North Carolina Science Standards

North Carolina Essential Standards 6-8 Science

Note on Numbering:

Physical Science (P) Earth Science (E) Life Science (L)

The North Carolina Science Essential Standards maintain the respect for local control of each Local Education Authority (LEA) to design the specific curricular and instructional strategies that best deliver the content to their students. Nonetheless, engaging students in inquiry-based instruction is a critical way of developing conceptual understanding of the science content that is vital for success in the twenty-first century. The process of scientific inquiry, experimentation and technological design should not be taught nor tested in isolation of the core concepts drawn from physical science, earth science and life science. A seamless integration of science content, scientific inquiry, experimentation and technological design will reinforce in students the notion that "what" is known is inextricably tied to "how" it is known. A well-planned science curriculum provides opportunities for inquiry, experimentation and technological design. Teachers, when teaching science, should provide opportunities for students to engage in "hands-on/minds-on" activities that are exemplars of scientific inquiry, experimentation and technological design.

7th Grade

Science as Inquiry

Traditional laboratory experiences provide opportunities to demonstrate how science is constant, historic, probabilistic, and replicable. Although there are no fixed steps that all scientists follow, scientific investigations usually involve collections of relevant evidence, the use of logical reasoning, the application of imagination to devise hypotheses, and explanations to make sense of collected evidence. Student engagement in scientific investigation provides background for understanding the nature of scientific inquiry. In addition, the science process skills necessary for inquiry are acquired through active experience. The process skills support development of reasoning and problem-solving ability and are the core of scientific methodologies.

 

Forces and Motion

 
     

Essential Standard

 

Clarifying Objectives

 
 
 

7.P.1

Understand motion, the effects of forces on motion and the graphical representations of motion.

7.P .1.1

Explain how the motion of an object can be described by its position, direction of motion, and speed with respect to some other object.

7.P .1.2

Explain the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces acting on an object (including friction, gravity and magnets).

7.P .1.3

Illustrate the motion of an object using a graph to show a change in position over a period of time.

7.P .1.4

Interpret distance versus time graphs for constant speed and variable motion.

North Carolina Essential Standards 6-8 Science

 

Energy: Conservation and Transfer

 
     

Essential Standard

 

Clarifying Objectives

 
 
 

7.P.2

Understand forms of energy, energy transfer and transformation and conservation in mechanical systems.

7.P .2.1

Explain how kinetic and potential energy contribute to the mechanical energy of an object.

7.P .2.2

Explain how energy can be transformed from one form to another (specifically potential energy and kinetic energy) using a model or diagram of a moving object (roller coaster, pendulum, or cars on ramps as examples).

7.P .2.3

Recognize that energy can be transferred from one system to another when two objects push or pull on each other over a distance (work) and electrical circuits require a complete loop through which an electrical current can pass.

7.P .2.4

Explain how simple machines such as inclined planes, pulleys, levers and wheel and axles are used to create mechanical advantage and increase efficiency.

 

Earth Systems, Structures and Processes

 
     

Essential Standard

 

Clarifying Objectives

 
 
 

7.E.1

Understand how the cycling of matter (water and gases) in and out of the atmosphere relates to Earth’s atmosphere, weather and climate and the effects of the atmosphere on humans.

7.E.1.1

Compare the composition, properties and structure of Earth’s atmosphere to include: mixtures of gases and differences in temperature and pressure within layers.

7.E.1.2

Explain how the cycling of water in and out of the atmosphere and atmospheric conditions relate to the weather patterns on Earth.

7.E.1.3

Explain the relationship between the movement of air masses, high and low pressure systems, and frontal boundaries to storms (including thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes) and other weather conditions that may result.

7.E.1.4

Predict weather conditions and patterns based on information obtained from:

  • Weather data collected from direct observations and measurement (wind speed and direction, air temperature, humidity and air pressure)

  • Weather maps, satellites and radar

  • Cloud shapes and types and associated elevation

7.E.1.5

Explain the influence of convection, global winds and the jet stream on weather and climatic conditions.

7.E.1.6

Conclude that the good health of humans requires: monitoring the atmosphere, maintaining air quality and stewardship.

North Carolina Essential Standards 6-8 Science

 

Structures and Functions of Living Organisms

 
     

Essential Standard

 

Clarifying Objectives

 
 
 

7.L.1

Understand the processes, structures and functions of living organisms that enable them to survive, reproduce and carry out the basic functions of life.

7.L.1.1

Compare the structures and life functions of single-celled organisms that carry out all of the basic functions of life including:

• Euglena
• Amoeba
• Paramecium • Volvox

7.L.1.2

Compare the structures and functions of plant and animal cells, including major organelles (cell membrane, cell wall, nucleus, chloroplasts, mitochondria, and vacuoles).

7.L.1.3

Summarize the hierarchical organization of multi-cellular organisms from cells to tissues to organs to systems to organisms.

7.L.1.4

Summarize the general functions of the major systems of the human body (digestion, respiration, reproduction, circulation, and excretion) and ways that these systems interact with each other to sustain life.

 

Evolution and Genetics

 
     

Essential Standard

 

Clarifying Objectives

 
 
 

7.L.2

Understand the relationship of the mechanisms of cellular reproduction, patterns of inheritance and external factors to potential variation among offspring.

7.L.2.1

Explain why offspring that result from sexual reproduction (fertilization and meiosis) have greater variation than offspring that result from asexual reproduction (budding and mitosis).

7.L.2.2

Infer patterns of heredity using information from Punnett squares and pedigree analysis.

