2015-2016 8th Grade Science Learning Targets
course of the year, you will work toward meeting essential learning
targets. A learning target states
exactly what you need to learn in order to be proficient in 8th
grade science. These standards will be
addressed in contexts that promote scientific inquiry, use of evidence,
critical thinking, making connections, and communication. The following
is a list of your essential learning targets:
(NGSS) ALT 1 - Scientific Inquiry
I can design and conduct a scientific investigation that
uses appropriate tools, techniques, independent and dependent variables, and
controls to collect relevant data.
AST 1.1 - Question and Hypothesis: I
can independently develop a testable question and hypothesis that can be
scientifically investigated using data, identifying controls, independent and
AST 1.2 - Design a Logical and Safe
Experiment: I can design a logical and safe experiment that uses
appropriate tools and techniques. I can clearly communicate my procedure so
that others can follow it.
AST 1.3 - Collect and Present
Relevant Data: I can collect and present relevant data by
independently constructing data tables and the appropriate types of
AST 1.4 - Analyze Data and Suggest
Improvements: I can analyze data and/or observations and
give evidence based explanations, identifying possible sources of error. I can
communicate my results, suggest improvements, and propose new investigations
based on the analysis of results.
(NGSS) ALT 2 - Engineering Design
I can design, construct, test and evaluate a simple solution to a defined problem using appropriate tools and materials.
AST 2.1 - Criteria and Constraints: I
can define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient
precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant
scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural
environment that may limit possible solutions.
AST 2.2 - Evaluate Design Solutions: I
can evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine
how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
AST 2.3 - Analyze Data and Create New
Solution: I can analyze data from tests to determine similarities
and differences among several design solutions to identify the best
characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet
the criteria for success.
AST 2.4 - Create Optimal Design: I
can develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of
a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be
(NGSS) ALT 3 - Properties of Matter
I can explain how the motion and spacing of particles
determines properties of matter.
AST 3.1 - Inquiry: I
can analyze and interpret data to make conclusions about the structure and
properties of matter.
AST 3.2 - Engineering: I
can design, construct, test, and evaluate a simple solution to a defined
problem using appropriate tools and materials.
AST 3.3 - Informational Text: I
can read and use informational texts about the states of matter to answer
AST 3.4 - Model Atomic Composition: I
can develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and
AST 3.5 -Model Particle Motion: I
can develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion,
temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or
AST 3.6 - Synthetic Materials : I
can gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials
come from natural resources and impact society.
(NGSS) ALT 4 - Chemical Reactions
I can compare and contrast physical and chemical changes
and describe how the law of conservation of mass applies to these properties.
AST 4.1 - Inquiry: I
can analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after
the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
AST 4.2 - Engineering: I
can design a solution to a problem and then construct, test, and modify a
device that either releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical processes.
AST 4.3 - Informational Text: I
can read and use informational text about chemical reactions to answer relevant
AST 4.4 - Conservation of Mass: I
can develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not
change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved.
(NGSS) ALT 5 - Earth in Space
I can explain the Earth/Sun/Moon system and the role of
gravity in the universe.
AST 5.1 - Inquiry: I
can analyze and interpret data to determine scalar properties of objects in the
AST 5.2 - Engineering: I
can design a solution to a problem...
AST 5.3 - Informational Text: I
can read and use informational texts about space systems to answer relevant
AST 5.4 - Model Earth/Sun/Moon System: I
can develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic
patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun, moon, and seasons.
AST 5.5 - Gravity and Motion: I
can develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions
within galaxies and the solar system.
AST 5.6 - Properties of Gravity: I
can construct and present arguments using evidence to support the claim that
gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of
(NGSS) ALT 6 - Change Over Time
I can show evidence for changes in Earth's organisms over
AST 6.1 - Inquiry: I
can analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document
the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the
history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today
as in the past.
AST 6.2 - Engineering: I
can design a solution to a problem...
AST 6.3 - Informational Text: I
can read and use informational text about evolution to answer relevant
AST 6.4 - Geologic Time Scale: I
can construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for
how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth’s 4.6 billion year old
AST 6.5 - Human Impact on Earth's
Systems: I can construct an argument supported by evidence for
how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural
resources impact Earth’s systems.
AST 6.6 - Evolutionary Relationships: I
can apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical
similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and
fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.
(NGSS) ALT 7 - Natural Selection
I can explain how organisms change over time in response
to changes in the environment.
AST 7.1 - Inquiry: I
can analyze and interpret data to make conclusions about natural selection.
AST 7.2 - Engineering: I
can design a solution to a problem that addresses natural selection...
AST 7.3 - Informational Text: I
can analyze and interpret text to make conclusions about natural selection.
AST 7.4 - Gene Mutations: I
can develop and use a model to describe why structural changes to genes
(mutations) located on chromosomes may affect proteins and may result in
harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function of the
AST 7.5 - Natural Selection and Trait
Frequency: I can use mathematical representations to support
explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of
specific traits in populations over time.
AST 7.6 - Survival and Reproduction: I
can construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic
variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of
surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
AST 7.7 - Growth of Organisms: I can
construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and
genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
AST 7.8 - Embryological Development: I
can analyze displays of pictorial data to compare patterns of similarities in
the embryological development across multiple species to identify relationships
not evident in the fully formed anatomy.
AST 7.9 - Technology and Desired
Traits: I can gather and synthesize information about the
technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of
desired traits in organisms.