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Education
YSS February 2012 Science Education Standards

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Benchmarks

By the end of the 2nd grade, students should know that

  • When trying to build something or to get something to work better, it usually helps to follow directions if there are any or to ask someone who has done it before for suggestions. 3A/P2

By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that

  • Technology enables scientists and others to observe things that are too small or too far away to be seen otherwise and to study the motion of objects that are moving very rapidly or are hardly moving at all. 3A/E2
  • Measuring instruments can be used to gather accurate information for making scientific comparisons of objects and events and for designing and constructing things that will work properly. 3A/E3
  • There is no perfect design. Designs that are best in one respect (safety or ease of use, for example) may be inferior in other ways (cost or appearance). Usually some features must be sacrificed to get others. 3B/E1*
  • Even a good design may fail. Sometimes steps can be taken ahead of time to reduce the likelihood of failure, but it cannot be entirely eliminated. 3B/E2
  • The solution to one problem may create other problems. 3B/E3

By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that

  • Technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer space and other remote locations, sample collection and treatment, measurement, data collection and storage, computation, and communication of information. 3A/M2
  • Engineers, architects and others who engage in design and technology use scientific knowledge to solve practical problems. They also usually have to take human values and limitations into account. 3A/M3*
  • The most common ways to prevent failure are pretesting of parts and procedures, overdesign, and redundancy. 3B/M4b

By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that

  • Technological problems and advances often create a demand for new scientific knowledge, and new technologies make it possible for scientists to extend their research in new ways or to undertake entirely new lines of research. The very availability of new technology itself often sparks scientific advances. 3A/H1*
  • Mathematics, creativity, logic, and originality are all needed to improve technology. 3A/H2
  • Engineers use knowledge of science and technology, together with strategies of design, to solve practical problems. Scientific knowledge provides a means of estimating what the behavior of things will be even before they are made. Moreover, science often suggests new kinds of behavior that had not even been imagined before, and so leads to new technologies. 3A/H4** (SFAA)
  • Complex systems have layers of controls. Some controls operate particular parts of the system and some control other controls. Even fully automatic systems require human control at some point. 3B/H3
  • The more parts and connections a system has, the more ways it can go wrong. Complex systems usually have components to detect, back up, bypass, or compensate for minor failures. 3B/H5
  • To reduce the chance of system failure, performance testing is often conducted using small-scale models, computer simulations, analogous systems, or just the parts of the system thought to be least reliable. 3B/H6

National Science Education Standards

Science and Technology -- Content Standard E

Grades K-4
UNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  • People have always had problems and invented tools and techniques (ways of doing something) to solve problems. Trying to determine the effects of solutions helps people avoid some new problems.
  • Scientists and engineers often work in teams with different individuals doing different things that contribute to the results. This understanding focuses primarily on teams working together and secondarily, on the combination of scientist and engineer teams.
  • Tools help scientists make better observations, measurements, and equipment for investigations. They help scientists see, measure and do things that they could not otherwise see, measure and do.

Grades 5-8
UNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  • Scientific inquiry and technological design have similarities and differences. Scientists propose explanations for questions about the natural world, and engineers propose solutions relating to human problems, needs and aspirations. Technological solutions are temporary; technologies exist within nature and so they cannot contravene physical or biological principles; technological solutions have side effects; and technologies cost, carry risks, and provide benefits.
  • Science and technology are reciprocal. Science helps drive technology, as it addresses questions that demand more sophisticated instruments and provides principles for better instrumentation and technique. Technology is essential to science, because it provides instruments and techniques that enable observations of objects and phenomena that are otherwise unobservable due to factors such as quantity, distance, location, size, and speed. Technology also provides tools for investigations, inquiry, and analysis.
  • Perfectly designed solutions do not exist. All technological solutions have trade-offs, such as safety, cost, efficiency, and appearance. Engineers often build in back-up systems to provide safety. Risk is part of living in a highly technological world. Reducing risk often results in new technology.
  • Technological designs have constraints. Some constraints are unavoidable, for example, properties of materials, or effects of weather and friction; other constraints limit choices in the design, for example, environmental protection, human safety, and aesthetics.

Grades 9-12
UNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  • Science often advances with the introduction of new technologies. Solving technological problems often results in new scientific knowledge. New technologies often extend the current levels of scientific understanding and introduce new areas of research.
  • Creativity, imagination and a good knowledge base are all required in the work of science and engineering.
  • Science and technology are pursued for different purposes. Scientific inquiry is driven by the desire to understand the natural world, and technological design is driven by the need to meet human needs and solve human problems. Technology, by its nature, has a more direct effect on society than science because its purpose is to solve human problems, help humans adapt, and fulfill human aspirations. Technological solutions may create new problems. Science, by its nature, answers questions that may or may not directly influence humans. Sometimes scientific advances challenge people's beliefs and practical explanations concerning various aspects of the world.

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Last Updated: 22 May 2012