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YSS June 2011 Science Education Standards

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

  • Things on or near the Earth are pulled toward it by the Earth's gravity. 4B/E1
  • The Earth's gravity pulls any object on or near the Earth toward it without touching it. 4G/E1*
  • Changes in speed or direction of motion are caused by forces. 4F/E1a
  • The greater the force is, the greater the change in motion will be. The more massive an object is, the less effect a given force will have. 4F/E1bc

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

  • Climates have sometimes changed abruptly in the past as a result of volcanic eruptions or impacts of huge rocks from space. 4B/M6*
  • Some changes in the Earth's surface are abrupt (such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) while other changes happen very slowly (such as uplift and wearing down of mountains). 4C/M2a
  • Many chunks of rock orbit the sun. Those that meet the Earth, glow and disintegrate from friction as they plunge through the atmosphere -- and sometimes impact the ground. ... 4A/M4
  • Energy appears in different forms and can be transformed within a system. Motion energy is associated with the speed of an object. Thermal energy is associated with the temperature of an object. Gravitational energy is associated with the height of an object above a reference point. ... 4E/M4*
  • Every object exerts gravitational force on every other object. The force depends on how much mass the objects have and on how far apart they are. The force is hard to detect unless at least one of the objects has a lot of mass. 4G/M1

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

  • Gravitational force is an attraction between masses. The strength of the force is proportional to the masses and weakens rapidly with increasing distance between them. 4G/H1
  • The change in motion (direction or speed) of an object is proportional to the applied force and inversely proportional to the mass. 4F/H1*
  • Whenever one thing exerts a force on another, an equal amount of force is exerted back on it. 4F/H4
  • Any object maintains a constant speed and direction of motion unless an unbalanced outside force acts on it. 4F/H8** (SFAA)

National Science Education Standards

Earth and Space Science -- Content Standard D

Grades K-4
The surface of the Earth changes. Some changes are due to slow processes, such as erosion and weathering, and some changes are due to rapid processes, such as landslides, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.

Grades 5-8
The earth processes we see today, including erosion, movement of lithospheric plates and changes in atmospheric composition, are similar to those that occurred in the past. Earth history is also influenced by occasional catastrophes, such as the impact of an asteroid or comet.

Energy is a property of many substances and is associated with heat, light, electricity, mechanical motion, sound, nuclei, and the nature of a chemical. Energy is transferred in many ways.

Grades 9-12
Objects change their motion only when a net force is applied. Laws of motion are used to calculate precisely the effects of forces on the motion of objects. The magnitude of the change in motion can be calculated using the relationship F = ma, which is independent of the nature of the force. Whenever one object exerts force on another, a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction is exerted on the first object.

Gravitation is a universal force that each mass exerts on any other mass. The strength of the gravitational attractive force between two masses is proportional to the masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

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Last Updated: 22 May 2012