. Explain how biologists use internal and external anatomical features to determine relatedness among organisms and to form the basis for classification systems.

E.2. Ecosystems: Students examine how the characteristics of the physical, non-living (abiotic) environment, the types and behaviors of living (biotic) organisms, and the flow of matter and energy affect organisms and the ecosystem of which they are part.

E.2.b. Describe ways in which two types of organisms may interact (including competition, predator/prey, producer/consumer/decomposer, parasitism, and mutualism) and describe the positive and negative consequences of such interactions.
E.2.c. Describe the source and flow of energy in the two major food webs, terrestrial and marine.
E.2.d. Describe how matter and energy change from one form to another in living things and in the physical environment.
E.2.e. Explain that the total amount of matter in the environment stays the same even as its form and location change.

E.3. Cells: Students describe the hierarchy of organization and function in organisms, and the similarities and differences in structure, function, and needs among and within organisms.

E.3.a. Describe the basic functions of organisms carried out within cells including the extracting of energy from food and the elimination of wastes.
E.3.b. Explain the relationship among cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems, including how tissues and organs serve the needs of cells and organisms.
E.3.c. Compare the structures, systems, and interactions that allow single-celled organisms and multi-celled plants and animals, including humans, to defend themselves, acquire and use energy, self-regulate, reproduce, and coordinate movement.
E.3.d. Explain that all living things are composed of cells numbering from just one to millions.

E.4. Heredity and Reproduction: Students describe the general characteristics and mechanisms of reproduction and heredity in organisms, including humans, and ways in which organisms are affected by their genetic traits.

E.4.a. Explain that sexual reproduction includes fertilization that results in the inclusion of genetic information from each parent and determines the inherited traits that are a part of every cell.
E.4.b. Identify some of the risks to the healthy development of an embryo including mother's diet, lifestyle, and hygiene.
E.4.c. Describe asexual reproduction as a process by which all genetic information comes from one parent and determines the inherited traits that are a part of every cell.

E.5. Evolution: Students describe the evidence that evolution occurs over many generations, allowing species to acquire many of their unique characteristics or adaptations.

E.5.a. Explain how the layers of sedimentary rock and their contained fossils provide evidence for the long history of Earth and for the long history of changing life.
E.5.b. Describe how small differences between parents and offspring can lead to descendants who are very different from their ancestors.
E.5.c. Describe how variations in the behavior and traits of an offspring may permit some of them to survive a changing environment.

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