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Virginia Standards for High School Science

VA.9-12. Virginia 2010 Science Standards of Learning

BIOLOGY

BIO.1. The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science by planning and conducting investigations in which
BIO.1.a) Observations of living organisms are recorded in the lab and in the field.
BIO.1.b) Hypotheses are formulated based on direct observations and information from scientific literature.
BIO.1.c) Variables are defined and investigations are designed to test hypotheses.
BIO.1.e) Conclusions are formed based on recorded quantitative and qualitative data.
BIO.1.k) Differentiation is made between a scientific hypothesis, theory, and law.
BIO.1.l) Alternative scientific explanations and models are recognized and analyzed.
BIO.2. The student will investigate and understand the chemical and biochemical principles essential for life. Key concepts include
BIO.2.b) The structure and function of macromolecules.
BIO.2.c) The nature of enzymes.
BIO.2.d) The capture, storage, transformation, and flow of energy through the processes of photosynthesis and respiration.
BIO.3. The student will investigate and understand relationships between cell structure and function. Key concepts include
BIO.3.a) Evidence supporting the cell theory.
BIO.3.b) Characteristics of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
BIO.3.c) Similarities between the activities of the organelles in a single cell and a whole organism.
BIO.3.d) The cell membrane model.
BIO.3.e) The impact of surface area to volume ratio on cell division, material transport, and other life processes.
BIO.4. The student will investigate and understand life functions of Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya. Key concepts include
BIO.4.b) Maintenance of homeostasis.
BIO.4.c) How the structures and functions vary among and within the Eukarya kingdoms of protists, fungi, plants, and animals, including humans.
BIO.4.d) Human health issues, human anatomy, and body systems.
BIO.4.e) How viruses compare with organisms.
BIO.5. The student will investigate and understand common mechanisms of inheritance and protein synthesis. Key concepts include
BIO.5.a) Cell growth and division.
BIO.5.b) Gamete formation.
BIO.5.d) Prediction of inheritance of traits based on the Mendelian laws of heredity.
BIO.5.e) Historical development of the structural model of DNA.
BIO.5.f) Genetic variation.
BIO.5.g) The structure, function, and replication of nucleic acids.
BIO.5.h) Events involved in the construction of proteins.
BIO.5.i) Use, limitations, and misuse of genetic information.
BIO.5.j) Exploration of the impact of DNA technologies.
BIO.6. The student will investigate and understand bases for modern classification systems. Key concepts include
BIO.6.a) Structural similarities among organisms.
BIO.6.c) Comparison of developmental stages in different organisms.
BIO.6.d) Examination of biochemical similarities and differences among organisms.
BIO.6.e) Systems of classification that are adaptable to new scientific discoveries.
BIO.7. The student will investigate and understand how populations change through time. Key concepts include
BIO.7.b) How genetic variation, reproductive strategies, and environmental pressures impact the survival of populations.
BIO.7.c) How natural selection leads to adaptations.
BIO.7.e) Scientific evidence and explanations for biological evolution.
BIO.8. The student will investigate and understand dynamic equilibria within populations, communities, and ecosystems. Key concepts include
BIO.8.a) Interactions within and among populations including carrying capacities, limiting factors, and growth curves.
BIO.8.b) Nutrient cycling with energy flow through ecosystems.
BIO.8.d) The effects of natural events and human activities on ecosystems.

CHEMISTRY

CH.1. The student will investigate and understand that experiments in which variables are measured, analyzed, and evaluated produce observations and verifiable data. Key concepts include
CH.1.b) Safe use of chemicals and equipment.
CH.1.c) Proper response to emergency situations.
CH.2. The student will investigate and understand that the placement of elements on the periodic table is a function of their atomic structure. The periodic table is a tool used for the investigations of
CH.2.a) Average atomic mass, mass number, and atomic number.
CH.2.b) Isotopes, half lives, and radioactive decay.
CH.2.c) Mass and charge characteristics of subatomic particles.
CH.2.d) Families or groups.
CH.2.e) Periods.
CH.2.g) Electron configurations, valence electrons, and oxidation numbers.
CH.2.h) Chemical and physical properties.
CH.2.i) Historical and quantum models.
CH.3. The student will investigate and understand how conservation of energy and matter is expressed in chemical formulas and balanced equations. Key concepts include
CH.3.a) Nomenclature.
CH.3.b) Balancing chemical equations.
CH.3.c) Writing chemical formulas.
CH.3.d) Bonding types.
CH.3.e) Reaction types.
CH.3.f) Reaction rates, kinetics, and equilibrium.
CH.4. The student will investigate and understand that chemical quantities are based on molar relationships. Key concepts include
CH.4.a) Avogadro's principle and molar volume.
CH.4.c) Solution concentrations.
CH.4.d) Acid/base theory; strong electrolytes, weak electrolytes, and nonelectrolytes; dissociation and ionization; pH and pOH; and the titration process.
CH.5. The student will investigate and understand that the phases of matter are explained by kinetic theory and forces of attraction between particles. Key concepts include
CH.5.a) Pressure, temperature, and volume.
CH.5.b) Partial pressure and gas laws.
CH.5.c) Vapor pressure.
CH.5.d) Phase changes.
CH.5.e) Molar heats of fusion and vaporization.
CH.5.f) Specific heat capacity.
CH.6. The student will investigate and understand how basic chemical properties relate to organic chemistry and biochemistry. Key concepts include
CH.6.a) Unique properties of carbon that allow multi-carbon compounds.
CH.6.b) Uses in pharmaceuticals and genetics, petrochemicals, plastics, and food.

