New Jersey Standards 8th Grade Science Activities
Printable Eighth Grade Science Worksheets and Study Guides.
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NJ.5.1.8. Science Practices: Science is both a body of knowledge and an evidence-based, model-building enterprise that continually extends, refines, and revises knowledge. The four Science Practices strands encompass the knowledge and reasoning skills that students must acquire to be proficient in science.
5.1.8.A. Understand Scientific Explanations: Students understand core concepts and principles of science and use measurement and observation tools to assist in categorizing, representing, and interpreting the natural and designed world.
Core scientific concepts and principles represent the conceptual basis for model-building and facilitate the generation of new and productive questions.
5.1.8.A.1. Demonstrate understanding and use interrelationships among central scientific concepts to revise explanations and to consider alternative explanations.
Results of observation and measurement can be used to build conceptual-based models and to search for core explanations.
5.1.8.A.2. Use mathematical, physical, and computational tools to build conceptual-based models and to pose theories.
5.1.8.B. Generate Scientific Evidence Through Active Investigations: Students master the conceptual, mathematical, physical, and computational tools that need to be applied when constructing and evaluating claims.
Evidence is generated and evaluated as part of building and refining models and explanations.
5.1.8.B.1. Design investigations and use scientific instrumentation to collect, analyze, and evaluate evidence as part of building and revising models and explanations.
Mathematics and technology are used to gather, analyze, and communicate results.
5.1.8.B.2. Gather, evaluate, and represent evidence using scientific tools, technologies, and computational strategies.
Scientific reasoning is used to support scientific conclusions.
5.1.8.B.4. Use quality controls to examine data sets and to examine evidence as a means of generating and reviewing explanations.
5.1.8.C. Reflect on Scientific Knowledge: Scientific knowledge builds on itself over time.
Predictions and explanations are revised to account more completely for available evidence.
5.1.8.C.2. Revise predictions or explanations on the basis of discovering new evidence, learning new information, or using models.
Scientific models and understandings of fundamental concepts and principles are refined as new evidence is considered.
5.1.8.C.1. Monitor one's own thinking as understandings of scientific concepts are refined.
5.1.8.D. Participate Productively in Science: The growth of scientific knowledge involves critique and communication, which are social practices that are governed by a core set of values and norms.
Instruments of measurement can be used to safely gather accurate information for making scientific comparisons of objects and events.
5.1.8.D.3. Demonstrate how to safely use tools, instruments, and supplies.
NJ.5.2.8. Physical Science: Physical science principles, including fundamental ideas about matter, energy, and motion, are powerful conceptual tools for making sense of phenomena in physical, living, and Earth systems science.
5.2.8.A. Properties of Matter: All objects and substances in the natural world are composed of matter. Matter has two fundamental properties: matter takes up space, and matter has inertia.
All matter is made of atoms. Matter made of only one type of atom is called an element.
5.2.8.A.1. Explain that all matter is made of atoms, and give examples of common elements.
All substances are composed of one or more of approximately 100 elements.
5.2.8.A.2. Analyze and explain the implications of the statement ''all substances are composed of elements.''
Elements are a class of substances composed of a single kind of atom. Compounds are substances that are chemically formed and have physical and chemical properties that differ from the reacting substances.
5.2.8.A.5. Identify unknown substances based on data regarding their physical and chemical properties.
Properties of solids, liquids, and gases are explained by a model of matter as composed of tiny particles (atoms) in motion.
5.2.8.A.3. Use the kinetic molecular model to predict how solids, liquids, and gases would behave under various physical circumstances, such as heating or cooling.
Substances are classified according to their physical and chemical properties. Acids are a class of compounds that exhibit common chemical properties, including a sour taste, characteristic color changes with litmus and other acid/base indicators, and the tendency to react with bases to produce a salt and water.
5.2.8.A.7. Determine the relative acidity and reactivity of common acids, such as vinegar or cream of tartar, through a variety of student-designed investigations.
Substances are classified according to their physical and chemical properties. Metals are a class of elements that exhibit physical properties, such as conductivity, and chemical properties, such as producing salts when combined with nonmetals.
5.2.8.A.6. Determine whether a substance is a metal or nonmetal through student-designed investigations.
The Periodic Table organizes the elements into families of elements with similar properties.
5.2.8.A.4. Predict the physical and chemical properties of elements based on their positions on the Periodic Table.
5.2.8.B. Changes in Matter: Substances can undergo physical or chemical changes to form new substances. Each change involves energy.
Chemical changes can occur when two substances, elements, or compounds react and produce one or more different substances. The physical and chemical properties of the products are different from those of the reacting substances.
5.2.8.B.2. Compare and contrast the physical properties of reactants with products after a chemical reaction, such as those that occur during photosynthesis and cellular respiration.
5.2.8.C. Forms of Energy: Knowing the characteristics of familiar forms of energy, including potential and kinetic energy, is useful in coming to the understanding that, for the most part, the natural world can be explained and is predictable.
A tiny fraction of the light energy from the Sun reaches Earth. Light energy from the Sun is Earth’s primary source of energy, heating Earth surfaces and providing the energy that results in wind, ocean currents, and storms.
