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SCIENCE       TreeSign-Bench.jpg (14766 bytes)

Michigan Department of Education - Science
Version on this website as of summer, 2001


Strands are in GREEN and indented.
Standards are in BROWN.
Benchmarks are in RED.

Strand I. Constructing New Scientific Knowledge

Scientifically literate students are learners as well as users of knowledge. With scientific literacy comes the ability to ask questions about the world that can be answered by using scientific knowledge and techniques. Scientifically literate students can also develop solutions to problems that they encounter or questions they ask. In developing solutions, scientifically literate students may use their own knowledge and reasoning abilities, seek out additional knowledge from other sources, and in empirical investigations of the real world. They can learn by interpreting text, graphs, tables, pictures, or other representations of scientific knowledge. Finally, scientifically literate students can remember key points and use sources of information to reconstruct previously learned knowledge, rather than try to remember every detail of what they study.

Standard I.1    Constructing New Scientific Knowledge
All students will ask questions that help them learn about the world; design and conduct investigations using appropriate methodology and technology; learn from books and other sources of information; communicate their findings using appropriate technology; and reconstruct previously learned knowledge.

There is one standard under Constructing New Scientific Knowledge. This standard incorporates the ways that scientists and individuals investigate and learn about the world.

S.I.1.ms1     Generate scientific questions about the world based on observation. ( Key concepts: See Using Scientific Knowledge. Real-world contexts: See Using Scientific Knowledge.)

S.I.1.ms2    Design and conduct simple investigations. ( Key concepts: The process of scientific investigations-test, fair test, hypothesis, data, conclusion . Forms for recording and reporting data-tables, graphs, journals. Real-world contexts: See Using Scientific Knowledge.)

S.I.1.ms3    Investigate toys/simple appliances and explain how they work, using instructions and appropriate safety precautions. ( Key concepts: Safety precautions for using electrical appliances. Documentation for toys and appliances-diagrams, written instructions. Real-world contexts: Situations requiring assembly, use, or repair of toys, radios, or simple appliances, such as replacing batteries; connecting electrical appliances, such as stereos, videocassette recorders.)

(S.IV.1.ms1 is to become S.I.1.ms4, but where is current benchmark supposed to go?)
    Use measurement devices to provide consistency in an investigation. ( Key concepts: Documentation-laboratory instructions . Measurement units-milliliters, liters, teaspoon, tablespoon, ounce, cup, millimeter, centimeter, meter, gram, nonstandard units. Measurement tools: Balancing devices, measuring cups and spoons, measuring tape. Real-world contexts: Cooking for groups of various sizes; following or altering laboratory instructions for mixing chemicals.)

S.I.1.ms5     Use sources of information to help solve problems. ( Tools: Forms for presenting scientific information, such as figures, tables, graphs. Real-world contexts: Libraries, projects where research is needed.)

S.I.1.ms6    Write and follow procedures in the form of step-by-step instructions, recipes, formulas, flow diagrams, and sketches. ( Key concepts: Purpose, procedure, observation, conclusion. Real-world contexts: Following a recipe; listing or creating the directions for completing a task.)

S.I.1.ms7    Not on MCF website

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Strand II.    Reflecting on Scientific Knowledge

Scientifically literate students can also "step back" and analyze or reflect on their own knowledge. One important type of analysis is the justification of personal knowledge or beliefs using either theoretically or empirically based arguments. Scientifically literate students can also show an appreciation for scientific knowledge and the patterns that it reveals in the world; this often involves seeing connections among different areas of knowledge. They may be able to take a cultural perspective on concepts and theories or to discuss institutional relationships among science, technology, and society . Finally, scientifically literate students can describe the limitations of their own knowledge and general.

Standard II.1     Reflecting on Scientific Knowledge
All students will analyze claims for their scientific merit and explain how scientists decide what constitutes scientific knowledge; how science is related to other ways of knowing; how science and technology affect our society; and how people of diverse cultures have contributed to and influenced developments in science.

There is one standard under Reflecting on Scientific Knowledge. This standard incorporates the nature of the scientific enterprise, its strengths, limitations, and connections to other ways of knowing.

S.II.1.ms1    Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of claims, arguments, or data. ( Key concepts: Aspects of arguments such as data, evidence, sampling, alternate explanation, conclusion. Real-world contexts: Deciding between alternate explanations or plans for solving problems; evaluating advertising claims or cases made by interest groups.)

S.II.1.ms2    Describe limitations in personal knowledge. ( Key concepts: Recognizing degrees of confidence in ideas or knowledge from different sources. Real-world contexts: See Using Scientific Knowledge.)