EARTH SCIENCE

ES.1. The student will plan and conduct investigations in which
ES.1.b) Technologies, including computers, probeware, and geospatial technologies, are used to collect, analyze, and report data and to demonstrate concepts and simulate experimental conditions.
ES.1.c) Scales, diagrams, charts, graphs, tables, imagery, models, and profiles are constructed and interpreted.
ES.1.d) Maps and globes are read and interpreted, including location by latitude and longitude.
ES.10. The student will investigate and understand that oceans are complex, interactive physical, chemical, and biological systems and are subject to long- and short-term variations. Key concepts include
ES.10.a) Physical and chemical changes related to tides, waves, currents, sea level and ice cap variations, upwelling, and salinity variations.
ES.10.b) Importance of environmental and geologic implications.
ES.10.c) Systems interactions.
ES.10.d) Features of the sea floor as reflections of tectonic processes.
ES.10.e) Economic and public policy issues concerning the oceans and the coastal zone including the Chesapeake Bay.
ES.11. The student will investigate and understand the origin and evolution of the atmosphere and the interrelationship of geologic processes, biologic processes, and human activities on its composition and dynamics. Key concepts include
ES.11.c) Atmospheric regulation mechanisms including the effects of density differences and energy transfer.
ES.11.d) Potential changes to the atmosphere and climate due to human, biologic, and geologic activity.
ES.12. The student will investigate and understand that energy transfer between the sun and Earth and its atmosphere drives weather and climate on Earth. Key concepts include
ES.12.a) Observation and collection of weather data.
ES.12.b) Prediction of weather patterns.
ES.12.c) Severe weather occurrences, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and major storms.
ES.12.d) Weather phenomena and the factors that affect climate including radiation, conduction, and convection.
ES.13. The student will investigate and understand scientific concepts related to the origin and evolution of the universe. Key concepts include
ES.13.a) Cosmology including the Big Bang theory.
ES.13.b) The origin and evolution of stars, star systems, and galaxies.
ES.2. The student will demonstrate an understanding of the nature of science and scientific reasoning and logic. Key concepts include
ES.2.b) Evidence is required to evaluate hypotheses and explanations.
ES.3. The student will investigate and understand the characteristics of Earth and the solar system. Key concepts include
ES.3.a) Position of Earth in the solar system.
ES.3.b) Sun-Earth-moon relationships; (seasons, tides, and eclipses).
ES.3.c) Characteristics of the sun, planets and their moons, comets, meteors, and asteroids.
ES.3.d) The history and contributions of space exploration.
ES.4. The student will investigate and understand how to identify major rock-forming and ore minerals based on physical and chemical properties. Key concepts include
ES.4.a) Hardness, color and streak, luster, cleavage, fracture, and unique properties.
ES.4.b) Uses of minerals.
ES.5. The student will investigate and understand the rock cycle as it relates to the origin and transformation of rock types and how to identify common rock types based on mineral composition and textures. Key concepts include
ES.5.a) Igneous rocks.
ES.5.b) Sedimentary rocks.
ES.5.c) Metamorphic rocks.
ES.6. The student will investigate and understand the differences between renewable and nonrenewable resources. Key concepts include
ES.6.a) Fossil fuels, minerals, rocks, water, and vegetation.
ES.6.b) Advantages and disadvantages of various energy sources.
ES.6.d) Environmental costs and benefits.
ES.7. The student will investigate and understand geologic processes including plate tectonics. Key concepts include
ES.7.a) Geologic processes and their resulting features.
ES.7.b) Tectonic processes.
ES.8. The student will investigate and understand how freshwater resources are influenced by geologic processes and the activities of humans. Key concepts include
ES.8.a) Processes of soil development.
ES.8.c) Relationships between groundwater zones, including saturated and unsaturated zones, and the water table.
ES.8.d) Identification of sources of fresh water including rivers, springs, and aquifers, with reference to the hydrologic cycle.
ES.8.e) Dependence on freshwater resources and the effects of human USAge on water quality.
ES.8.f) Identification of the major watershed systems in Virginia, including the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
ES.9. The student will investigate and understand that many aspects of the history and evolution of Earth and life can be inferred by studying rocks and fossils. Key concepts include
ES.9.a) Traces and remains of ancient, often extinct, life are preserved by various means in many sedimentary rocks.
ES.9.b) Superposition, cross-cutting relationships, index fossils, and radioactive decay are methods of dating bodies of rock.
ES.9.c) Absolute and relative dating have different applications but can be used together to determine the age of rocks and structures.