5.2.8.C.1. Structure evidence to explain the relatively high frequency of tornadoes in ''Tornado Alley.''
Energy is transferred from place to place. Light energy can be thought of as traveling in rays. Thermal energy travels via conduction and convection.
5.2.8.C.2. Model and explain current technologies used to capture solar energy for the purposes of converting it to electrical energy.
5.2.8.D. Energy Transfer and Conservation: The conservation of energy can be demonstrated by keeping track of familiar forms of energy as they are transferred from one object to another.
Nuclear reactions take place in the Sun. In plants, light energy from the Sun is transferred to oxygen and carbon compounds, which in combination, have chemical potential energy (photosynthesis).
5.2.8.D.2. Describe the flow of energy from the Sun to the fuel tank of an automobile.
When energy is transferred from one system to another, the quantity of energy before transfer equals the quantity of energy after transfer. As an object falls, its potential energy decreases as its speed, and consequently its kinetic energy, increases. While an object is falling, some of the object’s kinetic energy is transferred to the medium through which it falls, setting the medium into motion and heating it.
5.2.8.D.1. Relate the kinetic and potential energies of a roller coaster at various points on its path.
5.2.8.E. Forces and Motion: It takes energy to change the motion of objects. The energy change is understood in terms of forces.
An object is in motion when its position is changing. The speed of an object is defined by how far it travels divided by the amount of time it took to travel that far.
5.2.8.E.1. Calculate the speed of an object when given distance and time.
Forces have magnitude and direction. Forces can be added. The net force on an object is the sum of all the forces acting on the object. An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion at constant velocity will continue at the same velocity unless acted on by an unbalanced force.
5.2.8.E.2. Compare the motion of an object acted on by balanced forces with the motion of an object acted on by unbalanced forces in a given specific scenario.
NJ.5.3.8. Life Science: Life science principles are powerful conceptual tools for making sense of the complexity, diversity, and interconnectedness of life on Earth. Order in natural systems arises in accordance with rules that govern the physical world, and the order of natural systems can be modeled and predicted through the use of mathematics.
5.3.8.A. Organization and Development: Living organisms are composed of cellular units (structures) that carry out functions required for life. Cellular units are composed of molecules, which also carry out biological functions.
All organisms are composed of cell(s). In multicellular organisms, specialized cells perform specialized functions. Tissues, organs, and organ systems are composed of cells and function to serve the needs of cells for food, air, and waste removal.
5.3.8.A.1. Compare the benefits and limitations of existing as a single-celled organism and as a multicellular organism.
During the early development of an organism, cells differentiate and multiply to form the many specialized cells, tissues, and organs that compose the final organism. Tissues grow through cell division.
5.3.8.A.2. Relate the structures of cells, tissues, organs, and systems to their functions in supporting life.
5.3.8.B. Matter and Energy Transformations: Food is required for energy and building cellular materials. Organisms in an ecosystem have different ways of obtaining food, and some organisms obtain their food directly from other organisms.
All animals, including humans, are consumers that meet their energy needs by eating other organisms or their products.
5.3.8.B.2. Analyze the components of a consumer's diet and trace them back to plants and plant products.
Food is broken down to provide energy for the work that cells do, and is a source of the molecular building blocks from which needed materials are assembled.
5.3.8.B.1. Relate the energy and nutritional needs of organisms in a variety of life stages and situations, including stages of development and periods of maintenance.
5.3.8.C. Interdependence: All animals and most plants depend on both other organisms and their environment to meet their basic needs.
Symbiotic interactions among organisms of different species can be classified as: Producer/consumer; Predator/prey; Parasite/host; Scavenger/prey; Decomposer/prey
5.3.8.C.1. Model the effect of positive and negative changes in population size on a symbiotic pairing.
5.3.8.D. Heredity and Reproduction: Organisms reproduce, develop, and have predictable life cycles. Organisms contain genetic information that influences their traits, and they pass this on to their offspring during reproduction.
Some organisms reproduce asexually. In these organisms, all genetic information comes from a single parent. Some organisms reproduce sexually, through which half of the genetic information comes from each parent.
5.3.8.D.1. Defend the principle that, through reproduction, genetic traits are passed from one generation to the next, using evidence collected from observations of inherited traits.
The unique combination of genetic material from each parent in sexually reproducing organisms results in the potential for variation.
5.3.8.D.2. Explain the source of variation among siblings.
NJ.5.4.8. Earth Systems Science: Earth operates as a set of complex, dynamic, and interconnected systems, and is a part of the all-encompassing system of the universe.
5.4.8.A. Objects in the Universe: Our universe has been expanding and evolving for 13.7 billion years under the influence of gravitational and nuclear forces. As gravity governs its expansion, organizational patterns, and the movement of celestial bodies, nuclear forces within stars govern its evolution through the processes of stellar birth and death. These same processes governed the formation of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago.
Earth’s tilt, rotation, and revolution around the Sun cause changes in the height and duration of the Sun in the sky. These factors combine to explain the changes in the length of the day and seasons.
