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Vermont Standards for High School Science

VT.ESS. Earth/Space Science

Enduring Knowledge: Students demonstrate an understanding of natural resources and agricultural systems and why and how they are managed. This is evident when students:

S9-12:50. Students demonstrate their understanding why and how natural resources are managed by:
S9-12:50.1. Identify and analyze the impact of changes in Vermont's physiographic regions on natural/agricultural communities. (DOK 2-3)
S9-12:50.3. Evaluate the use of new technologies to support scientific principles and develop informed decisions about agricultural/ natural resource management issues. (DOK 2-3)

Enduring Knowledge: The universe, earth and all earth systems have undergone change in the past, continue to change in the present and are predicted to continue changing in the future.

S9-12:44. Students demonstrate their understanding of Characteristics of the Solar System by:
S9-12:44.1. Explaining how our understanding of the nature and composition of the atmosphere of inner and outer planets has been advanced through the use of sophisticated technology. (DOK 3)
S9-12:44.2. Explaining the effect of distance from the sun on the nature of the planets (e.g., inner vs. outer planets). (DOK 2)
S9-12:45. Students demonstrate their understanding of Processes and Change over Time within Systems of the Universe by:
S9-12:45.1. Explaining the process of star formation (i.e. our sun) in relation to its size, including the interaction of the force of gravity, fusion and energy release. (DOK 3)
S9-12:45.2. Explaining the process of the Big Bang Theory and its effect on the Universe today, citing evidence to support its occurrence (e.g., Doppler effect/red shift). (DOK 3)
S9-12:45.3. Explaining how technology through time has influenced our understanding of the vastness (i.e., light years) and the nature of the universe (e.g., Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler, Einstein). (DOK 2)
S9-12:46. Students demonstrate their understanding of Processes and Change over Time within Earth Systems by:
S9-12:46.1. Citing and explaining evidence that illustrates how despite changes in form, conservation in the amount of earth materials occurs during the Rock Cycle. (DOK 3)
S9-12:46.2. Explaining how the heat (energy) produced by radioactive decay and pressure affects the Rock Cycle. (DOK 3)
S9-12:46.3. Explaining the processes by which elements (e.g., carbon, nitrogen, oxygen atoms) move through the earth's reservoirs (soil, atmosphere, bodies of water, organisms). (DOK 2)
S9-12:47. Students demonstrate their understanding of Processes and Change over Time within Earth Systems by:
S9-12:47.1. Using a model, diagram or computer simulation to demonstrate how convection circulation of the mantle initiates the movement of crustal plates which then causes earthquake and volcanic activity (e.g. Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North American and European plate collisions producing the Green Mountains). (DOK 2)
S9-12:47.3. Comparing the usefulness of various methods of determining the age of different rock structures (e.g. relative dating vs. C-dating vs. K-Ar dating. If rock structure is less than 500,000 years old, K-Ar dating cannot be used and C-dating can only be used for tens of thousands of years). (DOK 2)
S9-12:48. Students demonstrate their understanding of Processes and Change over Time within Earth Systems by:
S9-12:48.1. Explaining the uniqueness of the earth's characteristics (e.g., solar intensity, gravity related to size of earth, makeup of atmosphere). (DOK 2)
S9-12:48.2. Explaining how water as a molecule is also unique in its ability to retain heat, compared to land and air on earth. (DOK 2)
S9-12:48.3. Diagramming and explaining local and large scale wind systems (e.g., land and sea breezes and global wind patterns, Coriolis effect). (DOK 2)
S9-12:48.4. Predicting weather for a particular location, using weather map data (barometric pressure, frontal systems, isobars, isotherms, mountain effects, lake/ocean effects, ocean currents, temperature/humidity) and examining world weather maps and identifying the most likely locations where extreme weather might occur (e.g., blizzards thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes). (DOK 2)
S9-12:49. Students demonstrate their understanding of Processes and Change within Natural Resources by:
S9-12:49.1. Comparing the availability of natural resources and the impact of different management plans (e.g., management of forests depends upon use, lumber production, sugarbush, deer habitat, mining, recreation) within the management area (forest, farmland, rivers, streams). (DOK 3-4)
S9-12:49.3. Explaining a natural chemical cycle that has been disrupted by human activity and predict what the long term effect will be on organisms (e.g., acid precipitation, global warming, ozone depletion, pollution of water by phosphates, mercury, PCBs,etc.). (DOK 3-4)

VT.HB. Human Body

Enduring Knowledge: The human body is unique in its heredity, body systems and development, and can be affected by the environment.

