Nebraska Core Academic Content Standards for Eighth Grade Science

Our Solar SystemThe Sun is by far the most massive object in the Solar System, therefore gravitationally dominating all other members of the Solar System. The Sun is a star that gives off radiant energy that drives Earth systems and is essential for life. The Solar System consists of comets, asteroids, planets, and their respective satellites, most of which orbit the Sun on a plane called the ecliptic. The planets in our Solar System revolve in the same direction around the Sun in elliptical orbits that are very close to being in the same plane. Read more...iWorksheets: 3
Stars, Galaxies and the UniverseStars do not just exist randomly throughout the universe. They are clustered in large groups. Large groups of stars in space are called galaxies. Our galaxy is called The Milky Way. Astronomers estimate that there are from 200 billion to 400 billion stars in the Milky Way. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 3
The Movement of Ocean WaterThe crest of a wave is the highest point of the wave. The lowest point of a wave is the trough. The distance between two adjacent crests is the wavelength. The wave height or wave amplitude is the distance from the crest to the trough. The wave frequency is the number of waves that pass a given point each second. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 2
EarthquakesAn earthquake is the result of a release of stored energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. Seismographs are machines that detect and measure seismic waves caused by earthquakes. P waves, or primary seismic waves, are the fastest moving waves. They travel through solids, liquids and gases. S waves or secondary waves are slower and can travel through solids, but not liquids. The slowest and most destructive seismic waves are called surface waves. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Vocabulary Sets: 4
FossilsAncient life forms have been preserved, in part and in whole, in the rock record. These preserved pieces of ancient life forms are called fossils. Fossils found in limestone are usually formed by a process called cast and mold. Petrified wood is formed by a process called petrification. In very hot, arid environments, flesh can be dried out and preserved indefinitely. This process is called mummification. Read more...iWorksheets: 5Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 2
Geologic timeAge of the Earth is 4.6 billion years. Geologic time scale is a map that divides Earth history into logical segments of time. The geologic time scale is broken into divisions and subdivisions. The divisions are called eons. Eons are divided into eras, eras are divided into periods, and periods are divided into epochs. Read more...iWorksheets: 5Study Guides: 1
MineralsA mineral, by definition, must meet four criteria. It must: be a naturally occurring substance, be a solid substance, have an internal crystal structure and have been formed by inorganic processes (in other words, it cannot be formed by an organism). A rock, by comparison, is composed of one or more minerals or organic material (such as coal). Read more...iWorksheets: 5Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 3
Plate tectonicsThe Earth is a dynamic planet. Its interior is actually in motion! The crust on its surface is also in motion. It was not until the 20th century that geologists truly began to understand Earth's dynamic movements. New theories, supported by ever-improving technologies, have made it possible to more clearly understand the forces working within the planet we call home. Read more...iWorksheets: 5Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 7
RocksTypes of Rocks: Metamorphic: formed when igneous or sedimentary rocks are put under heat and/or pressure in the Earth's crust. Igneous: Formed when crystallized through melting and cooling. Sedimentary: Formed through the accumulation of sediment. Compaction - process by which overlying pressure from rocks and soil reduces the size or volume of sediments. Rock cycle - the continental process by which rocks can be changed into different types. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Vocabulary Sets: 3
VolcanoesEarth's crust is fractured into 13 major and approximately 20 total lithospheric plates. Most of the Earth's volcanoes are located at lithospheric plate boundaries. The belt of volcanoes along the boundary of the Pacific Ocean is called the Ring Of Fire because it contains about 75% of the world's active volcanoes. Why does a volcano erupt? When magma rises towards the surface, gas bubbles expand and increase in pressure. The force of the gas pushes the magma out of the vent and causes an eruption. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Vocabulary Sets: 3
Understanding WeatherThe global winds in the Northern hemisphere curve to the right. The global winds in the Southern hemisphere curve to the left. One would expect them to travel in a straight line, but the Earth’s rotation on its axis causes them to curve. This is due to the Coriolis effect. Read more...iWorksheets: 5Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 3
Bones, muscles, and skinFreeThe human body works very smoothly carrying out its daily functions because it is organized. The human body has different levels of organization that consist of cells(the smallest), tissues, organs, and organ systems (the largest). Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 7
Circulation and immunityThe circulatory system, otherwise known as the cardiovascular system, consists of the heart, blood vessels, and blood. The heart has two separate sides, the right and left, which are separated by the septum. The septum prevents oxygen-rich blood from mixing with oxygen-poor blood. The valve prevents blood from flowing backwards in the one-way direction of the circulatory system. There are three types of blood vessels in the human body: arteries, capillaries, and veins. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 7
Respiration and excretionAir travels through the nose, pharynx, trachea, and the bronchi within the lungs. Oxygen is gained by the respiratory system and glucose is gained from the digestive system. Both the oxygen and glucose are transported around the body by the circulatory system. With every breath, we pull oxygen out of the atmosphere. The atmosphere consists of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% other gases, so the air that we breathe is not all taken into the body. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 4
The Digestive System & NutritionThere are six different types of nutrients that the body needs. They are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and water. There are three main functions of the digestive system. They are to break down foods into molecules that the body can use, absorb the molecules into the blood and send them all throughout the body, and eliminate wastes from the body. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 5
The Endocrine system and ReproductionThe endocrine system controls long-term and short-term changes of the body and many of the daily activities of the body. The system is made up of glands, which are organs that produce and secrete chemicals. Endocrine glands release chemicals called hormones into the bloodstream, which will then be carried throughout the body. The hypothalamus is a small part of the brain that links the nervous system and the endocrine system together. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 5
The nervous systemThe nervous system gathers information from inside and outside of the body, responds to the information that it gathers and helps to maintain homeostasis. There are three different types of neurons: sensory neurons, interneurons, and motor neurons. The three different types of neurons will work together to carry messages all throughout the nervous system. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 6
The Evolution and interaction of Living ThingsOver 3.5 billion years ago, the Earth was much different than it is today. Scientists believe that early Earth’s atmosphere was made up of nitrogen, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane. All of these gases are still on Earth today, but in different quantities. The gases in Earth's atmosphere include: Nitrogen - 78 percent, Oxygen - 21 percent, Argon - 0.93 percent, Carbon dioxide - 0.04 percent, Trace amounts of neon, helium, methane, krypton and hydrogen, as well as water vapor. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 2
Modern GeneticsThe main function of a gene is to regulate the production of proteins within cells. Proteins establish the phenotype, physical characteristics, and many other traits of a particular organism. Recall from Topic 5 that DNA is made up of 4 different nitrogen bases, Adenine (A), Thymine (T), Guanine (G), and Cytosine (C). Read more...iWorksheets: 5Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 6
Heat and heat technologyAll matter is made up of particles that vibrate with kinetic energy. This movement of particles occurs even when the temperature goes well below zero. When we use the term temperature, we are referring to the amount of thermal energy that a substance has. Thermal energy is the sum of the energy of the moving particle and the potential energy of the resting particles. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 1
The energy of wavesWhen a disturbance transfers energy from one place to another, this is referred to as a wave. Most waves, except for electromagnetic waves, require a substance or medium through which they can travel. This medium could be a solid, liquid or vapor like air. Waves requiring a medium are called mechanical waves. Amplitude: the maximum distance that the medium particles move away from their resting position when a wave is passing through. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 2
Forces in fluidsPressure is calculated by dividing force by area and is measured in units called pascals. For an example, if a force of 10 newtons was exerted over an area of 2 square centimeters, the pressure would be 5 pascals. In fluids, which are substances that can flow, pressure is the sum of each of the forces of each particle in the fluid. Examples of fluids include liquids such as water and gases such as air and helium. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 2
LightWhen light hits an object, it either goes through easily, partially, or not at all. An object that lets most of the light through is said to be transparent. The colors we see depend upon which wavelengths of visible light get reflected back to our eyes. Objects appear white when they reflect all of light’s wavelengths and conversely, they look black when they reflect little or none of the wavelengths. This is why it is wise to wear light-colored clothing in the summer; your clothing doesn’t absorb the light. Read more...iWorksheets: 5Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 2
Mirrors and lensesThe reflection of light can occur in different ways. Since a mirror has a very smooth surface, all the light bouncing off of a mirror reflects in a regular manner. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 2
SoundSound is a type of longitudinal wave. As it travels through its medium, the mediums particles show areas of compression and rarefaction. Sound, at room temperature, normally travels at a speed of 343m/s. At different temperatures, sound travels at different speeds. The speed of sound is also influenced by the density and elasticity of the medium. When the frequency of sound changes as its source moves in relationship to someone listening, this is called the Doppler Effect. Read more...iWorksheets: 5Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 2
Chemical bondingFreeChemical bonding involves only an atom's outermost electrons. These electrons are called valence electrons and because they have more energy than other electrons, they tend to be found further away from the nucleus. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 1
Chemical reactionsWhen a chemical reaction occurs, the original substances put together, called reactants, lose their chemical properties and become different substances called products with a different set of chemical properties. Reactions where energy is released are called exothermic reactions. When energy is absorbed, it is called an endothermic reaction. Read more...iWorksheets: 5Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 2
Organic compoundsOrganic chemistry is the study of carbon compounds. Because there are so many of these in living things, organic chemistry is sometimes thought of as living chemistry. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 2
Introduction to physical scienceSafety First! Working with flames, chemicals and glassware poses many potential dangers. You should learn about safety equipment such as eye goggles, eye washes, fire blankets and fire extinguishers. In addition, while working in the lab, you should be aware of laboratory safety rules as well as familiar with the many safety symbols that often appear in the instructions that are printed for lab activity. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 1
Properties of atomsThe modern atomic model suggests that an atom has two particles in the nucleus, a proton and a neutron or neutrally charged particle. All the mass of an atom is made up with these particles. The total number of protons and neutrons in an atom is called atomic mass while the number of protons is called the atomic number. Read more...iWorksheets: 5Study Guides: 1Vocabulary Sets: 2

