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Delaware Standards for High School Science

DE.1. Nature and Application of Science and Technology

1.1. Understandings and Abilities of Scientific Inquiry

Enduring Understanding: Scientific inquiry involves asking scientifically-oriented questions, collecting evidence, forming explanations, connecting explanations to scientific knowledge and theory, and communicating and justifying the explanation.
1.1.C. Understand that: Theories in science are well-established explanations of natural phenomena that are supported by many confirmed observations and verified hypotheses. The application of theories allows people to make reasonable predictions. Theories may be amended to become more complete with the introduction of new evidence.
1.1.C.1. Be able to: Collect accurate and precise data through the selection and use of tools and technologies appropriate to the investigations. Display and organize data through the use of tables, diagrams, graphs, and other organizers that allow analysis and comparison with known information and allow for replication of results. (Level: Essential)
1.1.D. Understand that: Investigating most real-world problems requires building upon previous scientific findings and cooperation among individuals with knowledge and expertise from a variety of scientific fields. The results of scientific studies are considered valid when subjected to critical review where contradictions are resolved and the explanation is confirmed.
1.1.D.1. Be able to: Construct logical scientific explanations and present arguments which defend proposed explanations through the use of closely examined evidence. (Level: Essential)
1.1.F. Understand that: Knowledge and skill from sources other than science are essential to scientific inquiry. These include mathematics, reading, writing, and technology.
1.1.F.1. Be able to: Use mathematics, reading, writing and technology when conducting scientific inquiries. (Level: Essential)

1.3. History and Context of Science

Enduring Understanding: Understanding past processes and contributions is essential in building scientific knowledge.
1.3.A. New disciplines of science emerge as older disciplines interface into an integrated study of the natural world. As the body of scientific knowledge grows, the boundaries between individual disciplines diminish. (Level: Compact)

DE.2. Materials and Their Properties

2.1. Properties and Structure of Materials

Enduring Understanding: The structures of materials determine their properties.
2.1.A. All matter is composed of minute particles called atoms. Most of the mass of an atom is concentrated in the nucleus. In the nucleus, there are neutrons with no electrical charge and positively charged protons. Negatively charged electrons surround the nucleus and overall, the atom is electrically neutral. (Level: Essential)
2.1.B. Elements and compounds are pure substances. Elements cannot be decomposed into simpler materials by chemical reactions. Elements can react to form compounds. Elements and/or compounds may also be physically combined to form mixtures. (Level: Essential)
2.1.C. Isotopes of a given element differ in the number of neutrons in the nucleus. Their chemical properties remain essentially the same. (Level: Important)
2.1.D. The periodic table arranges the elements in order of atomic number (the number of protons). The elements are grouped according to similar chemical and physical properties. Properties vary in a regular pattern across the rows (periods) and down the columns (families or groups). As a result, an element's chemical and physical properties can be predicted knowing only its position on the periodic table. (Level: Important)
2.1.E. An atom's electron structure determines its physical and chemical properties. Metals have valence electrons that can be modeled as a sea of electrons where the valence electrons move freely and are not associated with individual atoms. These freely moving electrons explain the metallic properties such as conductivity, malleability, and ductility. (Level: Essential)
2.1.F. Ionic compounds form when atoms transfer electrons. Covalent compounds form when atoms share electrons. Both types of interactions generally involve valence electrons and produce chemical bonds that determine the chemical property of the compound. (Level: Essential)
2.1.G. A change in physical properties does not change the chemical composition of the substance. The physical properties of elements and compounds (such as melting and boiling points) reflect the nature of the interactions among their atoms, ions, or molecules and the electrical forces that exist between. (Level: Important)
2.1.H. A change of phase may occur when there is a change in the potential energy of the atoms or molecules of a substance. (Level: Compact)
2.1.I. Temperature, pressure, and volume are important properties of a gas. A change in two of these properties results in predictable changes in the third. (Level: Compact)

2.2. Mixtures and Solutions

Enduring Understanding: The properties of a mixture are based on the properties of its components.
2.2.A. Properties of solutions, such as pH, solubility, and electrical conductivity depend upon the concentration and interactions of the solute and solvents. (Level: Important)

