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Solar System Exploration
Education
YSS July/August 2012 Science Education Standards

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Benchmarks

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

  • Eight planets of very different size, composition, and surface features move around the sun in nearly circular orbits. Some planets have a variety of moons and even flat rings of rock and ice particles orbiting around them. Some of these planets and moons show evidence of geologic activity. The Earth is orbited by one moon, many artificial satellites, and debris. 4A/M3
  • Many thousands of layers of sedimentary rock provide evidence for the long history of the Earth and for the long history of changing life forms whose remains are found in the rocks. 5F/M3a
  • The world contains a wide diversity of physical conditions, which creates a wide variety of environments: freshwater, marine, forest, desert, grassland, mountain, and others. In any particular environment, the growth and survival of organisms depend on the physical conditions. 5D/M1b*

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

  • Life on Earth is thought to have begun as simple, one-celled organisms about four billion years ago. Once cells with nuclei developed about a billion years ago, increasingly complex multi-cellular organisms evolved. 5F/H8

National Science Education Standards

Grades K-4
LIFE SCIENCE -- CONTENT STANDARD C
The Characteristics of Organisms

  • Organisms have basic needs. For example, animals need air, water, and food; plants require air, water, nutrients, and light. Organisms can survive only in environments in which their needs can be met. The world has many different environments, and distinct environments support the life of different types of organisms.

Grades 5-8
EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE -- CONTENT STANDARD D
Earth in the Solar System

  • The Earth is the third planet from the sun in a system that includes the Moon, the sun, seven other planets and their moons, and smaller objects, such as asteroids and comets. The sun, an average star, is the central and largest body in the solar system.

Grades 9-12
LIFE SCIENCE -- CONTENT STANDARD C
The Interdependence of Organisms

  • Evidence for one-celled forms of life -- the bacteria -- extends back more than 3.5 billion years. The evolution of life caused dramatic changes in the composition of the Earth's atmosphere, which did not originally contain oxygen.

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Last Updated: 22 May 2012