S9-12:40. Students demonstrate their understanding of Human Heredity by:
S9-12:40.1. Modeling and explaining how the structure of DNA is maintained and relates to genes and chromosomes, which code for specific protein molecules within a cell. (DOK 3)
S9-12:40.2. Modeling or diagramming new gene combinations that result from sexual reproduction (e.g., dominant/recessive traits). (DOK 2)
S9-12:40.3. Explaining how alteration of a DNA sequence may affect physical/chemical characteristics of the human body (e.g., sickle-cell anemia, cancer genetic engineering). (DOK 3)
S9-12:40.4. Comparing and contrasting the chromosome content of somatic cells and that of sex cells (gametes). (DOK 2)
S9-12:41. Students demonstrate their understanding of Human Body Systems by:
S9-12:41.1. Diagramming a feedback loop that illustrates how several human body systems work together to restore homeostasis in response to an external stimulus (environmental/behavioral) (e.g., exercise, immune response, fight/flight, stress, drugs, normal cellular metabolism, any nervous system response). (DOK 3)
S9-12:41.2. Explaining examples of how the human body may be affected by the state of the internal or external environment and by heredity and by life experience (e.g., effects of malnutrition). (DOK 3)
S9-12:41.3. Using evidence to predict and explain how the effect of various environmental or hereditary factors influence the continuation of the human species (reproductive success) (e.g., anorexia and/or steroid use, radiation/toxic wastes/drug use, mutagenic agents and/or improper diet/obesity). (DOK 3)
S9-12:42. Students demonstrate their understanding of the Patterns of Human Health/Disease by:
S9-12:42.1. Identifying a variety of nonspecific means of protection for the human body and explaining how these maintain human health (i.e., prevent disease). (DOK 2)
S9-12:42.2. Explain how the general process of the human immune system responds to foreign substances and organisms (e.g., phagocyte action and antibody production and maintenance). (DOK 3)
S9-12:42.3. Showing through models/diagrams/graphic organizers how specific biological abnormalities alter the normal functioning of human systems (e.g., feedback diagram). (DOK 2)
S9-12:42.4. Explaining the effect of unique viral diseases on the cells of the human immune system (e.g., retroviruses). (DOK 2)
S9-12:43. Students demonstrate their understanding of the Patterns of Human Development by:
S9-12:43.1. Tracing the development of the human embryo from fertilization to gastrula stage, comparing its progress to that of other vertebrate organisms (e.g., amphibians and reptiles and birds and mammals). (DOK 2)
S9-12:43.2. Comparing the gestation of humans and the period of dependency after birth to that of other vertebrates. (DOK 2)
S9-12:43.3. Identifying the important events that occur in each stage (trimester) of human development (e.g., First trimester--embryonic organ systems established, Second trimester--fetal development/organ maturation, Third trimester--overall growth). (DOK 1)

VT.LS. Life Science

Enduring Knowledge: All living organisms and their component cells have identifiable characteristics that allow for survival.