2.3. Conservation of Matter

Enduring Understanding: When materials interact within a closed system, the total mass of the system remains the same.
2.3.B. Radioactive isotopes are unstable and undergo spontaneous and predictable nuclear reactions emitting particles and/or radiation, and become new isotopes that can have very different properties. In these nuclear changes, the total of the mass and energy remains the same. (Level: Important)

2.4. Chemical Reactions

Enduring Understanding: There are several ways in which elements and/or compounds react to form new substances and each reaction involves energy.
2.4.A. Chemical reactions result in new substances with properties that are different from those of the component parts (reactants). (Level: Essential)
2.4.B. There are different types of chemical reactions. Precipitation reactions produce insoluble substances (e.g., double replacement). The transfer of electrons between atoms is a reduction-oxidation (redox) reaction (e.g., single-replacement combustion, synthesis, decomposition). Some acid/base reactions involve the transfer of hydrogen ions. (Level: Important)
2.4.C. The rate of a chemical reaction depends on the properties and concentration of the reactants, temperature, and the presence or absence of a catalyst. (Level: Essential)
2.4.D. Energy is transformed in chemical reactions. Energy diagrams can illustrate this transformation. Exothermic reactions release energy. Endothermic reactions absorb energy. (Level: Essential)
2.4.E. A catalyst lowers the activation energy of a chemical reaction. The catalyst remains unchanged and is not consumed in the overall reaction. Enzymes are protein molecules that catalyze chemical reactions in living systems. (Level: Important)
2.4.F. Certain small molecules (monomers) react with one another in repetitive fashion (polymerization) to form long chain macromolecules (polymers). The properties of the macromolecules depend on the properties of the molecules used in their formation and on the lengths and structure of the polymer chain. Polymers can be natural or synthetic. (Level: Compact)

DE.3. Energy and Its Effects

3.1. The Forms and Sources of Energy

Enduring Understanding: Energy takes many forms. These forms can be grouped into types of energy that are associated with the motion of mass (kinetic energy), and types of energy associated with the position of mass and with energy fields (potential energy).
3.1.A. Electromagnetic waves carry a single form of energy called electromagnetic (radiant) energy. (Level: Essential)
3.1.B. An object has kinetic energy because of its linear motion, rotational motion, or both. The kinetic energy of an object can be determined knowing its mass and speed. The object's geometry also needs to be known to determine its rotational kinetic energy. An object can have potential energy when under the influence of gravity, elastic forces or electric forces and its potential energy can be determined from its position. (Level: Essential)
3.1.C. Mechanical waves result from the organized vibrations of molecules in substances. Kinetic energy can be transferred very quickly over large distances by mechanical waves. (Level: Essential)
3.1.D. Thermal (heat) energy is associated with the random kinetic energy of the molecules of a substance. (Level: Essential)
3.1.E. Magnetic energy and electrical energy are different aspects of a single electromagnetic energy, which results from the motion of electrical charges. (Level: Compact)
3.1.F. Chemical energy is derived from the making and breaking of chemical bonds. (Level: Essential)
3.1.G. Nuclear energy is a form of potential energy that is released when a portion of the mass of the nucleus is converted to energy through nuclear fusion, nuclear fission, or radioactive decay. (Level: Compact)

