The Physical Science standards continue to build on skills of systematic investigation with a clear focus on variables and repeated trials. Validating conclusions using evidence and data becomes increasingly important at this level. Students will plan and conduct research involving both classroom experimentation and literature reviews from written and electronic resources. Research methods and skills highlight practical problems and questions. Students will share their work using written reports and other presentations and will continue to use metric units (SI – International System of Units) as the primary unit of measurement for gathering and reporting data.
The Physical Science standards stress an in-depth understanding of the nature and structure of matter and the characteristics of energy. The standards place considerable emphasis on the technological application of physical science principles. Major areas covered by the standards include the organization and use of the periodic table; physical and chemical changes; nuclear reactions; temperature and heat; sound; light; electricity and magnetism; and work, force, and motion.
The Physical Science standards continue to focus on student growth in understanding the nature of science. This scientific view defines the idea that explanations of nature are developed and tested using observation, experimentation, models, evidence, and systematic processes. The nature of science includes the concepts that scientific explanations are based on logical thinking; are subject to rules of evidence; are consistent with observational, inferential, and experimental evidence; are open to rational critique; and are subject to refinement and change with the addition of new scientific evidence. The nature of science includes the concept that science can provide explanations about nature and can predict potential consequences of actions, but cannot be used to answer all questions.
-from Virginia Standards of Learning