S.II.1.ms3    Show how common themes of science, mathematics, and technology apply in real-world contexts. ( Thematic ideas: Systems-subsystems, feedback models, mathematical constancy, scale, conservation, structure, function, adaptation. Real-world contexts: See Using Scientific Knowledge.)

S.II.1.ms4    Describe the advantages and risks of new technologies. ( Key concepts: Risk, benefit, side effect, advantage, disadvantage. Real-world contexts: Technological systems for manufacturing, transportation, energy distribution, housing.)

(to become S.II.1.ms6) S.II.1.ms5    Recognize the contributions made in science by cultures and individuals of diverse backgrounds. ( Key concepts: Scientific contributions made by people of diverse cultures and backgrounds. Real-world contexts: See Using Scientific Knowledge.)  [supposed to be changed to S.II.1.ms6, which is not currently in matrix]

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Strand III. Using Scientific Knowledge in Life Science

Scientifically literate students and adults can use their knowledge to understand the world around them and to guide their actions. Important types of activities that use scientific knowledge include description and explanation of real-world objects, systems, or events; prediction of future events or observations; and the design of systems or courses of action that enable people to adapt to and modify the world around them. In the life sciences, real-world contexts in which scientifically literate people use knowledge are often described in terms of systems and subsystems, such as cells, organisms, and ecosystems.

There are five standards under Using Scientific Knowledge in Life Science:

Standard III.1   Cells
All students will apply an understanding of cells to the functioning of multi-cellular organisms; and explain how cells grow, develop and reproduce.

Cells are the basic living unit of which all organisms are composed.

S.III.1.ms1  Describe how the characteristics of living things are passed on through generations. (Key concepts:  Reproductive cells-egg, sperm.  Cell parts-nucleus, gene.  Real world contexts:  Common traits controlled by a single gene pair, such as wrinkled or smooth seeds in a pea plant, color of horse hair.)

S.III.1.ms2    Describe how heredity and environment may influence/determine characteristics of an organism.  (Key concepts:  Traits-inherited, acquired.  Real-world contexts:  Data on heredity, such as identical twin studies, effects of introduced toxins, effects of natural selection, effects of controlled selection and breeding.)

(to become S.III.2.hs3, a new benchmark for this matrix) 
   Explain how cells use food as a source of energy. (Key concepts: How cells use food-food, molecule, respiration, oxygen, carbon dioxide, water. Real-world contexts: Experiments/ demonstrations showing reactants/products of respiration and photosynthesis.)

Standard III.2   The Organization of Living Things
All students will use classification systems to describe groups of living things; compare and contrast differences in the life cycles of living things; investigate and explain how living things obtain and use energy; and analyze how parts of living things are adapted to carry out specific functions.

Organization of living things occurs both across species (as in taxonomic organizations) and within organisms (their structures and processes).

(supposed to be replaced by S.III.1.ms1, but where does current benchmark go?)
   Compare and classify organisms into major groups on the basis of their structure. ( Key concepts: Characteristics used for classification- vertebrates/invertebrates, cold-blooded/warm-blooded, single-cell/multi-cellular, flowering/non-flowering. Real-world contexts: Representative organisms, such as dog, worm, snake, Amoeba, geranium, wheat.)

S.III.2.ms2    Describe the life cycle of a flowering plant. ( Key concepts: Flowering plant parts and processes-roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, embryo, pollen, ovary, egg cell, germination, fertilization. Real-world contexts: Common flowering plants, such as bean, tulip.)

S.III.2.ms3    Describe evidence that plants make and store food. ( Key concepts: Process and products of food production-photo-synthesis, starch, sugar, oxygen. Real-world contexts: Plant food storage organs, such as potato, onion; starch storage in plants grown under different conditions.)

S.III.2.ms4    Explain how selected systems and processes work together in plants and animals. ( Key concepts: Systems/Processes-digestion, circulation, respiration, endocrine, reproduction, skeletal, muscular, nervous, excretion, transport, growth, repair. Real-world contexts: Interrelations of body systems during selected activities, such as among skeletal, muscular, circulatory, and respiratory systems during physical exercise.)

S.III.2.hs3  new benchmark from S.III.1.ms3

Standard III.3   Heredity
All students will investigate and explain how characteristics of living things are passed on through generations; explain why organisms within a species are different from one another; and explain how new traits can be established by changing or manipulating genes.

Heredity is the means by which traits are transmitted from one generation to the next.

S.III.3.ms2    Describe how heredity and environment may influence/determine characteristics of an organism. ( Key concepts: Traits-inherited, acquired. Real-world contexts: Data on heredity, such as identical twin studies, effects of introduced toxins, effects of natural selection, effects of controlled selection and breeding.)