3.2. Forces and the Transfer of Energy

Enduring Understanding: Changes take place because of the transfer of energy. Energy is transferred to matter through the action of forces. Different forces are responsible for the transfer of the different forms of energy.
3.2.A. Forces change the motion of objects. Newton's Laws can be used to predict these changes. (Level: Essential)
3.2.B. Forces are mechanisms that can transfer energy from one object to another. A force acting on an object and moving it through a distance does work on that object and changes its kinetic energy, potential energy, or both. Power indicates the rate at which forces transfer energy to an object or away from it. (Level: Essential)
3.2.C. The momentum of an object can be determined from the object's velocity and it's mass. (Level: Essential)
3.2.D. An impulse represents how much the momentum of an object changes when a force acts on it. The impulse can be used to estimate the size of the force acting on the object. (Level: Important)
3.2.E. The Law of Conservation of Momentum can be used to predict the outcomes of collisions between objects and can aid in understanding the energy transfers and energy transformations in these collisions. (Level: Essential)
3.2.F. Gravity is a universal force of attraction that each mass exerts on any other mass. The strength of the force depends on the masses of the objects and the distance between them. The force of gravity is generally not important unless at least one of the two masses involved is huge (a star, the Earth or another planet or a moon). (Level: Important)
3.2.G. Electric forces between charged objects are attractive or repulsive. The electric forces between electrons and protons are attractive, determine the structure of atoms, and are involved in all chemical reactions. The electromagnetic forces acting between atoms or molecules are much stronger than the gravitational forces between the same atoms or molecules and are responsible for many common forces such as friction, tensions and supporting forces. (Level: Important)
3.2.H. Electromagnetic forces are responsible for the physical properties of materials (e.g., the boiling point of a liquid) and the mechanical properties of materials (e.g., surface tension). (Level: Compact)
3.2.I. Electric currents create magnetic fields, and changing magnetic fields induce electric currents. The electric and magnetic forces that result from this interaction are the basis for electric motors, electric generators, and other modern technologies. (Level: Essential)
3.2.J. The nuclear forces that hold the nucleus of an atom together are much stronger than the repulsive electric forces acting between the protons that would make the nucleus fly apart, therefore, most atoms have stable nuclei. (Level: Compact)

3.3. Energy Interacting With Materials; the Transformation and Conservation of Energy

Enduring Understanding: Energy readily transforms from one form to another, but these transformations are not always reversible. The details of these transformations depend upon the initial form of the energy and the properties of the materials involved. Energy may transfer into or out of a system and it may change forms, but the total energy cannot change.
3.3.A. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Energy can be transferred from one object to another and can be transformed from one form to another, but the total amount of energy never changes. Recognizing that energy is conserved, the processes of energy transformation and energy transfer can be used to understand the changes that take place in physical systems. (Level: Essential)
3.3.B. Most of the changes that occur in the universe involve the transformation of energy from one form to another. Almost all of these energy transformations lead to the production of some heat energy, whether or not heat energy is the desired output of the transformation process. (Level: Essential)
3.3.C. Waves (e.g., sound and seismic waves, waves in water, and electromagnetic waves) carry energy that can have important consequences when transferred to objects or substances. (Level: Essential)
3.3.D. When waves interact with materials, the energy they transfer often leads to the formation of other forms of energy. These interactions, which depend upon the nature of the material and the wavelength of the waves, can be used to create practical devices (e.g., sonar and ultra sound imaging, solar cells, remote control units, and communication devices). (Level: Important)
3.3.E. Through reflection and refraction, electromagnetic waves can be redirected to produce concentrated beams or images of their source. (Level: Important)
3.3.F. When radiant energy is absorbed or emitted by individual atoms or molecules, the changes in energy involve the jump of an electron from one distinct energy level to another. (Level: Compact)

3.4. The Production, Consumption and Application of Energy

Enduring Understanding: People utilize a variety of resources to meet the basic and specific needs of life. Some of these resources cannot be replaced. Other resources can be replenished or exist in such vast quantities they are in no danger of becoming depleted. Often the energy stored in resources must be transformed into more useful forms and transported over great distances before it can be helpful to us.
3.4.A. Demand for energy by society leads to continuous exploration in order to expand supplies of fossil fuels. Nuclear energy is an alternative form of energy. Through the use of fission reactors, nuclear energy is already widely used for the generation of electrical energy. Additional technologies are being developed to increase the use of other alternate energy sources. (Level: Essential)
3.4.B. The increase in energy demand and the new technologies being developed to meet these needs and improve the efficiencies of energy systems have social and environmental consequences. Societal expectations for a sustainable environment will require new, cleaner technologies for the production and use of energy. (Level: Essential)

DE.4. Earth in Space

4.1. The Earth/Moon/Sun System

Enduring Understanding: Observable, predictable patterns of movement in the Sun, Earth, Moon system occur because of gravitational interaction and energy from the Sun.
4.1.A. The source of the Sun's energy is the fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium, a process common in relatively young stars. (Level: Essential)
4.1.B. The Sun's influence on Earth include gravity, (which maintains Earth's orbit), electromagnetic radiation (which provides energy for living things), and energetic particles such as coronal mass ejections that can cause electromagnetic disturbances. (Level: Essential)