5.4.8.A.2. Use evidence of global variations in day length, temperature, and the amount of solar radiation striking Earth's surface to create models that explain these phenomena and seasons.
The regular and predictable motion of objects in the solar system (Kepler’s Laws) is explained by gravitational forces.
5.4.8.A.4. Analyze data regarding the motion of comets, planets, and moons to find general patterns of orbital motion.
The relative positions and motions of the Sun, Earth, and Moon result in the phases of the Moon, eclipses, and the daily and monthly cycle of tides.
5.4.8.A.1. Analyze moon-phase, eclipse, and tidal data to construct models that explain how the relative positions and motions of the Sun, Earth, and Moon cause these three phenomena.
5.4.8.B. History of Earth: From the time that Earth formed from a nebula 4.6 billion years ago, it has been evolving as a result of geologic, biological, physical, and chemical processes.
Fossils provide evidence of how life and environmental conditions have changed. The principle of Uniformitarianism makes possible the interpretation of Earth’s history. The same Earth processes that occurred in the past occur today.
5.4.8.B.2. Evaluate the appropriateness of increasing the human population in a region (e.g., barrier islands, Pacific Northwest, Midwest United States) based on the region's history of catastrophic events, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and floods.
Today’s planet is very different than early Earth. Evidence for one-celled forms of life (bacteria) extends back more than 3.5 billion years.
5.4.8.B.1. Correlate the evolution of organisms and the environmental conditions on Earth as they changed throughout geologic time.
5.4.8.C. Properties of Earth Materials: Earth's composition is unique, is related to the origin of our solar system, and provides us with the raw resources needed to sustain life.
Earth’s atmosphere is a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and trace gases that include water vapor. The atmosphere has a different physical and chemical composition at different elevations.
5.4.8.C.3. Model the vertical structure of the atmosphere using information from active and passive remote-sensing tools (e.g., satellites, balloons, and/or ground-based sensors) in the analysis.
Physical and chemical changes take place in Earth materials when Earth features are modified through weathering and erosion.
5.4.8.C.2. Explain how chemical and physical mechanisms (changes) are responsible for creating a variety of landforms.
Soil consists of weathered rocks and decomposed organic material from dead plants, animals, and bacteria. Soils are often found in layers, each having a different chemical composition and texture.
5.4.8.C.1. Determine the chemical properties of soil samples in order to select an appropriate location for a community garden.
5.4.8.D. Tectonics: The theory of plate tectonics provides a framework for understanding the dynamic processes within and on Earth.
Earth is layered with a lithosphere, a hot, convecting mantle, and a dense, metallic core.
5.4.8.D.1. Model the interactions between the layers of Earth.
Major geological events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building, result from the motion of plates. Sea floor spreading, revealed in mapping of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and subduction zones are evidence for the theory of plate tectonics.
5.4.8.D.2. Present evidence to support arguments for the theory of plate motion.
5.4.8.E. Energy in Earth Systems: Internal and external sources of energy drive Earth systems.
The Sun provides energy for plants to grow and drives convection within the atmosphere and oceans, producing winds, ocean currents, and the water cycle.
5.4.8.E.1. Explain how energy from the Sun is transformed or transferred in global wind circulation, ocean circulation, and the water cycle.
5.4.8.F. Climate and Weather: Earth's weather and climate systems are the result of complex interactions between land, ocean, ice, and atmosphere.
Climate is influenced locally and globally by atmospheric interactions with land masses and bodies of water.
5.4.8.F.2. Explain the mechanisms that cause varying daily temperature ranges in a coastal community and in a community located in the interior of the country.
Global patterns of atmospheric movement influence local weather.
5.4.8.F.1. Determine the origin of local weather by exploring national and international weather maps.
Weather (in the short term) and climate (in the long term) involve the transfer of energy and water in and out of the atmosphere.
5.4.8.F.3. Create a model of the hydrologic cycle that focuses on the transfer of water in and out of the atmosphere. Apply the model to different climates around the world.
5.4.8.G. Biogeochemical Cycles: The biogeochemical cycles in the Earth systems include the flow of microscopic and macroscopic resources from one reservoir in the hydrosphere, geosphere, atmosphere, or biosphere to another, are driven by Earth's internal and external sources of energy, and are impacted by human activity.
Investigations of environmental issues address underlying scientific causes and may inform possible solutions.
5.4.8.G.2. Investigate a local or global environmental issue by defining the problem, researching possible causative factors, understanding the underlying science, and evaluating the benefits and risks of alternative solutions.
Water in the oceans holds a large amount of heat, and therefore significantly affects the global climate system.
5.4.8.G.1. Represent and explain, using sea surface temperature maps, how ocean currents impact the climate of coastal communities.
NJ.CC.6-8.RST. Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects
Craft and Structure
6-8.RST.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
6-8.RST.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).
6-8.RST.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.
NJ.CC.6-8.WHST. Writing Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
6-8.WHST.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
6-8.WHST.1. Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
6-8.WHST.1.e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
6-8.WHST.2. Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
6-8.WHST.2.d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
6-8.WHST.2.f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
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