S9-12:30. Students demonstrate their understanding of Structure and Function-Survival Requirements by:
S9-12:30.1. Predicting, explaining and drawing conclusions about the direction of movement of substances across a membrane. (DOK 3)
S9-12:30.2. Developing a model that illustrates the interdependence of cellular organelles (mitochondria, ribosomes, lysosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, cytoplasm) in biochemical pathways within the cell (e.g. mitochondria and chloroplasts: cellular respiration and photosynthesis; nucleus and ribosomes: DNA transcription and protein synthesis). (DOK 3)
S9-12:30.3. Explaining how the basic (general) shape and structure of each of the four types of organic molecules relates to its role in maintaining cell survival (i.e., Simple carbohydrates can be an energy source as a single molecule and a storage/structural molecule when multiple units are chemically combined--[starch, cellulose, chitin].). (DOK 2)
S9-12:31. Students demonstrate their understanding of Reproduction by:
S9-12:31.1. Creating a model which illustrates how the DNA of all cells/tissues in an organism is produced from a single fertilized egg cell (mitosis). (DOK 3)
S9-12:31.2. Explaining how the nucleotide sequence in DNA (gene) directs the synthesis of specific proteins needed by a cell (e.g., protein synthesis) and cell division. (DOK 2)
S9-12:32. Students demonstrate their understanding of Differentiation by:
S9-12:32.1. Predicting the change in an embryo caused by disruption of the ectoderm or mesoderm or endoderm during embryonic development (e.g., Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, drugs, injury). (DOK 2)
S9-12:32.2. Comparing the role of various sub-cellular units in unicellular organisms to comparable structures in multicellular organisms (i.e., oral groove, gullet, food vacuole in Paramecium compared to digestive systems in multicellular organisms). (DOK 2)
S9-12:33. Students demonstrate their understanding of how Energy Flow Within Cells Supports an Organism's Survival by:
S9-12:33.1. Comparing and contrasting the structure of mitochondria and chloroplasts as cell organelles, the interrelatedness of their functions, and their importance to the survival of all cells. (DOK 2)
S9-12:33.2. Describing and justifying a possible flow of energy from the environment through an organism to the cellular level, and through the cell from assimilation through storage in ATP. (DOK 3)
S9-12:33.3. Investigating and describing enzyme action under a variety of chemical and physical conditions. (DOK 2)

Enduring Knowledge: All living things exhibit patterns of similarity in their structures, behaviors and biochemistry

S9-12:38. Students demonstrate their understanding of Classification of Organisms by:
S9-12:38.1. Developing a graphic representation that illustrates and compares the degree of molecular similarity among several species (e.g., DNA or amino acid sequences). (DOK 2)
S9-12:39. Students demonstrate their understanding of Evolution/Natural Selection by:
S9-12:39.1. Using evidence to apply the theory of Natural Selection to a scenario depicting change within a given population over time/through many generations (e.g., bacterial resistance to antibiotics, neck length of the giraffe, animal camouflage). (DOK 3)

Enduring Knowledge: Energy enters an ecosystem in the form of sunlight and flows through the system to each cell. Matter interacts, changes and recycles in an ecosystem. Populations of organisms survive by maintaining interdependent relationships with one another and by utilizing biotic and abiotic resources from the environment.

S9-12:34. Students demonstrate their understanding of Energy Flow in an Ecosystem by:
S9-12:34.1. Diagramming or developing a model that compares the energy at different trophic levels in a given ecosystem. (DOK 3)
S9-12:35. Students demonstrate their understanding of Food Webs in an Ecosystem by:
S9-12:35.1. Tracing the cycling of matter (e.g. carbon compounds, nitrogen compounds) within the organisms of a food web from its source through its transformation in cellular, biochemical processes (e.g., cells, organs, organisms, communities). (DOK 2)

VT.PS. Physical Science

Enduring Knowledge (Force): Force is an influence that can change the motion of an object.

S9-12:21. Students demonstrate their understanding of Force by:
S9-12:21.1. Investigating (predict, model, illustrate, explain) whether the acceleration is greater or less as either the mass of the system or the force accelerating the mass is changed and using data to support your conclusion (e.g., cart with variable weights on horizontal table attached to a string with weights). (DOK 3)
S9-12:21.2. Demonstrating action force/reaction force in one of three different ways--describing in words, demonstrating physically, and modeling the occurrence of opposing actions. (DOK 2)
S9-12:21.3. Investigating quantitatively the acceleration as either the mass of the system or the force accelerating the mass is changed (e.g., cart with variable weights on horizontal table attached to a string with weights.) (DOK 2)

Enduring Knowledge: A transfer of energy can result in the physical change of state of a substance.

S9-12:14. Students demonstrate their understanding of Physical Change by:
S9-12:14..1 Experimenting, graphing, and explaining the effect of heat energy on the phase changes of water from a solid state to a liquid state to a gaseous state, comparing that data to other substances, and using evidence to draw conclusions based upon these data. (DOK 3)

Enduring Knowledge: All living and non-living things are composed of matter having characteristic properties that distinguish one substance from another.