4.2. The Solar System

Enduring Understanding: Most objects in the Solar System orbit the Sun and have distinctive physical characteristics and orderly motion which are a result of their formation and changes over time.
4.2.A. The motion and the basic elements (periodic table) that comprise our Solar System are consistent with the theory that the Solar System emerged from a large disk of gas and dust. (Level: Important)
4.2.B. The Earth's atmosphere, crust, and interior have changed since the formation of the planets. Driven by internal heat (radioactive decay and heat from accretion), the Earth's layers have separated by density into a solid core, molten mantle, and crust of solid rock composed of plates. (Level: Important)

4.3. Stars and Galaxies

Enduring Understanding: The Universe is composed of galaxies that are composed of solar systems, all of which are composed of the same elements and governed by the same laws.
4.3.A. The Universe consists of billions of galaxies, each of which is a gravitationally bound collection of stars. (Level: Important)
4.3.B. As a force, gravity causes tides, pulls matter together to make spherical stars and planets, maintains the orbits of planets, and gathers cosmic gas and dust to form stars and star systems. (Level: Essential)
4.3.D. The Sun and our Solar System are part of the Milky Way galaxy consisting of billions of other stars that appear to be made of the same elements found on Earth. (Level: Important)
4.3.F. The Big Bang Theory is a core scientific theory that is supported by a large body of evidence and is well accepted by the scientific community. It states that the Universe began in a hot dense state of energy and matter, and the Universe has been expanding ever since. (Level: Essential)

4.4. Technology and Applications

Enduring Understandings: Technology expands our knowledge of the Universe.
4.4.B. Technology is vital in investigating the Universe. (Level: Important)

DE.5. Earth's Dynamic Systems

5.1. Components of Earth

Enduring Understanding: Earth's systems can be broken down into individual components which have observable measurable properties.
5.1.A. Minerals are the building blocks of rocks. Common rock-forming minerals found in Delaware (calcite, quartz, mica, feldspar, and hornblende) can be identified by their chemical and physical properties. (Level: Essential)
5.1.B. Rocks can be classified as igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary based on the method of formation. The natural cycling of rocks includes the formation of new sediment though erosion and weathering and of new rock through heat and compaction of the sediment. (Level: Essential)
5.1.C. Earth's geosphere is composed of layers of rocks which have separated due to density and temperature differences and classified chemically into a crust (which includes continental and oceanic rock), a hot, convecting mantle, and a dense metallic core. (Level: Essential)
5.1.E. These differences help explain the distribution and configuration of land masses and ocean basins. (Level: Compact)

5.2. Interactions Throughout Earth's Systems

Enduring Understanding: Earth's components form systems. These systems continually interact at different rates of time, affecting the Earth locally and globally.
5.2.B. Tectonic plates press against one another in some places (convergence), pull apart in other places (divergence), or slide past each other. These plate movements may result in the formation of mountain ranges, and can lead to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis. The consequences of these events impact the surrounding atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and the life existing within them. (Level: Essential)
5.2.C. Earthquakes result when rocks rupture and slide by one another releasing stored energy which travels through the geosphere in the form of waves. Local earthquake risks can be assessed and preparations made to minimize the hazards. (Level: Important)
5.2.D. The type and eruptive style of volcanoes is determined by the viscosity and gas pressure of the magma. The effects of these eruptions can have both local and global consequences. (Level: Important)
5.2.E. The atmosphere can be described as being in a state of dynamic equilibrium which is maintained in part by plate tectonic processes which recycle atmospheric gases trapped in the ground back into the atmosphere. (Level: Compact)

5.3. Technology and Applications

Enduring Understanding: Technology enables us to better understand Earth's systems. It also allows us to analyze the impact of human activities on Earth's systems and the impact of Earth's systems on human activity.
5.3.A. Advances in science and technology (such as satellite imaging, Global Positioning Satellite (GPS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)) have improved our understanding of global and local changes that result from Earth system interactions, and our capacity to anticipate and mitigate natural hazards such as volcanoes and earthquakes. (Level: Compact)

