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Physical Science

Welcome to Physical Science!


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The Physical Science standards continue to build on skills of systematic investigation with a clear focus on variables and repeated trials. Validating conclusions using evidence and data becomes increasingly important at this level. Students will plan and conduct research involving both classroom experimentation and literature reviews from written and electronic resources. Research methods and skills highlight practical problems and questions. Students will share their work using written reports and other presentations and will continue to use metric units (SI 
– International System of Units) as the primary unit of measurement for gathering and reporting data.

The Physical Science standards stress an in-depth understanding of the nature and structure of matter and the characteristics of energy. The standards place considerable emphasis on the technological application of physical science principles. Major areas covered by the standards include the organization and use of the periodic table; physical and chemical changes; nuclear reactions; temperature and heat; sound; light; electricity and magnetism; and work, force, and motion.


1st Nine Weeks Instructional Focus (43 days)

PS.1 The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science by planning and conducting investigations in which

a) chemicals and equipment are used safely;

b) length, mass, volume, density, temperature, weight, and force are accurately measured;

c) conversions are made among metric units, applying appropriate prefixes;

d) triple beam and electronic balances, thermometers, metric rulers, graduated cylinders, probeware, and spring scales are used to gather data;

e) numbers are expressed in scientific notation where appropriate;

f) independent and dependent variables, constants, controls, and repeated trials are identified;

g) data tables showing the independent and dependent variables, derived quantities, and the number of trials are constructed and interpreted;

h) data tables for descriptive statistics showing specific measures of central tendency, the range of the data set, and the number of repeated trials are constructed and interpreted;

i) frequency distributions, scatterplots, line plots, and histograms are constructed and interpreted;

j) valid conclusions are made after analyzing data;

k) research methods are used to investigate practical problems and questions;

l) experimental results are presented in appropriate written form;

m) models and simulations are constructed and used to illustrate and explain phenomena; and

n) current applications of physical science concepts are used.



PS.2 The student will investigate and understand the nature of matter. Key concepts include

a) the particle theory of matter;

b) elements, compounds, mixtures, acids, bases, and salts;

c) solids, liquids, and gases;

d) physical properties;

e) chemical properties; and

f) characteristics of types of matter based on physical and chemical properties.


PS.3 The student will investigate and understand the modern and historical models of atomic structure. Key concepts include

a) the contributions of Dalton, Thomson, Rutherford, and Bohr in understanding the atom; and

b) the modern model of atomic structure.

 2nd Nine Weeks Instructional Focus (40 days) 

PS.4 The student will investigate and understand the organization and use of the periodic table of elements to obtain information. Key concepts include

a) symbols, atomic numbers, atomic mass, chemical families (groups), and periods;

b) classification of elements as metals, metalloids, and nonmetals; and

c) formation of compounds through ionic and covalent bonding.


PS.5 The student will investigate and understand changes in matter and the relationship of these changes to the Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy. Key concepts include

a) physical changes;

b) chemical changes; and

c) nuclear reactions.


PS.6 The student will investigate and understand forms of energy and how energy is transferred and transformed. Key concepts include

a) potential and kinetic energy; and

b) mechanical, chemical, electrical, thermal, radiant, and nuclear energy.


SCIENCE FAIR

3rd Nine Weeks Instructional Focus (46 days) 

PS.8 The student will investigate and understand the characteristics of sound waves. Key concepts include

a) wavelength, frequency, speed, amplitude, rarefaction, and compression;

b) resonance;

c) the nature of compression waves; and

d) technological applications of sound.

 

PS.9 The student will investigate and understand the characteristics of transverse waves. Key concepts include

a) wavelength, frequency, speed, amplitude, crest, and trough;

b) the wave behavior of light;

c) images formed by lenses and mirrors;

d) the electromagnetic spectrum; and

e) technological applications of light.


PS.10 The student will investigate and understand the scientific principles of work, force, and motion. Key concepts include

a) speed, velocity, and acceleration;

b) Newton’s laws of motion;

c) work, force, mechanical advantage, efficiency, and power; and

d) technological applications of work, force, and motion.


PS.11 The student will investigate and understand basic principles of electricity and magnetism. Key concepts include

a) static electricity, current electricity, and circuits;

b) relationship between a magnetic field and an electric current;

 

4th Nine Weeks Instructional Focus (51 days)

PS.11 The student will investigate and understand basic principles of electricity and magnetism. Key concepts include

c) electromagnets, motors, and generators and their uses; and

d) conductors, semiconductors, and insulators.

PS.7 The student will investigate and understand temperature scales, heat, and thermal energy transfer. Key concepts include

a) Celsius and Kelvin temperature scales and absolute zero;

b) phase change, freezing point, melting point, boiling point, vaporization, and condensation;

c) conduction, convection, and radiation; and
d) applications of thermal energy transfer.



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