S9-12:10. Students demonstrate their understanding of the Properties of Matter by:
S9-12:10.1. Citing evidence of the change in our understanding of the atom and the development of atomic theory. (DOK 2)
S9-12:10.2. Comparing the characteristics of three major components of all atoms (protons, electrons, neutrons) their location within an atom, their relative size and their charge. (DOK 2)
S9-12:10.3. Writing formulae for compounds and Developing models using electron structure (e.g., Lewis dot). (DOK 3)
S9-12:11. Students demonstrate their understanding of the Properties of Matter by:
S9-12:11.1. Identifying and explaining the basis for the arrangement of elements within the Periodic Table (e.g., trends, valence, reactivity, electronegativity, ionization). (DOK 2)
S9-12:11.2. Determining valence electrons of selected elements. (DOK 2)
S9-12:11.3. Predicting the relative physical and chemical properties of an element based on its location within the Periodic Table. (DOK 2)
S9-12:12. Students demonstrate their understanding of the States of Matter by:
S9-12:12.1. Investigating and explaining the interactions between atoms or molecules within a system (e.g., hydrogen bonding, van der Waals forces, fluorescent light, stars). (DOK 3)
S9-12:13. Students demonstrate their understanding of the Properties of a Gas by:
S9-12:13.1. Determining the pressure of a given volume of gas when the temperature changes incrementally (doubles, triples, etc.). (DOK 2)
S9-12:13.2. Quantitatively determining how volume, pressure, temperature and amount of gas affect each other (PV=nRT) in a system. (DOK 2)
S9-12:9. Students demonstrate their understanding of the Properties of Matter by:
S9-12:9.1. Distinguishing one substance from another through examination of physical properties (such as density, melting point, conductivity), chemical properties (such as pH, reactivity--with O2 or acid or water), and nuclear properties (such as changes in atomic mass, isotopes and half-life). (DOK 2)
S9-12:9.2. Explaining the states of a substance in terms of the particulate nature of matter and the forces of interaction between particles. (DOK 2)

Enduring Knowledge: Energy is necessary for change to occur. It is the ability of matter to bring about change. There are many forms of energy. The total energy in the universe is constant. Energy can be transformed and transferred, but not destroyed (Conservation of Energy). Energy transfers and transformations exhibit the characteristics of systems with inputs, processes and outputs, as well as connections to other systems.

S9-12:23. Students demonstrate their understanding of Heat Energy by:
S9-12:23.1. Comparing and contrasting characteristics of the different forms of energy, particularly within chemical reactions. (DOK 2)
S9-12:23.2. Explaining the changes in energy (transformation) that occur in different reactions (e.g., chemical, biological, physical) through analysis of the input and output energies in the system (e.g., calorimetry, entropy) and using evidence to justify the explanation. (DOK 3)
S9-12:26. Students demonstrate their understanding of Electromagnetic Forces by:
S9-12:26.3. Giving examples and explaining the wave nature of electromagnetic energy (refraction, diffraction, etc.) and describing and explaining the particle nature of electromagnetic energy (photoelectric effect, Compton effect.) (DOK 2)
S9-12:27. Students demonstrate their understanding of Electromagnetic Forces by:
S9-12:27.1. Describing (through words, models, or diagrams) the presence of electromagnetic forces in an atom. (DOK 2)
S9-12:27.3. Explaining in words, models or diagrams how electric currents produce magnetic fields and how moving fields and moving magnets produce electric currents. (DOK 2)
S9-12:28. Students demonstrate their understanding of Light Energy by:
S9-12:28.1. Investigating examples of wave phenomena (e.g., ripples in water, sound waves, seismic waves). (DOK 2)

Enduring Knowledge: Everything is constantly moving; motion is relative, but the motion of an object can be described and predicted by tracing and measuring its position over time.