DE.6. Life Processes

6.1. Structure/Function Relationship

Enduring Understanding: Living systems, from the organismic to the cellular level, demonstrate the complementary nature of structure and function.
6.1.A. In order to establish and maintain their complex organization and structure, organisms must obtain, transform, and transport matter and energy, eliminate waste products, and coordinate their internal activities. (Level: Essential)
6.1.B. Cells take highly varied forms in different plants, animals, and microorganisms. Structural variations among cells determine the function each cell performs. (Level: Essential)
6.1.C. Cells have distinct and separate structures (organelles), which perform and monitor processes essential for survival of the cell (e.g., energy use, waste disposal, synthesis of new molecules, and storage of genetic material). The highly specific function of each organelle is directly related to its structure. (Level: Important)
6.1.D. The cell membrane is dynamic and interacts with internal membranous structures as materials are transported into and out of the cell. (Level: Essential)
6.1.E. The transport of materials across the membrane can be passive (does not require the expenditure of cellular energy), or active (requires the expenditure of cellular energy) depending upon membrane structure and concentration gradients. (Level: Important)
6.1.F. Cells store and use information to guide their functions. DNA molecules in each cell carry coded instructions for synthesizing protein molecules. The protein molecules have important structural and regulatory functions. (Level: Essential)
6.1.G. Humans have a nervous system composed of a brain and specialized cells that conduct signals rapidly through the long cell extensions that make up nerves. The nerve cells communicate with each other by secreting specific molecules (neurotransmitters). (Level: Compact)
6.1.H. In multi-cellular organisms, cells perform specialized functions as parts of sub-systems (e.g., tissues, organs, and organ systems), which work together to maintain optimum conditions for the benefit of the whole organism. (Level: Important)
6.1.I. The endocrine system consists of glands which secrete chemical messengers (hormones) that are transported via the circulatory system and act on body structures to maintain homeostasis. (Level: Compact)
6.1.J. The immune system consists of cells, organs, and secretions that protect the organism from toxins, irritants, and pathogens. (Level: Compact)

6.2. Matter and Energy Transformations

Enduring Understanding: All organisms transfer matter and convert energy from one form to another. Both matter and energy are necessary to build and maintain structures within the organism.
6.2.A. Cells carry out a variety of chemical transformations (i.e., cellular respiration, photosynthesis, and digestion) which allow conversion of energy from one form to another, the breakdown of molecules into smaller units, and the building of larger molecules from smaller ones. Most of these transformations are made possible by protein catalysts called enzymes. (Level: Essential)
6.2.B. Plant cells contain chloroplasts, which convert light energy into chemical energy through the process of photosynthesis. This chemical energy is used by the plants to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose molecules, that may be used for energy or to form plant structures. Photosynthesis adds oxygen to the atmosphere and removes carbon dioxide. (Level: Essential)
6.2.C. All organisms, including plants, use the process of cellular respiration to transform stored energy in food molecules into USAble energy. The energy produced is stored in the form of ATP and is used by organisms to conduct their life processes. Cellular respiration may require oxygen and adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. (Level: Essential)
6.2.D. Photosynthesis and cellular respiration are complementary processes resulting in the flow of energy and the cycling of matter in ecosystems. (Level: Essential)

6.3. Regulation and Behavior

Enduring Understanding: Organisms respond to internal and external cues, which allow them to survive.
6.3.A. The endocrine, nervous, and immune systems coordinate and help maintain homeostasis in humans and other organisms. (Level: Compact)

6.4. Life Processes and Technology Application

Enduring Understanding: The health of humans and other organisms is affected by their interactions with each other and their environment, and may be altered by human manipulation.
6.4.A. Certain chemicals, pathogens, and high-energy radiation seriously impair normal cell functions and the health of the organism. (Level: Compact)
6.4.D. Biotechnology is a growing international field of research and industry. Many scientists, including those in Delaware, conduct cutting-edge research in biotechnology. (Level: Compact)