7.L.2.3

Explain the impact of the environment and lifestyle choices on biological inheritance (to include common genetic diseases) and survival.

8th Grade

Science as Inquiry

Traditional laboratory experiences provide opportunities to demonstrate how science is constant, historic, probabilistic, and replicable. Although there are no fixed steps that all scientists follow, scientific investigations usually involve collections of relevant evidence, the use of logical reasoning, the application of imagination to devise hypotheses, and explanations to make sense of collected evidence. Student engagement in scientific investigation provides background for understanding the nature of scientific inquiry. In addition, the science process skills necessary for inquiry are acquired through active experience. The process skills support development of reasoning and problem-solving ability and are the core of scientific methodologies.

North Carolina Essential Standards 6-8 Science

 

Matter: Properties and Change

 
     

Essential Standard

 

Clarifying Objectives

 
 
 

8.P.1

Understand the properties of matter and changes that occur when matter interacts in an open and closed container.

8.P .1.1

Classify matter as elements, compounds, or mixtures based on how the atoms are packed together in arrangements.

8.P .1.2

Explain how the physical properties of elements and their reactivity have been used to produce the current model of the Periodic Table of elements.

8.P .1.3

Compare physical changes such as size, shape and state to chemical changes that are the result of a chemical reaction to include changes in temperature, color, formation of a gas or precipitate.

8.P .1.4

Explain how the idea of atoms and a balanced chemical equation support the law of conservation of mass.

 

Energy: Conservation and Transfer

 
     

Essential Standard

 

Clarifying Objectives

 
 
 

8.P.2

Explain the environmental implications associated with the various methods of obtaining, managing, and using energy resources.

8.P .2.1

Explain the environmental consequences of the various methods of obtaining, transforming and distributing energy.

8.P .2.2

Explain the implications of the depletion of renewable and nonrenewable energy resources and the importance of conservation.

North Carolina Essential Standards 6-8 Science

 

Earth Systems, Structures and Processes

 
     

Essential Standard

 

Clarifying Objectives

 
 
 

8.E.1

Understand the hydrosphere and the impact of humans on local systems and the effects of the hydrosphere on humans.

8.E.1.1

Explain the structure of the hydrosphere including: • Water distribution on earth
• Local river basins and water availability

8.E.1.2

Summarize evidence that Earth’s oceans are a reservoir of nutrients, minerals, dissolved gases, and life forms:

• Estuaries
• Marine ecosystems
• Upwelling
• Behavior of gases in the marine environment
• Value and sustainability of marine resources
• Deep ocean technology and understandings gained

8.E.1.3

Predict the safety and potability of water supplies in North Carolina based on physical and biological factors, including:

• Temperature
• Dissolved oxygen
• pH
• Nitrates and phosphates • Turbidity
• Bio-indicators

8.E.1.4

Conclude that the good health of humans requires: • Monitoring of the hydrosphere
• Water quality standards
• Methods of water treatment

• Maintaining safe water quality • Stewardship

 

Earth History

 
     

Essential Standard

 

Clarifying Objectives

 
 
 

8.E.2

Understand the history of Earth and its life forms based on evidence of change recorded in fossil records and landforms.

8.E.2.1

Infer the age of Earth and relative age of rocks and fossils from index fossils and ordering of rock layers (relative dating and radioactive dating).

8.E.2.2

Explain the use of fossils, ice cores, composition of sedimentary rocks, faults, and igneous rock formations found in rock layers as evidence of the history of the Earth and its changing life forms.

North Carolina Essential Standards 6-8 Science

 

Structures and Functions of Living Organisms

 
     

Essential Standard

 

Clarifying Objectives

 
 
 

8.L.1

Understand the hazards caused by agents of diseases that effect living organisms.

8.L.1.1

Summarize the basic characteristics of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites relating to the spread, treatment and prevention of disease.

8.L.1.2

Explain the difference between epidemic and pandemic as it relates to the spread, treatment and prevention of disease.

8.L.2

Understand how biotechnology is used to affect living organisms.

8.L.2.1

Summarize aspects of biotechnology including: • Specific genetic information available • Careers
• Economic benefits to North Carolina

• Ethical issues
• Implications for agriculture

 

Ecosystems

 
     

Essential Standard

 

Clarifying Objectives

 
 
 

8.L.3

Understand how organisms interact with and respond to the biotic and abiotic components of their environment.

8.L.3.1

Explain how factors such as food, water, shelter and space affect populations in an ecosystem.

8.L.3.2

Summarize the relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers including the positive and negative consequences of such interactions including:

• Coexistence and cooperation • Competition (predator/prey) • Parasitism
• Mutualism

8.L.3.3

Explain how the flow of energy within food webs is interconnected with the cycling of matter (including water, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen).

 

Evolution and Genetics

 
     

Essential Standard

 

Clarifying Objectives

 
 
 

8.L.4

Understand the evolution of

8.L.4.1

Summarize the use of evidence drawn from geology, fossils, and comparative anatomy to form the basis for biological

North Carolina Essential Standards 6-8 Science

     

Essential Standard

 

Clarifying Objectives

 
 
 
 

organisms and landforms based on evidence, theories and processes that impact the Earth over time.

 

classification systems and the theory of evolution.

8.L.4.2

Explain the relationship between genetic variation and an organism’s ability to adapt to its environment.

 

Molecular Biology

 
     

Essential Standard

 

Clarifying Objectives

 
 
 

8.L.5

Understand the composition of various substances as it relates to their ability to serve as a source of energy and building materials for growth and repair of organisms.