Standard III.5     Ecosystems
All students will explain how parts of an ecosystem are related and how they interact; explain how energy is distributed to living things in an ecosystem; investigate and explain how communities of living things change over a period of time; describe how materials cycle through an ecosystem and get reused in the environment; and analyze how humans and the environment interact.

It is within ecosystems that communities of living things interact.

S.III.5.ms1    Describe common patterns of relationships among populations. ( Key concepts: Participants and relationships-predator, prey, parasitism, competition, symbiosis. Real-world contexts: Examples of predator-prey, symbiotic, and parasitic relationships-see elementary benchmarks 1 and 2; examples of competitive relationships, including squirrels and seed-eating birds, cattle and bison.)

(swap with S.III.5.ms3)  S.III.5.ms2    Predict the effects of changes in one population in a food web on other populations. ( Key concepts: Natural balance, population, dependence, survival. Real-world contexts: Plants and animals in an ecosystem dependent upon each other for survival in selected ecosystems-see elementary benchmark 3; comparison of animals and plants found in polluted vs. non-polluted water, urban vs. rural settings, rural vs. forest settings.)

(swap with S.III.5.ms2)  S.III.5.ms3    Describe how all organisms in an ecosystem acquire energy directly or indirectly from sunlight. ( Key concepts: Sunlight, plants, food, photosynthesis, heat. Real-world contexts: Selected food chains, including humans; also see Cells benchmarks related to photosynthesis.)

S.III.5.ms4    Describe the likely succession of a given ecosystem over time. ( Key concepts: Succession, stages, climax community. Real-world contexts: Process of gradual change in ecological systems, such as in ponds or abandoned farm fields.)

(to become S.III.5.hs5 new benchmark in this matrix)
(then, S.III.5.ms7 will become S.III.5.ms5) 
S.III.5.ms5    Identify some common materials that cycle through the environment. ( Key concepts: Carbon cycle and water cycle-water, carbon dioxide, oxygen, sugar (food). Also see appropriate Cells and Atmosphere and Weather benchmarks. Real-world contexts: Selected ecosystems-also see elementary benchmark 3.)

S.III.5.ms6    Describe ways in which humans alter the environment. ( Key concepts: Agriculture, land use, resource development, resource use, solid waste, toxic waste. Real-world contexts: Human activities, such as farming, pollution from manufacturing and other sources, hunting, habitat destruction, land development.)

(to become S.III.5.ms5, after S.III.5.ms5 is changed to S.III.5.hs5, there will no longer be a S.III.5.ms7))
   Explain how humans use and benefit from plant and animal materials. ( Key concepts: Materials from plants, including-wood, paper, cotton, linen, starch, rubber, wax, and oils. Materials from animals, including leather, wool, fur, protein, oils, wax. Real-world contexts: Human-made objects that incorporate plant and animal materials, including clothing, building materials, machines, and medicines-also see elementary benchmark 1, and middle school benchmarks 3 and 6-also see appropriate Geosphere benchmarks.)

S.III.5.hs5  new benchmark for this matrix from current S.III.5.ms5)

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Strand IV. Using Scientific Knowledge in Physical Science

In the physical sciences, the specification of real-world contexts often focuses on phenomena, such as motion, electromagnetic interactions, or physical, chemical, and nuclear changes in matter.

Four standards are under the broad heading of Using Scientific Knowledge in Physical Science:

Standard IV.1   Matter and Energy
All students will measure and describe the things around us; explain what the world around us is made of; identify and describe forms of energy; and explain how electricity and magnetism interact with matter.

Matter and energy are the fundamental entities of the physical universe.

(to become S.I.1.ms4, which already exists and is not re-labeled)
   Measure physical properties of objects or substances (mass, weight, area, temperature, dimensions, volume). ( Key concepts: Units of measure-kilogram, gram, liter, degrees Fahrenheit, degrees Celsius. Measurement tools: Balances, spring scales, measuring cups or graduated cylinders, thermometers, metric ruler. Real-world contexts: Common substances such as those listed in elementary benchmark 1; hot and cold substances, such as ice, snow, cold water, hot water, steam, cold air, hot air.)

S.IV.1.ms3  new benchmark in matrix (old IV.1.ms4, but not used in matrix)

S.IV.1.ms4  new benchmark in matrix (old IV.1.ms5. but not used in matrix)

S.IV.1.ms5  new benchmark in matrix (old IV.1.ms8, but not used in matrix)

S.IV.2.ms4  new benchmark in matrix (combo of old IV.1.ms6 and IV.1.ms7, but not used in matrix)

S.IV.3.ms4  new benchmark in matrix (old IV.1.ms9, but not used in matrix)

Standard IV.2    add new standard

S.IV.2.ms1  new benchmark in matrix (old IV.2.ms3, but not used in matrix)

S.IV.2.ms2  new benchmark in matrix (old IV.2.ms3, but not used in matrix), same as above S.IV.2.ms1

S.IV.2.ms3  new benchmark in matrix (old IV.2.ms5, but not used in matrix)

S.IV.3.ms5  new benchmark in matrix (old IV.3.ms4, but not used in matrix)

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Strand V. Using Scientific Knowledge in Earth Science

In the earth sciences, real-world contexts are often described in terms of systems and subsystems, such as atmospheric systems, crustal systems, solar systems, or galaxies, which are useful in explaining phenomena, including volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, thunderstorms, and eclipses.