NE.SC.8.9. Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

SC.8.9.4. Gather, analyze, and communicate evidence of the inheritance and variation of traits.

SC.8.9.4.A. Develop and use a model to describe why structural changes to genes (mutations) may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to structure and function of organisms.
Nucleic acids and protein synthesisThe term nucleic acid is the name for DNA and RNA. They are composed of nucleotides. DNA molecules are double-stranded and RNA molecules are single-stranded. To initiate the process of information transfer, one strand of the double-stranded DNA chain serves as a template for the synthesis of a single strand of RNA that is complementary to the DNA strand. Read more...iWorksheets :4Vocabulary :3

NE.SC.8.10. Natural Selection and Adaptations

SC.8.10.5. Gather, analyze, and communicate evidence of natural selection and adaptations.

SC.8.10.5.C. Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
Evolution and classificationCategorize organisms using a hierarchical classification system based on similarities and differences. Evolutionary theory is a scientific explanation for the unity and diversity of life. Analyze the effects of evolutionary mechanisms, including genetic drift, gene flow, mutation and recombination. Read more...iWorksheets :3
SC.8.10.5.D. Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time.
Evolution and classificationCategorize organisms using a hierarchical classification system based on similarities and differences. Evolutionary theory is a scientific explanation for the unity and diversity of life. Analyze the effects of evolutionary mechanisms, including genetic drift, gene flow, mutation and recombination. Read more...iWorksheets :3


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