DE.7. Diversity and Continuity of Living Things

7.1. Reproduction, Heredity and Development

Enduring Understanding: Organisms reproduce, develop, have predictable life cycles, and pass on heritable traits to their offspring.
7.1.A. Hereditary/genetic information in chromosomes is contained in molecules of DNA. Genes are sections of DNA that direct syntheses of specific proteins associated with traits in organisms. These consist of various combinations of four different nucleotides that encode this information through their sequences. (Level: Essential)
7.1.B. Known patterns of inheritance can be used to make predictions about genetic variation. (Level: Important)
7.1.C. Mutations in DNA of organisms normally occur spontaneously at low rates, but can occur at higher rates (i.e., exposure to pathogens, radiation and some chemicals). Most mutations have no effect on the organism, but some may be beneficial or harmful depending on the environment. (Level: Essential)
7.1.D. Only random mutations in gametes can create the variation that is inherited by an organism's offspring. Somatic mutations are not inherited, but may lead to cell death, uncontrolled cell growth, or cancer. (Level: Important)
7.1.E. During the cell cycle, DNA of the parent cell replicates and the cell divides into two cells that are identical to the parent. This process is used for growth and repair of body tissues and for asexual reproduction. (Level: Essential)
7.1.F. Meiosis is the production of sex cells (gametes). The production and release of these gametes is controlled by hormones. In meiosis, the number of chromosomes is reduced by one-half and chromosomes may randomly exchange homologous parts to create new chromosomes with combinations not necessarily found in the parent cell. This may increase variation within the species. (Level: Essential)
7.1.G. Upon fertilization, the fusion of the gametes restores the original chromosome number, and new gene combinations lead to increased genetic variation, which, in turn, increases the likelihood of survival of the species. (Level: Essential)
7.1.I. Embryological development in plants and animals involves a series of orderly changes in which cells divide and differentiate. Development is controlled by genes whose expression is influenced by internal factors (i.e., hormones) and may also be influenced by environmental factors (i.e., nutrition, alcohol, radiation, drugs, and pathogens). Alteration in this balance may interfere with normal growth and development. (Level: Compact)

7.2. Diversity and Evolution

Enduring Understanding: The diversity and changing of life forms over many generations is the result of natural selection, in which organisms with advantageous traits survive, reproduce, and pass those traits to offspring.
7.2.A. Evolution is a change in allelic frequencies of a population over time. The theory of evolution is supported by extensive biochemical, structural, embryological, and fossil evidence. (Level: Essential)
7.2.B. The great diversity of organisms is the result of more than 3.5 billion years of evolution that has filled every available niche with life forms. The millions of different species of plants, animals, and microorganisms that live on Earth today are related by descent with modification from common ancestors. (Level: Essential)
7.2.C. The process of natural selection occurs when some heritable variations that arise from random mutation and recombination give individuals within a species some survival advantages over others. These offspring with advantageous adaptations are more likely to survive and reproduce, thus increasing the proportion of individuals within a population with advantageous characteristics. (Level: Essential)
7.2.E. Evolution does not proceed at the same rate in all populations; nor does it progress in a linear or set direction. Environmental changes have a strong influence on the evolutionary process. Other factors that influence evolution include: sexual selection, mutation, genetic drift, and genetic modification. (Level: Important)
7.2.F. Organisms are classified into a hierarchy of groups and subgroups based on similarities in structure, comparisons in DNA and protein and evolutionary relationships. (Level: Compact)
7.2.G. Genetically diverse populations are more likely to survive changing environments. (Level: Essential)
7.2.H. Biological evolution is the foundation for modern biology and is used to make predictions for medical, environmental, agricultural and other societal purposes. (Level: Essential)

7.3. Technology Applications

Enduring Understanding: The development of technology has allowed us to apply our knowledge of genetics, reproduction, development and evolution to meet human needs and wants.
7.3.A. The expanding ability to manipulate genetic material, reproductive processes, and embryological development creates choices that raise ethical, legal, social, and public policy questions. (Level: Compact)
7.3.B. Recombinant DNA technology, which is a form of genetic engineering, involves the insertion of DNA from one cell into a cell of a different organism where the inserted DNA is expressed. Genetic engineering is being applied in biology, agriculture, and medicine in order to meet human wants and needs. (Level: Important)
7.3.C. DNA is analyzed to determine evolutionary relationships, study populations, identify individuals, and diagnose genetic disorders. (Level: Important)