Four standards are under the broad heading of Using Scientific Knowledge in Earth Science:

Standard V.1    The Geosphere
All students will describe the earth's surface; describe and explain how the earth's features change over time; and analyze effects of technology on the earth's surface and resources.

The geosphere includes earth's surface and geological processes.

S.V.1.ms1    Describe and identify surface features using maps. ( Key concepts: Types of maps-relief, topographic, elevation. Landforms-plains, deserts, plateaus, basin, Great Lakes, rivers, continental divide, mountains, mountain range, or mountain chain. Real-world contexts: Maps showing regional surface features, such as the Great Lakes or local topography.)

S.V.1.ms3  new benchmark in matrix, swap with current S.V.1.ms4

(swap with V.1.ms3, which does not exist in this matrix)
(current benchmark to become S.V.1.ms3)
   Explain how rocks are broken down, how soil is formed and how surface features change. ( Key concepts: Forces-gravity, pressure. Erosion by-glaciers, waves, wind, streams, weathering, plant roots. Decomposition by-bacteria, fungi, worms, rodents, other animals. See Ecosystems benchmarks. Real-world contexts: Local areas where erosion by wind, water, or glaciers may have occurred, such as along the shoulder of roads, under downspouts; chemical weathering from road salt, formation of caverns; physical weathering, such as potholes and cracks in sidewalks from frozen water.)

S.V.1.ms5    Explain how technology changes the surface of the earth. ( Key concepts: Types of human activities-surface mining, construction and urban development, farming, dams, landfills, restoring marsh lands, reclaiming spoiled land. Real-world contexts: Local example of surface changes due to human activities listed in the Key concepts above; local examples of negative consequences of these changes, such as groundwater pollution, destruction of habitat and scenic land, reduction of arable land.)

S.V.1.hs1    Explain the surface features of the Great Lakes region using Ice Age theory. ( Key concepts: Great Lakes, ice age. Processes-cold, snow, ice, pressure, moving, melting. Deposits-sand, gravel. Features-moraines. Also see Atmosphere and Weather benchmarks. Real-world contexts: Local examples of glacial formations, such as moraines, kettles.)

Standard V.2    The Hydrosphere
All students will demonstrate where water is found on earth; describe the characteristics of water and how water moves; and analyze the interaction of human activities with the hydrosphere.

The Hydrosphere includes all forms of water. Of particular interest in Michigan is the water environment in the Great Lakes region.

S.V.2.ms1    Describe various forms that water takes on the earth's surface and conditions under which they exist. ( Key concepts: Liquid water forms-lakes, rivers, oceans, springs. Frozen water forms-continental glacier, valley glacier, snow on mountains, polar cap. Gaseous water in atmosphere. Climate changes, ice ages. Also see Atmosphere and Weather benchmarks. Real-world contexts: Local lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, springs; examples of frozen water, including snow, glaciers, icebergs, polar regions, frozen Great Lakes shorelines.)

(to become new S.V.2.ms4)  S.V.2.ms3    Describe the origins of pollution in the hydrosphere. ( Key concepts: Sources of pollution-sewage, house-hold dumping, industrial wastes. Limits to natural resources. Also see Geosphere benchmarks and Atmosphere and Weather benchmarks. Real-world contexts: Examples of polluted water; examples of occasions when water supply is restricted, such as during droughts.)

S.V.2.ms4  new benchmark using old S.V.2.ms3

Standard V.3   New Standard in matrix

S.V.3.ms1  new benchmark, from old V.3.ms2 but was not used in this matrix

S.V.3.ms2  new benchmark, from old V.3.ms1 but was not used in this matrix

Standard V.4   New Standard in matrix

S.V.4.hs3  new benchmark, from old V.4.ms4 but was not used in this matrix

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MSUElogo.tif (16254 bytes) This website was developed and created by Michigan State University Extension for the teachers of the State of Michigan.  The website is maintained by the Delta-Schoolcraft Independent School District in support of the Michigan Forests Forever CD-ROM from the Michigan Forest Resource Alliance.

Page Name:  MCF/Science.htm
Please provide comments to Bill Cook: or 786-1575