S9-12:19. Students demonstrate their understanding of Motion by:
S9-12:19.1. Predicting the path of an object in different reference planes and explaining how and why this occurs. (DOK 3)
S9-12:19.2. Using modeling and illustrating, to explain how distance and velocity change over time for a free falling object. (DOK 2)
S9-12:19.4. Using quantitative representation of how distance and velocity change over time for a free falling object. (DOK 2)
S9-12:20. Students demonstrate their understanding of Motion by:
S9-12:20.1. Explaining how inertia affects the outcome in each of a series of situations (i.e., kicking a sand-filled football, moving a bowl of soup quickly across the table). (DOK 2)

Enduring Knowledge: The nucleus of some atoms is unstable and may spontaneously decay.

S9-12:17. Students demonstrate their understanding of Nuclear Change by:
S9-12:17.1. Explaining the organization of an atomic nucleus and identifying the universal forces from strongest to weakest. (DOK 2)

Enduring Knowledge: When matter undergoes a chemical change it turns into a new and different substance whose properties are different from the original. No matter how substances interact with one another, the total mass of the system remains the same.

S9-12:15. Students demonstrate their understanding of Chemical Change by:
S9-12:15.1. Writing simple balanced chemical equations to represent chemical reactions and illustrate the conservation of matter (atoms). (DOK 2)
S9-12:15.2. Qualitatively predicting reactants and products in a prescribed investigation (e.g. oxidation, reduction, acid/base reactions). (DOK 2)
S9-12:16. Students demonstrate their understanding of Chemical Change by:
S9-12:16.1. Performing an experiment and using evidence to explain how the increase or decrease in temperature of the substances in a chemical reaction causes a transfer of heat energy from that reaction. (e.g., exothermic and endothermic reactions). (DOK 3)

VT.SI. Scientific Inquiry

Enduring Knowledge (Designing Experiments): Students design investigations that control variables, generate adequate data/observations to provide reasonable explanations, and can be reproduced by other scientists. At early stages, experimental design reflects what the experimenter will do to answer a question and ensure that a test is fair. At later stages, students design investigations that will produce the appropriate kinds of evidence to support or refute an hypothesis. Multiple trials or the collection of multiple data points are incorporated into the design and variables are controlled to ensure that the investigation is valid and reproducible.

S9-12:3. Students demonstrate their understanding of EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN by:
S9-12:3.1. Writing a plan related to the question and prediction that includes:
S9-12:3.1.a. Procedures that incorporate appropriate protection (e.g., no food in lab area). (DOK 3)S9-12:3.1.b. Appropriate tools, units of measurement and degree of accuracy. (DOK 3)

Enduring Knowledge (Representing Data and Analysis): Students represent data using text, charts, tables, graphs.

S9-12:5. Students demonstrate their ability to REPRESENT DATA by:
S9-12:5.2. Developing the skill of drawing a "best fit" curve from data. (DOK 2)
S9-12:5.3. Recording accurate data, free of bias. (DOK 2)
S9-12:6. Students demonstrate their ability to ANALYZE DATA by:
S9-12:6.2. Analyzing significance of experimentaldata. (DOK 3)
S9-12:7. Students demonstrate their ability to EXPLAIN DATA by:
S9-12:7.1. Proposing, synthesizing, and evaluating alternative explanations for experimental results. (DOK 3)
S9-12:7.2. Citing experimental evidence within an explanation. (DOK 3)
S9-12:7.3. Including logically consistent position to explain observed phenomena. (DOK 3)
S9-12:7.5. Conducting objective scientific analysis and evaluating potential bias in the interpretation of evidence. (DOK 3)
S9-12:7.6. Identifying and evaluating uncontrolled variables inherent in experimental model. (DOK 3)

Enduring Knowledge: (Predicting and Hypothesizing): Scientists' explanations about what happens in the world come partly from what they observe and partly from what they think. Preliminary explanations are constructed with conceptual knowledge and propose a new level of understanding. At early stages, students think about what may happen during an investigation and justify their thinking. At later stages, students identify cause and effect relationships within an hypothesis and base predictions on factual evidence more than opinions.

S9-12:2. Students demonstrate their understanding of PREDICTING AND HYPOTHESIZING by:
S9-12:2.2. Predicting results (evidence) that support the hypothesis. (DOK 2)

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