DE.8. Ecology

8.1. Interactions within the Environment

Enduring Understanding: Organisms and their environments are interconnected. Changes in one part of the system will affect other parts of the system.
8.1.A. Earth's ecosystems are interconnected by biological, chemical, and physical processes. Changes in one ecosystem may have local and/or global consequences. (Level: Essential)
8.1.B. Organisms both cooperate and compete in ecosystems. The interrelationships and interdependencies of these organisms may generate complex ecosystems that are stable over long periods of time and tend to have cyclic fluctuations around an equilibrium. (Level: Essential)
8.1.C. Ecosystems undergo major changes as a result of such factors as climate change, introduction of new species, and habitat destruction. These can be the result of natural processes and/ or human impact. (Level: Essential)
8.1.E. The carrying capacity for a specific population in an ecosystem depends on the resources available. Given adequate biotic and abiotic resources and no disease or predators, populations increase at rapid rates. Resources, (limiting factors), predation and climate, limit the growth of populations in specific niches in an ecosystem. (Level: Important)

8.2. Energy Flow and Material Cycles in the Environment

Enduring Understandings: Matter needed to sustain life is continually recycled among and between organisms and the environment. Energy from the Sun flows irreversibly through ecosystems and is conserved as organisms use and transform it.
8.2.A. The Law of Conservation of Matter applies to ecosystems. Matter needed to sustain life in ecosystems is continually recycled (e.g., carbon cycle, water cycle, nitrogen cycle, mineral cycles) among organisms and between organisms and the environment. (Level: Essential)
8.2.B. The Law of Conservation of Energy applies to ecosystems. All energy is conserved as it passes from the Sun through an ecosystem. During energy transformations, some energy is converted to unusable heat. A continual input of energy from the Sun keeps the process going. (Level: Essential)
8.2.C. At each level of a food pyramid some energy is stored, but much is dissipated as heat. Consequently the number of trophic levels is finite, and the number of individuals in a population that feed at higher levels is limited. (Level: Important)

8.3. Human Impact

Enduring Understanding: Humans can alter the living and non-living factors within an ecosystem, thereby creating changes to the overall system.
8.3.B. Human decisions concerning the use of resources can affect the stability and biodiversity of the ecosystems and the natural recycling processes which maintain the quality of air, water, and land. (Level: Essential)
8.3.C. Human activities have a major effect on other species. For example, increased land use reduces habitat available to other species, pollution changes the chemical composition of air, soil, and water, and introduction of non-native species disrupts the ecological balance. (Level: Essential)

DE.CC11-12RS/TS. Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects 6-12

Craft and Structure

CC11-12RS/TS4. 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 11-12 texts and topics.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

CC11-12RS/TS8. Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information.
CC11-12RS/TS9. Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.

DE.CC11-12WH/S/TS. Writing Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects 6-12

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

CC11-12WH/S/TS7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Text Types and Purposes

CC11-12WH/S/TS2. Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
CC11-12WH/S/TS2d. Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic; convey a knowledgeable stance in a style that responds to the discipline and context as well as to the expertise of likely readers.
CC11-12WH/S/TS2e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation provided (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).

DE.CC9-10RS/TS. Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects 6-12

Craft and Structure

CC9-10RS/TS4. 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 9-10 texts and topics.
CC9-10RS/TS5. Analyze the structure of the relationships among concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force, energy).

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

CC9-10RS/TS7. Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.
CC9-10RS/TS9. Compare and contrast findings presented in a text to those from other sources (including their own experiments), noting when the findings support or contradict previous explanations or accounts.

DE.CC9-10WH/S/TS. Writing Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects 6-12

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

CC9-10WH/S/TS7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Text Types and Purposes

CC9-10WH/S/TS2. Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
CC9-10WH/S/TS2d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic and convey a style appropriate to the discipline and context as well as to the expertise of likely readers.
CC9-10WH/S/TS2f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).

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