PHYSICS

PH.1. The student will plan and conduct investigations using experimental design and product design processes. Key concepts include
PH.1.b) Instruments are selected and used to extend observations and measurements.
PH.1.c) Information is recorded and presented in an organized format.
PH.1.g) Appropriate technology, including computers, graphing calculators, and probeware, is used for gathering and analyzing data and communicating results.
PH.10. The student will investigate and understand how to use the field concept to describe the effects of gravitational, electric, and magnetic forces. Key concepts include
PH.10.b) Technological applications.
PH.11. The student will investigate and understand how to diagram, construct, and analyze basic electrical circuits and explain the function of various circuit components. Key concepts include
PH.11.a) Ohm's law.
PH.11.b) Series, parallel, and combined circuits.
PH.11.c) Electrical power.
PH.12. The student will investigate and understand that extremely large and extremely small quantities are not necessarily described by the same laws as those studied in Newtonian physics. Key concepts may include
PH.12.a) Wave/particle duality.
PH.12.b) Wave properties of matter.
PH.12.d) Quantum mechanics and uncertainty.
PH.12.f) Nuclear physics.
PH.12.i) Superconductivity.
PH.2. The student will investigate and understand how to analyze and interpret data. Key concepts include
PH.2.a) A description of a physical problem is translated into a mathematical statement in order to find a solution.
PH.2.b) Relationships between physical quantities are determined using the shape of a curve passing through experimentally obtained data.
PH.2.c) The slope of a linear relationship is calculated and includes appropriate units.
PH.2.d) Interpolated, extrapolated, and analyzed trends are used to make predictions.
PH.3. The student will investigate and demonstrate an understanding of the nature of science, scientific reasoning, and logic. Key concepts include
PH.3.b) Analysis of how science explains and predicts relationships.
PH.4. The student will investigate and understand how applications of physics affect the world. Key concepts include
PH.4.a) Examples from the real world.
PH.5. The student will investigate and understand the interrelationships among mass, distance, force, and time through mathematical and experimental processes. Key concepts include
PH.5.a) Linear motion.
PH.5.b) Uniform circular motion.
PH.5.d) Newton's laws of motion.
PH.5.e) Gravitation.
PH.5.f) Planetary motion.
PH.5.g) Work, power, and energy.
PH.6. The student will investigate and understand that quantities including mass, energy, momentum, and charge are conserved. Key concepts include
PH.6.a) Kinetic and potential energy.
PH.6.b) Elastic and inelastic collisions.
PH.7. The student will investigate and understand that energy can be transferred and transformed to provide USAble work. Key concepts include
PH.7.a) Transfer and storage of energy among systems including mechanical, thermal, gravitational, electromagnetic, chemical, and nuclear systems.
PH.7.b) Efficiency of systems.
PH.8. The student will investigate and understand wave phenomena. Key concepts include
PH.8.a) Wave characteristics.
PH.8.b) Fundamental wave processes.
PH.8.c) Light and sound in terms of wave models.
PH.9. The student will investigate and understand that different frequencies and wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum are phenomena ranging from radio waves through visible light to gamma radiation. Key concepts include
PH.9.a) The properties, behaviors, and relative size of radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays.
PH.9.b) Wave/particle dual nature of light.
PH.9.c) Current applications based on the respective wavelengths.

NewPath Learning resources are fully aligned to US Education Standards. Select a standard below to view correlations to your selected resource:

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